Are Australia's Gun Laws Childish?

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
England … does not have a constitution …
England doesn't even have its own government.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have their own legislative assemblies (equivalent to state governments) in addition to representation in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The people of England have a democratic deficit in that MPs from the three other 'home nations' can vote on laws affecting many topics in England which they (and MPs from England) cannot vote on if those matters are under the remit of the devolved assemblies.
justapassenger
Bribery to stay in the union.

Have to wonder if the English should simply call their bluff and say this is how it is, stay or go, but we are all equal.
One off option for people to move to England prior to separation, no dual citizenship, no work visas for 5 years. In or Out.

Australia is however not alot different with the small states having disproportional control over changes to our constitution.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't pretend to know much about gun laws in the U.S, but to me the 2nd amendment needs to be rewritten, and brought into line with today's society, I think the 2nd amendment is absurd, and it applied way back when, not in today's society, citizens do not have a "Right to bear arms" the people that should bear arms are shooters maybe, police, other law enforcement officials. not everyday citizens

Kind Regards
lsrailfan
It should be completely repealed, there is no need for it and the context is completely out of date with the 21st century politics and weapon technology.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
My apologies to all, I got that wrong about Australia not having a constitution. Embarassed
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I don't pretend to know much about gun laws in the U.S, but to me the 2nd amendment needs to be rewritten, and brought into line with today's society, I think the 2nd amendment is absurd, and it applied way back when, not in today's society, citizens do not have a "Right to bear arms" the people that should bear arms are shooters maybe, police, other law enforcement officials. not everyday citizens

Kind Regards
It should be completely repealed, there is no need for it and the context is completely out of date with the 21st century politics and weapon technology.
The whole thing needs to be replaced, not just the second amendment.

The USA is unique in having a constitution last over a century without a major revision/replacement*, an excellent result for a constitution which was designed specifically to entrench a powerful elite and make the institution of the US government Too Big To Fail.

The UK is unique in having a stable system of government last even longer without a constitution - although it does have a de facto constitution in the form of a few major laws which are locked down by international treaties with other Commonwealth Realms such as Australia.

* these usually come as the result of a Constitutional Convention, a peaceful revolution, a violent civil war, losing a war or in very rare cases (e.g. Germany after WW2) debellatio where the state is completely defeated and ceases to exist.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
U.S. gun laws are an anachronism. I would like to say it suits them, but from my experience Americans are very similar to Australians. There are plenty of Americans that are as anachronistic as their gun laws that they hold so dearly, yet there are also plenty of Americans that detest these laws as much as most Australians I know.

Unfortunately for the latter, the NRA seem to have more political pull than any President could ever hope for.

Freedom indeed.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Unfortunately for the latter, the NRA seem to have more political pull than any President could ever hope for.
Gman_86
This is a result of massive financial and other support from American armament manufacturers. The US manufactures and imports enough guns per year to put one in the hands of nearly 1 in 3 Americans.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It's all the fault of that stupid Second Amendment - those revolutionaries they so adore in their historical narrative wanted everyone to have guns just in case George III attempted to re-invade, even though they had plenty of military support from the French.

Incidentally, the 'founding fathers' would be classified as terrorists today, no doubt about it - it's just that history ended up being on their side eventually. Imagine how wealthy the Commonwealth would have been if the USA had remained a British possession... anyway.

Anyone who wants us to become a republic would do well to look at the mess the United States is in and tell us that they want our country to look the same.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Anyone who wants us to become a republic would do well to look at the mess the United States is in and tell us that they want our country to look the same.
don_dunstan
Oh please Don, who says we would f**k up the process as well as the yanks have?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Anyone who wants us to become a republic would do well to look at the mess the United States is in and tell us that they want our country to look the same.
Oh please Don, who says we would f**k up the process as well as the yanks have?
TheBlacksmith
Our country has already benefitted from the US Constitution - it was (along with a few others) examined as part of drafting the Constitution of Australia.

Some of the few good bits (e.g. a 'one man one vote' system for the lower house of Parliament - which the UK still doesn't have) were adopted, others were used as a cautionary tale and avoided.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Dont think that the US Presidential/Republic as the only type available as there are others.
The French Presidential System is different in what powers its President has.
One failure in the last referendum was that the way it was framed, the question didnt ask 'Would you like to explore the option of becoming a Republic' rather than saying if you vote yes now, it will be introduced.

If the response was 'Yes', then we need to decide who can be President, Male, Female, Native born like the USA ( definitely YES on that one)
How is the President elected, by the people, the parliament (NO-NO-NO) or other means.
Powers of the President, Full, part or just a 'Meet and Greet, hava cuppa Tea' sort.
How long a term,
can they stand for more than one term, if yes, how many?

The list goes on but I believe that not to discuss the matter in general is simply burying ones head in the sand as one day, we may have no choice.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The list goes on but I believe that not to discuss the matter in general is simply burying ones head in the sand as one day, we may have no choice.
gordon_s1942
Not necessarily, I think the constitutional monarchy is stronger than ever thanks to the steady stewardship of our longest-serving monarch, Elizabeth II.  It would be different if her successors were complete dip-sticks but instead they're actually really level-headed and public-minded people who are probably as good as any elected Australian president could possibly be.

And who would we have as our president anyway - some pensioned-off has been like Bob Hawke or Johnny Howard? Yuck.

I think we should keep the anachronistic connection to the British monarchy as long as we possibly can - it's proven to be a stable and reliable system of government despite hiccups like the sacking of Whitlam, although you could possibly argue that the system actually worked well in that situation...

And how much would those Americans pay to have their own royal family now-days? They'd throw away their founding fathers in an instant if you told them that they could have their very own national royal family.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
US Politics is a large part of why the Australian Republic vote failed (that and Teflon John's machinations). People love the idea of being able to vote for a US-style president, despite all of the problems that a properly three-legged legislative process brings. They see the stump speeches and the State Visits and old re-runs of The West Wing and think "we need some of that!". It's mostly glitzy celebrity nonsense at the end of the day.

The Australian Republican Movement's 'minimal' model was conceptually great: a Republic for Monarchists, essentially. You say that the Governor-General doesn't need to follow the orders of the Monarch and *bam* - instant republic. Nothing changes with our political model and we get that little extra bit of pride knowing that we really don't have to give a toss about who's going to take charge after Elizabeth Windsor carks it.

But of course, Monarchists just don't want change at all, so that was never going to get up. Pity.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
There is no doubt in my mind that any model picked where absolute power resides with that one individual (governor general, president, whatever) will eventually pit the executive against the elected representatives - including the Prime Minister. The power will go to the head of whoever is ultimately in charge.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Dont think that the US Presidential/Republic as the only type available as there are others.
The French Presidential System is different in what powers its President has.
One failure in the last referendum was that the way it was framed, the question didnt ask 'Would you like to explore the option of becoming a Republic' rather than saying if you vote yes now, it will be introduced.

If the response was 'Yes', then we need to decide who can be President, Male, Female, Native born like the USA ( definitely YES on that one)
How is the President elected, by the people, the parliament (NO-NO-NO) or other means.
Powers of the President, Full, part or just a 'Meet and Greet, hava cuppa Tea' sort.
How long a term,
can they stand for more than one term, if yes, how many?

The list goes on but I believe that not to discuss the matter in general is simply burying ones head in the sand as one day, we may have no choice.
gordon_s1942

I'm not sure why its important they are born here in a country built on immigration and we have had plenty of leaders not born here. I do however feel they should have been Nationalised for at least 20 years and in this time did not have dual citizenship.

If you want the President to be completely separated and independent from the existing houses

Elected by people in first past the post Nationwide

Head of the Military and final approval of all legislation. Does not have the power to send troops overseas, they are head of the Military but the Military's deployment is at the request of the PM.

Not a member of a political party for 10 years prior.

Terms of 5 years as should the Houses be. 2 term limit.

No criminal background
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The list goes on but I believe that not to discuss the matter in general is simply burying ones head in the sand as one day, we may have no choice.
Not necessarily, I think the constitutional monarchy is stronger than ever thanks to the steady stewardship of our longest-serving monarch, Elizabeth II.  It would be different if her successors were complete dip-sticks but instead they're actually really level-headed and public-minded people who are probably as good as any elected Australian president could possibly be.

And who would we have as our president anyway - some pensioned-off has been like Bob Hawke or Johnny Howard? Yuck.

I think we should keep the anachronistic connection to the British monarchy as long as we possibly can - it's proven to be a stable and reliable system of government despite hiccups like the sacking of Whitlam, although you could possibly argue that the system actually worked well in that situation...

And how much would those Americans pay to have their own royal family now-days? They'd throw away their founding fathers in an instant if you told them that they could have their very own national royal family.
don_dunstan

The Question is,

So what does QE2 actually do for Australia. Nothing! she is symbolic at best. we run our own country, the effective head of state is the GG. QE2 has no input to how Australia is run, its future or its policy. Her long rein is completely irrelevant but if nothing boosts the Pro-Monarchy support.

Sort of agree, our head of state system is I think dysfunctional, but it has given us a long stable govt although I'm not sure thats the only reason. There are a number of other countries with a functional Head of state that works in a developed economy. While I personally think the US system is broken and I don't understand why you vote for a party in congress to run the country, then you vote for a President that also implements bills for health care etc and has a group of senior influential and very public officials that are not elected.

The Whitlam sacking was proof it actually works and only the hard line left feel it was a failure. Issue is could it happen again and I doubt it as I think the GG's are too much in the PM's pocket and the appointment of the GG by the PM is a conflict of interest in my view.

Americans love the British Royals, but like many parts of the world, they also have a thing for the upper class English accent as its assumed to represent power and intelligence.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Not necessarily, I think the constitutional monarchy is stronger than ever thanks to the steady stewardship of our longest-serving monarch, Elizabeth II.  It would be different if her successors were complete dip-sticks but instead they're actually really level-headed and public-minded people who are probably as good as any elected Australian president could possibly be.

I think we should keep the anachronistic connection to the British monarchy as long as we possibly can - it's proven to be a stable and reliable system of government …
don_dunstan
To borrow from Sir Winston Churchill's famous statement regarding representative democracy, it's the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried [in other places] from time to time.

... despite hiccups like the sacking of Whitlam, although you could possibly argue that the system actually worked well in that situation...
don_dunstan
The system worked bloody well in that situation, the government kept functioning and there was no constitutional crisis.

Going without an apolitical circuit breaker is not an option - just watch what will happen next time the legislative and executive branches of the US government can't agree on a budget.

It also served as a 'Hiroshima' moment - the consequences were so bad that everyone will avoid getting into such a situation that the Governor-General has to stop making speeches at lawn bowls clubs and use those fearsome reserve powers.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
To borrow from Sir Winston Churchill's famous statement regarding representative democracy, it's the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried [in other places] from time to time.
justapassenger
I don't know why Republicans think that changing the system is such a great idea, as if it's going to solve simultaneously the problems of Aboriginal reconciliation, national identity and independence from foreign powers at the same time. We're still going to be beholden to the dictates of United States - although in the future the Chinese might try to wedge us on that.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
To borrow from Sir Winston Churchill's famous statement regarding representative democracy, it's the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried [in other places] from time to time.
I don't know why Republicans think that changing the system is such a great idea, as if it's going to solve simultaneously the problems of Aboriginal reconciliation, national identity and independence from foreign powers at the same time. We're still going to be beholden to the dictates of United States - although in the future the Chinese might try to wedge us on that.
don_dunstan
Because if nothing else, we are a grown up country that needs to throw off the vestiges of colonial power and control. As for being an ally of the US, that's a choice we have, who would want to be allied to the Brits, given they abandoned us several times in the past.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Because if nothing else, we are a grown up country that needs to throw off the vestiges of colonial power and control. As for being an ally of the US, that's a choice we have, who would want to be allied to the Brits, given they abandoned us several times in the past.
TheBlacksmith
Throwing away the symbolic yolk of colonialism will do absolutely nothing to change that - do you seriously think things would change for the better if we were a republic?

We're just someone else's vassal, that's all. We never have stood on our own two feet and we probably never will. It was like getting a seat on the UN Security Council - who the frig do we think we're kidding - we're nobodies. We probably couldn't even beat New Zealand in an air or naval conflict.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Because if nothing else, we are a grown up country that needs to throw off the vestiges of colonial power and control. As for being an ally of the US, that's a choice we have, who would want to be allied to the Brits, given they abandoned us several times in the past.
We probably couldn't even beat New Zealand in an air or naval conflict.
don_dunstan
Not able to beat a country with the GDP of Ballarat?  Particularly when most of them are already living here and not there. They would have to call all their people home, and all we have to do is chuck them in a detention centre first, and we already know how good we are at that.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Because if nothing else, we are a grown up country that needs to throw off the vestiges of colonial power and control. As for being an ally of the US, that's a choice we have, who would want to be allied to the Brits, given they abandoned us several times in the past.
Throwing away the symbolic yolk of colonialism will do absolutely nothing to change that - do you seriously think things would change for the better if we were a republic?

We're just someone else's vassal, that's all. We never have stood on our own two feet and we probably never will. It was like getting a seat on the UN Security Council - who the frig do we think we're kidding - we're nobodies. We probably couldn't even beat New Zealand in an air or naval conflict.
don_dunstan
New Zealand no longer maintains a fighters or bombers in its Airforce so a bit over the top.

Australia's military budget is the 13 or 14th largest in the world at 1.5% of GDP, Australia's GDP is the 12 or 13th largest in the world. As % of GDP it is a bit low compared to those around us, going by them we should be up around 1.8%, same as France but lower than UK at 2.2%.

The difference between Australia and the bulk of the top 10 military spending is that we make very little of our own hardware so the others like USA which spends 3.3% actually have a large domestic military support R&D and manufacture industry's so the money isn't being burned in the same way. So to go higher, we need to start doing more R&D and manufacture of military hardware or risk hurting the economy that funds it. For example to match France in % of GDP, we need another $5 Bpa.

The Republican movements may issue with the current system is that the Head of State for Australia is not and can never be an Australian. There are not too many countries left in the world that still operate this way.

In the OECD group of countries, NZ, Aus and Canada are the only ones with a foreign head of state.

Perhaps the most benign way to become a republic is basically to retain exactly as we have now, expect the GG just gets re-titled the President, after all its worked this far and the Queen has no input into Australian politics so whats the difference?

Canada went one step further than Oz in the 60's and dumped the old flag for the Maple Leaf which is without doubt 100% Canadian and recognized by all as such. NZ is currently going down this path now and looking at the options I'd say they will dump the current flag in the 2016 referendum. Australia has looked at doing the same for sometime, however we keep getting stuck on "we went to war for this flag". I suppose with the likely change in NZ, we will no longer be confused with them anymore.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's all the fault of that stupid Second Amendment - those revolutionaries they so adore in their historical narrative wanted everyone to have guns just in case George III attempted to re-invade, even though they had plenty of military support from the French.

Incidentally, the 'founding fathers' would be classified as terrorists today, no doubt about it - it's just that history ended up being on their side eventually. Imagine how wealthy the Commonwealth would have been if the USA had remained a British possession... anyway.

Anyone who wants us to become a republic would do well to look at the mess the United States is in and tell us that they want our country to look the same.
don_dunstan
In one paragraph you state
Imagine how wealthy the Commonwealth would have been if the USA had remained a British possession... anyway.

In the next you state
... look at the mess the United States is in and tell us that they want our country to look the same.

So it would depend on how you define "mess"? Because it has the highest GDP by far, the most influence in the world military affairs, high standard of income if you want to work and opportunity, some of the worlds most recongised and prestigious universities and largest corporate brands. Even their passport has a higher ranking than ours.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
NZ is currently going down this path now and looking at the options I'd say they will dump the current flag in the 2016 referendum. Australia has looked at doing the same for sometime, however we keep getting stuck on "we went to war for this flag". I suppose with the likely change in NZ, we will no longer be confused with them anymore.
RTT_Rules
Don't be so sure.
The latest opinion polls are running about 70% in favour of no change. I will be voting against change.
Yes, although I am an Australian citizen, I have been able to vote in NZ elections and referendums from the time I moved here and became a permanent resident in 2010.  I have lost the right to vote in Australia. I have applied to become a NZ citizen, no hassles, just pay my money, fulfill the requirements of living so many days per year here for the last 5 years. At the moment I am waiting for police searches and, unless I have done something evil in my sleep Twisted Evil,  I should be able to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen (Yes they still do that in NZ) and become a Kiwi in February or March next year.
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
I don't pretend to know much about gun laws in the U.S, but to me the 2nd amendment needs to be rewritten, and brought into line with today's society, I think the 2nd amendment is absurd, and it applied way back when, not in today's society, citizens do not have a "Right to bear arms" the people that should bear arms are shooters maybe, police, other law enforcement officials. not everyday citizens

Kind Regards
lsrailfan

Agreed. Back then they had muskets and cannons, which made a mighty spectacular bang but did bugger all damage. And then they had to stand around reloading the thing discussing last night's baseball scores. And if the idea as the amendment was written was to arm against an oppressive government, well the government today has pilot-less drones. Game, set and match.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
NZ is currently going down this path now and looking at the options I'd say they will dump the current flag in the 2016 referendum. Australia has looked at doing the same for sometime, however we keep getting stuck on "we went to war for this flag". I suppose with the likely change in NZ, we will no longer be confused with them anymore.
Don't be so sure.
The latest opinion polls are running about 70% in favour of no change. I will be voting against change.
Brianr
Doesn't help that most of the presented options look like someone threw them together with clipart. Same thing every time this argument gets dragged out here, it's wall to wall poorly arranged boomerangs, kangaroos and Southern Crosses, most in some hideous combination of green and gold. Pretty sure someone already posted the Churchill quote in this thread which paraphrases that democracy is the worst form of government but the best we've got, and I would argue the same for the Australian flag. Until someone comes up with a compelling design, which is yet to happen, what we have is fine.

Though I will say that I am a fan of the Red Peak NZ design, glad they caved in and added that to the options. Simple and distinctive.

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