Monday, December 24, 2012

Something Australians cannot understand about the USA

Superficially Australia and the USA are similar: they are both prosperous English-speaking Western capitalist democracies. However, there are deep and profound cultural differences rooted in the vastly different historical origins of each nation. These differences are reflected in different attitudes to authority, national leaders, government regulation, foreign policy, welfare, compulsory voting, health insurance, ....

One issue which marks this cultural divide is the attitude to gun control. Most Australians, particularly those who have never lived in the USA, simply cannot understand why so many people in the US are opposed to gun control. This cultural divide was nicely discussed in the Weekend Australian article Split hints at nation willing to look the other way on guns.


  1. It's not like they actually value freedom when they have a war on drugs.

  2. Could think of several reasons. 1. It is ineffective - states and cities with the strictest gun control laws have some of the highest violent crime rates. 2. Gun control laws usually target the wrong group - mostly law abiding citizens than criminals. 3. The right to defend oneself is considered fundamental by many. In many states where right to carry laws are effected, violent crime, particularly against women, has reduced. 4. It is a constitutional right - partly to oppose a renegade government - and is there for fundamental reasons (i.e., not hunting and sport) that we concede are not understood be everyone or other nations, but do reflect a. 5. Finally, the debate is highly polarized, like many issues in our society and politics. This is unfortunate and makes reasonable progress difficult. Deplorably, sound and intelligent reasoning, balanced debate and a willingness to hear the other side's concerns are the exception rather than the rule which is probably.

    Regarding tinosnitsopoulos comment. What does the war on drugs (irrespective of its merits or deficiencies which should be evaluated separately) have to do with valuing freedom?