Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prof. Simon Chapman's Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control - Australia's last gun massacre is now a free E-book

Prof. Simon Chapman's Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and the Fight for Gun Control - Australia's last gun massacre is now a free E-book and available at the following link:

I strongly suggest that anyone who is involved in the US gun violence/gun control movement read this book.  Australia's political climate surrounding this issue at the time of the Port Arthur Massacre was eerily similar to that of the US, yet the Australians were able to cut through the non-sense and enact serious and effective gun control laws.

This is a valuable lesson for people who want to see similar laws in the US.

This book is really about the workings of the media, the use of lobbying, and the skills of advocacy. So pick a day when you are tired of dealing with the aftermath of ignored public health issues and read this ripping yarn, arm yourself with the tools it offers, and be ready to go into battle.


  1. The Australians lack one thing that we have: a Bill of Rights. If ever we needed a reminder of how important that document is, here we have it.

  2. It's amazing what you can do when you aren't dealing with all those pesky constitutional barriers.

  3. Greg, you pretend to know the English language--Where in this sentence does it EXPLICITLY say the words self-defence?:

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    In law, if something is not EXPLICITLY (you DO know what that word means, don't you, Greg, or are you really dumber than I give you credit for being) mentioned, you cannot imply it.

    Not going outside of this sentence, does it give any reason for keeping and bearing arms?

    Is that a task which is within your intellectual capabilities, Greg?

    Also, realise that up until the Heller decision, it was pretty much accepted among those with actual legal and historical knowledge that the Second Amendment applied to the militia.

    And a militia isn't any dickhead who can wield a weapon, although the detractors of that institution will say it is.

    Try to demonstrate that you can actually say something intelligent and don't just babble on these comments because you need to make an idiot of yourself in public.

    1. Laci, thanks for reminding us that you're incapable of polite conversation. Where is self-defense explicitly stated? It isn't. In fact, the right is identified as belonging to the people, regardless of the reason. Remember, the well-regulated clause is dependent. It's the reason that the amendment was seen as necessary, but it does not limit the right. Reading of that sentence while following the rules of English grammar makes this clear.

      But here's another answer to your question. Self-defense is located in the same place where abortion is named.

    2. Greg, The reason I'm not polite is that you are a moron who is more than willing to show the extent of your ignorance by talking when you have no idea about the topic you are trying to address.

      Anyway, the also say it was written by the people. Are you saying that the entire citizenry of the US was involved in writing it?

      Anyway, you can't use Modern Grammar rules on the Bill of Rights, but you could use Blackstone's rule of Construction. Blackstone stated that, although the words of an enacting clause were ‘generally to be understood in their usual and most known signification,’ yet if its words, after due analysis, were ‘still dubious’ or ‘ambiguous, equivocal, or intricate,’ one might look to the context, which included ‘the proeme, or preamble, [which] is often called in to help the construction of an act of parliament.’ (1 Blackstone at 59-60).

      That means that the reason for the Second Amendment is to ensure the viability of the Well-Regulated Militia.

      The citation from Blackstone regarding the “proeme, or preamble” is part of a larger section that consists of “observations concerning the interpretation of laws.” 1 Blackstone at *58. One of those “observations” was: “BUT, lastly, the most universal and effectual way of discovering the true meaning of a law, when the words are dubious, is by considering the reason and spirit of it; or the cause which moved the legislator to enact it. For when this reason ceases, the laws itself ought likewise to cease with it.” 1 Blackstone at *61.

      Blackstone refers to this “when the reason ceases, the law ought to cease” principle several times in the Commentaries, which would seem to indicate that he considered it a fairly important interpretive principle. 2 Blackstone at *390-91 (discussing property interests in tame and domestic animals and noting “But here the reasons of the general rule cease, and ‘cessante ratione cessat et ipsa lex‘ [The reason of the law ceasing, the law itself also ceases]“), 3 Blackstone at *219 (discussing the law of nuisance, and noting “But, where the reason ceases, the law also ceases with it : therefore it is no nuisance to erect a mill so near mine, as to draw away the custom, unless the miller also intercepts the water.”), 4 Blackstone at *3 (noting that some aspects of Britain’s criminal law “seem to want revision and amendment” and explaining that “These have chiefly arisen from too scrupulous an adherence to some rules of the antient common law, when the resons have ceased upon which those rules were founded . . . “), 4 Blackstone at *81 (discussing the law of treason, and noting that the “plain intention of this law is to guard the blood royal from any suspicion of bastardy, whereby the succession to the crown might be rendered dubious: and therefore, when this reason ceases, the law ceases with it . . .”), 4 Blackstone at *330 (discussing the plea of a former attainder, and noting “But to this general rule however, as to all others, there are some exceptions; wherein, cessante ratione, cessat et ipsa lex.”).

      end part I

    3. begin part ii

      As for Abortion, I've noticed that most arguments against it are based upon religion, not Science--thus, the right to abortion is covered under the First Amendment rules on religion. I would also add that abortion is a medical matter and really is something which is personal. But, medicine is also something which I would guess is far out of your sphere of knowledge.

      The fact that you would mix something which is a medical procedure from something which is a public detriment shows your lack of debating skills, Greg.

      I would also tie in that nowhere in any other common law jurisdiction does there exist a right to arms, which would also add the the specious nature of your assertion that the Second Amendment was intended to deal with gun rights.

      Also, you would find, if you possessed any idea of what the Constitution is about, that one of its purposes is to deal with the common defence. The Constitution is replete with issues of defence, Armies, navies, and militias. But rather scarce on self-defence.

      As usual, Greg, when it comes to law, you lose the argument.

      But, you are pretty much of a loser anyway, which is why you need whatever form of attention you seek here.

      Greg, you are not a man of learning, but one of ignorance. I find you quite amusing that you try to demonstrate your "intelligence" when you only demonstrate your extreme ignorance and inability to understand issues, which if you were what you claim to be, you should have at least some familiarity.

    4. Laci,

      Congratulations on actually returning to answer someone's response to your challenge!

      Unfortunately, you still can't keep a civil tone, and your while you offer lots of citations that show you know how to do legal research, your arguments twist and stretch the law and don't make proper connections. I've seen 1L papers that were better argued than the above comments.

      You are what is wrong with our legal system.

      -End of Line-

    5. Factor out your attempts to be insulting, and what's left in your comment?

      1. The right of the people clause of the Second Amendment is unclear, so we have to look around to figure it out.

      2. I like abortion, but I don't like guns, so it's obvious that the former is protected, while the latter isn't.

      Let's deal with each one.

      I. What's unclear about the main part of the sentence in the Second Amendment? Here it is: the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. What specifically do you see there that needs explaining? And yes, we can use basic elements of English grammar here. The language of the Constitution is Modern English. People at the time had an excessive fondness for commas and capitalization, but otherwise, they were writing what we write--often better than today's average, to be sure.

      There is nothing unclear, though, in the statement of who has the right. You attempt to bring confusion to the wording to achieve your purpose, but you're failing. The text remains clear. You take great pleasure in citing Blackstone, but you fail to notice that it's all for naught, since there's nothing that needs explained.

      II. On the question of abortion, it's possible to see this entirely in terms of society's interest in sustaining or growing the population. No religion needs to be brought into the discussion.

      But are you suggesting that medical matters aren't regulated? What if a terminally ill patient wants assistance in committing suicide? What if someone wishes to practice medicine without a license? Saying that abortion is a medical matter doesn't make it a right that is beyond the possibility of infringement.

      Again, if we take the text as it stands, not as you want to read it, there is no mention of abortion anywhere. There is an amendment that covers privacy, but the list of items therein implies privacy in one's home specifically, not out in the public sphere. Now I'm entirely in favor of expanding the definition to protect more rights of individual citizens, but can't we agree that reading abortion into the text is no more a strain on its language than reading self-defense into the Second Amendment?

      III. There's a third point of yours that I'll address. You observe that the right to arms is found in no other common law jurisdiction. So? Do you recall that unlike the prime examples of those, we fought a revolution to break free from the mother country? It should come as no surprise that we have elements in our law that differ from those other nations. We decided to be different.

      That's enough for now, especially since I doubt that you'll address anything that I actually said. I do have a question for you. Let's imagine that you are in a trial and you despise the opposing attorney or have no respect for the judge's legal qualifications. Would you be able to contain yourself and stay within civil discourse? If not, I'd enjoy seeing that case, particularly the part where you get fined or sent to jail for the night because of contempt.

    6. 5 million background checks in Nov-Dec, we are not here to negotiate, we will accept your surrender.

  4. So you're admitting that you want to see laws here like Australia's laws?

    Complete with compulsory buybacks etc.?

    And yet we're paranoid liars for saying that you'd like to take away at least some of our guns?

    1. I don't think the buyback was "complete." As usual, you can't argue with the facts, you need to exaggerate them to make your positions sound better.

    2. Deflect and refuse to answer much?

      I never said that there was a "complete" buyback, I asked if you supported the "Complete" Aussie law package, which, included compulsory buybacks. No, they weren't buybacks of every gun from every person, but they were compulsory on anyone who didn't qualify for a license under the new system.

      So again, do you support passing laws like Australia's laws here?

      Just some of them? (Which ones?) or the "Complete" package?

      And if you support the complete package, then, as I asked before, Why do you call us paranoid liars for saying that you'd like like to take away At Least SOME of our guns?

    3. (Browser error when posting--disregard if previous post came through)

      I never stated that the buyback was complete, I asked if you supported the complete Australian package which included compulsory buybacks.

      The buybacks didn't take every gun from every hand in Oz, but they did compel those who didn't qualify for licenses under the new system to turn in their legally owned arms.

      If you support such laws being brought here, I again ask why you say that "we're paranoid liars for saying that you'd like to take away At Least SOME of our guns?"

    4. Now why would the buyback not have been complete? Could it be that some gun owners refused to go along? That's in Australia. Imagine how much less compliance there'd be here in America.

    5. You said this: "Complete with compulsory buybacks etc.?"

      Then you spent two comments telling us how you didn't say "complete."

      You're right the Australian buyback program was far from a confiscation of every gun in civilian hands. Plus, it was a gigantic success. That's another thing you guys continually lie about.

      You must be new around here if you're asking me what I stand for. Don't break my balls with silly challenges of things that we've discussed over and over. Do some research if you need to.

    6. As the note on the second comment said, I didn't know if the first went through because my browser crashed and lost the comment.

      Yes, I tried to explain that I wasn't saying that the buybacks were complete buybacks, but that the gun control plan, in it's complete form, included compulsory buybacks. It would seem that, even with clarification, you are unable to understand the sentence you are quoting. I'm sorry that your literacy is so low--but it does explain your trouble in understanding the Second Amendment.

      As for what you stand for, I know what you've said before from past visits here--your one strike rule, registration, etc., but in the above post, you implied a desire to see Aussie style gun control imposed here, which is different from what you have advocated before. Sorry if it breaks your balls to answer which position you really want. Maybe switch to briefs and a cup, you'll get more support and protection.