All of the “facts” that open his riff and that set the foundation off of which this Australian “comic,” Jim Jefferies, works are lies. The last time I saw these same lies was in a New York Times piece by Elisabeth Rosenthal after Sandy Hook. It took only a few minutes to debunk them:
In addition to committing logical fallacies, Dr. Rosenthal relies upon faulty statistical data about gun control in Australia. Without linking to any study, Rosenthal blithely quotes a Ms. Peters, who contends that Australia’s extremely strict gun control led to a 50% drop in homicide and suicide rates.
Actual studies show a different story, one that makes Ms. Peters look like a liar by omission. It is true that there was a drop in homicide and suicide rates, The available evidence, however, indicates that gun control had nothing to do with those drops.
Beginning in 1969, gun homicides in Australia started a consistent decline. After the gun ban, barring a single uptick in gun homicides the year after Australia enacted the ban, gun homicides continued to decline at almost the same rate as before (meaning that the gun ban made no difference to the decline). What changed in Australia wasn’t the guns, it was the culture.
The claimed drop in suicides is equally fallacious. What Dr. Rosenthal fails to note is that all forms of suicide dropped in Australia. Not only were people no longer shooting themselves, they also stopped swallowing poison and jumping from high places. In this context, it’s worth noting that Japan, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world (not to mention the most law-abiding population), has the highest suicide rate in the First World.
Rosenthal is equally careless with statistics when she baldly asserts that “[b]efore (the gun ban), Australia had averaged one mass shooting a year. (Since then,) there have been no mass killings.” What she doesn’t point out (or maybe doesn’t know) is that mass murders are extremely rare, so rare that one cannot discern annual or even decennial trends.
Tonight, the residents and guests in my house told me not to challenge these lies “because it’s just comedy.” I know I’m a spoilsport, but I have no sense of humor about comedy as a vehicle for propaganda — precisely because people, especially young people, will not accept challenges aimed at “comedy.” Sometimes it’s very lonely living, not just in a Leftist enclave, but in a hard Leftist household.
Somehow, in the context of teenagers and old liberals laughing at lies because they think they’re true, this Pat Condell about the death of free speech on British campuses (something that hasn’t quite happened in America only because we have a First Amendment theoretically supported by a Second Amendment):
For those who haven’t read it yet, let me recommend again my post addressing anti-gun arguments (from which I quoted above), which is a post I wrote in response to anti-gun handouts an English teacher at my kids’ high school felt he could pass out to children without any pushback. I politely wrote him to explain that the articles were riddled with errors, but he did not see fit to give the prisoners in his class information about an opposing world view. I call that indoctrination from the school teacher’s bully pulpit.
For more insight into my sour lack of humor, I think my 5-Point Gun Manifesto goes a long way to explaining why these pernicious lies — spread through comedy (“You can’t challenge it! It’s just Jon Stewart or John Oliver or Jim Jeffries making a joke”) or through classrooms taught by teachers with grade control over a young, malleable, captive audience — infuriate me more every time I come across them. They are a profound attack on individual liberty, based on lies, damn lies, statistics, ad hominem attacks, and all sorts of other garbage, all sterilized by being “just a joke.”
Bottom line: Videos such as this one, which are spread widely and are made especially to appeal to young people, are not jokes. They are pure indoctrination dressed up as humor.