Gun Control & Self Defence

Apologies for making a new thread on this as i see there is discussions already in previous years.
However it seemed appropriate given the recent Las Vegas shooting and [Turnbulls response.] hinting at making laws stronger (

If Pirate Party is the libertarian party of the left, its unavoidable that gun control comes up.

I see in the other thread that PP current stance is to keep things as is, which i think is conservatively reasonable given the data and science and given that science is one of the platforms PP runs on (despite their being a party for it altogether…).

I also thought the idea there to have a discussion on the issue was a good one.

However, some other libertarian approaches on this issues apart from legalising guns are:

  • restricting government brutality and militarisation
  • strengthening non-gun self-defence.

Perhaps any changes to these would only be justified if there were increased crimes or terrorism, but actually apart from the Lindt Cafe, we havent seen such, however the government talks up the number of terrorist incidents prevented. The government also seems to persist with using the promise of security against terrorism as a wedge to encroach on privacy.

I’m not sure if it came up after the Lindt Cafe, however the LDP support decriminalising pepper spray as well as tasers.

What do pirates think of less lethal weapons of self defence?
Does polling have any support for them?
Well, i thought might as well have a poll here on the topics including guns…

Legal to carry ___ for self-defense?

Gun Control should:

  • be stronger
  • be weaker
  • remain at current levels

0 voters

Pistols should be legal?

  • YES
  • NO

0 voters

Tasers should be legal?

  • YES
  • NO

0 voters

Pepper spray should be legal?

  • YES
  • NO

0 voters


The gun climate in the United States is completely different to Australia on every level, the two are not comparable.

What alarms me from this attack is the existence of Bump Stocks which is a method which can effectively turn almost any semi-auto into full-auto, and they can easily be 3D printed.

I can’t say that I’d be upset if bump stocks were outlawed as much as possible, although it would be impossible to fully control


It’s interesting to me that some people think more guns would act as a check on government overreach. It seems to go the other way in practice. The more guns you have, the more likely you are to see militarization of the police, more stop & frisks, more curbs on liberty in other areas, and even more overreaction to terrorism. Guns are a negative sum liberty in that their simple existence causes a loss of other liberties, and that loss increases the more freely available the guns are.

Pepper spray and all that might be something we could discuss. We are generally cynical about slogans but open to evidence.


8 posts were merged into an existing topic: How about we brand ourselves as “the radical centre” party?

I agree with the NSW Government position of ‘Self defence is not a valid reason to own a firearm license’.

Agree that controls around airsoft should be tweaked, but personally I do not agree with owning a gun for self defence purposes.


I find the gun totting libertarian attitude on guns and self-defence telling, they live in fear of their fellow citizens, which I guess is fair enough when you want to rip away any sort of social safety net. People with nothing and no way to make a living must resort to crime in order to eat. Australia’s convict heritage thrives on that trope. I wonder how much that mythology colours our attitudes to welfare?

I feel pretty safe despite living near the highest crime area in Wollongong. Knowing that people were walking around with guns would make me feel much less safe, especially considering that much of the crime is driven by meth addiction, which has a habit of making people cray-cray.

I think one of the big drivers of unarmed black people getting shot by cops in the US, besides the racism comes from the persistent fear of every possible traffic stop resulting in a gun fight, without the guns, the cops just aren’t quite so jumpy.

Yeah I am firmly libertarian left, although if I am not describing myself as a Pirate I generally call myself an Anarchist.

The name change debate demonstrated the problem with labelling ourselves libertarian left instead of Pirate, but I think it is still a useful descriptor when talking to the right people. We don’t have to be unified on how we describe ourselves and different words would carry the meaning to different people. When talking to people who already identify as libertarian left, calling ourselves libertarian left makes sense because we agree on most things by default and want them to join us. When talking to the general public there usually no need to explain our politics in such a way. We can talk about freedom and equality and it has the same meaning without the scary words.

As a political identifier it has been picked up by various far-right political parties, including The Party for Freedumb in Australia which has ties to Dutch racist Geert Wilders. There is also the Austrian Freedom Party. Not wanting to be associated with that lot, I would want to steer clear of using it as a name. As for general use, freedom is good, just needs to be the right context.


I had to google “airsoft”. tl;dr it’s like Paintball, but with replica firearms.

They have 16k facebook likes at least.

My bold. “markers” is an advertising word I suspect. I think “firearm” defines them fairly.

Paintball firearms fall under the same legislation as rifles too. I don’t see the problem. That replica firearms are used is more reason to keep them Class A.

Most airsoft guns are magazine-fed, with some (especially pistols) having replaceable compressed gas (e.g. propane, HFC-134a or CO2) canisters. Many airsoft guns also have mounting platforms compatible with firearm accessories, and tend to more closely resemble real guns. This makes them more popular for military simulation and historical reenactments.

/boring rant about glorifying war deleted …

Put them in the same class as Airsoft and Paintball firearms. I guess they all have about the same lethality.

I think one of the big drivers of unarmed black people getting shot by cops in the US, besides the racism comes from the persistent fear of every possible traffic stop resulting in a gun fight, without the guns, the cops just aren’t quite so jumpy.

Evidence supports this strongly. It is one of the problems with framing gun ownership purely through the lens of negative liberty.

I would like to see airsoft guns legalised. They seem to have been (ahem) caught in the crossfire when it comes to national firearm policy.


Mod Action
Moved naming/branding of our party to How about we brand ourselves as "the radical centre" party? (essentially the same topic)


Home firearm manufacture seems to be in a similar category to home distillation apparatus manufacture. You can get the relevant parts and tools if you know what you’re doing and make interesting and dangerous things of questionable legality. (An American example.) And it’s been possible to do so for at least half a century. 3D printing being hasn’t changed much regardless of how much hype it gets.

Hell, if you really know what you’re doing it’s entirely possible to make your own cruise missile on a reasonably cheap (well under $10k) budget.


And something about a radioactive weapon by pulling apart smoke detector I’m sure.

I wouldn’t want to make it easy or greenlight to do this stuff, just because it can’t really be 100% controlled.

The cops being allowed to raid a home with a reasonable suspicion of doing these sorts of 3D printing or other dangerous-to-the-public activities and WITH warrant is reasonable.

Monitoring our private communications without a reasonable suspicion + warrant is not reasonable.

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I think you’re talking about this guy, right?

That’s the guy, yes. It’s amazing what it’s possible to build on the cheap if you have the time and knowledge.

Point I wanted to make was just that 3D printing isn’t introducing a new threat.

Now available in meme form.
32 PM
54 PM


I’d put tasers in that category or even more restricted since they can induce heart failure.

Pepper spray, however, is quite considerably less lethal than both tasers and airsoft or paintball guns, both of which could inflict serious injury with a really lucky or unlucky shot (depending on how you’re measuring that).

I am basing this on direct experience, by the way, with both pepper spray and chemical mace (I keep forgetting whether that’s CS gas or CN gas, I think it was CN gas).


Never mind that. You can also make WWI era chemical weapons following a trip to the local supermarket just by ignoring the warning labels on two chemicals.

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That’s been done several times. Here’s a more recent example.

Right, CNC milling machines and lathes are far more dangerous.


I have a totally different view on this.

Basically, guns should not be allowed in cities at all. To explain that however I have to get wordy :wink:

There needs to be one law for all people. Not one law for one group of people and another law for another group of people but one law that covers all people.

So whether you are a cop, civilian, soldier, whatever - one law must cover you all and be the same. Not based on job but based on specifics.

if you say there is “no open carry” - then police, civilians ect cannot open carry.
If you say there is “no pistols allowed” - then police, civilians ect cannot have pistols.
If you say “open carry licences are available if you do x y ans z” then police and civilians can open carry, as long as they do X Y and Z

As long as the law applies to ALL, i am fine with it.

But that then comes down to “do police really need guns in cities?” I don’t believe they do. But lets think it through.

Police will say “we need guns to do our job”. However there job is to protect and serve the person directly in front of them. The person they are interacting with. Do they really need guns to do that? Is our society so dangerous that simply protecting and serving the person in front of you is so dangerous that to protect and serve them you may need to kill them?

And if they are correct and it IS so dangerous out there that simply doing the right thing - standing up against violence, standing up and breaking up fights ect, then ANYONE that would step in to protect the innocent (I would like to think that it would be all of us) would also need to be armed.

No. Our society is simply not so dangerous that lethal weapons are needed on city streets. Not by civilians, not by police, not by anyone.

However, having an “armed police” branch is a decent midway point. That is, if a situation desperately needs lethal weapons (ie tasers will not be enough) the officer on scene backs away and calls in the armed police. Think SWAT.

And why do I say “city” all the time - because the military does need to be armed however they do not need to bring those weapons off base and into cities unless there is a war on. As long as army bases are not in cities, no guns should be needed in cities.

That does not address the real issue, 3d printing, but I’ll leave that for another discussion…

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a variation on that would be to allow a proportion of police to have pistols say 5%, only if they’ve done all the training and don’t have a criminal record and are held accountable to where their bullets end up, and do the same proportion and threshold for licenses for the population. kind of like sherriffs in the USA.