President Obama spoke out against violence in the wake of the tragic shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on Twitter. Obama said there was “no other advanced nation on Earth” that tolerated mass shootings. “When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.”

Australia banned automatic, semi-automatic, and pump action shotguns after a mass shooting in 1996, which saw 35 people killed and 23 wounded. Obama was not optimistic that he would be able to push similar measures in the United States. “I don’t foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress,” he said. “And I don’t foresee any real action until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and they say to themselves, ‘This is not normal, this is something that we can change and we’re going to change it’.”

Obama followed up his statements with a tweet that read: “Here are the stats: Per population, we kill each other with guns at a rate 297x more than Japan, 49x more than France, 33x more than Israel.”
President Obama’s numbers come from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The data he used is old, however, coming from 2007. It’s also not standardized, and another set of data from the World Health Organization shows slightly different results, albeit still the same trend in overview.

But are utilitarian arguments against guns enough to justify the decimation of a principle? Today’s Freedom Report podcast looks at the history of the 2nd Amendment in light of many of the quotes from the founding fathers on the subject, as well as an overview of the nuances of the law.

If you’re considering buying a handgun so you can own it before a gun control crackdown, check our essential guide, How to Buy Your First Handgun!

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Meet the hosts

Austin Petersen is the chief executive officer of Stonegait LLC, a for-profit consulting firm specializing in photo and video services. Stonegait also provides social media advice, political campaign expertise and grassroots organizing strategies to candidates for office or to brands looking for more exposure. Petersen is the editor in chief of The Libertarian Republic news magazine, one of the most read political news sites in the United States. He also hosts The Freedom Report podcast, which has 30,000 daily listeners. Petersen is the former Director of Production at FreedomWorks and was an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” on the Fox Business Network. Petersen built Judge Napolitano’s social networks boasting over 600,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. His work has appeared in Getty, Reuters, the LA Times, NBC and Time Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor on television appearing on Russia Today and on dozens of local radio shows. Austin grew up on a farm in the Midwest in a town called Peculiar, Missouri. Graduating from Missouri State University with a degree in the Fine Arts, Petersen moved to New York City after graduation to a pursue a career in media.


  • Kick off the discussion on the upcoming guide, Building an Armory from Scratch! Questions, comments, observations or elaborations? Either reply here or create a new discussion using the tag Guide_building-an-armory-from-scratch.

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  • Where is the best place to which to emigrate? OF all the places I’ve visited, I would put Australia number one. It is freer than the US, the culture and people are amazing, the technology is excellent, and it seems like the perfect happy place for me to live and work. I see no real downside at all. I know the government is terrible but so it is everywhere in the world. Second choice might be Costa Rica.

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  • What is the origination of property rights? Where do they come from that you can reason their existence as natural? We usually argue for property rights at some point in our discussions as libertarians, but I’m curious as to where we can claim they’re from. Personally, I derive mine from God and my religious beliefs, similar to what Jefferson stated about God given rights. But what about someone who doesn’t believe in a deity? How can they derive property rights in a way that can’t be dismissed as ideals, but derived in nature? This is also (and arguably more so) important for arguing these natural rights to people who won’t accept a divine aspect. It’s important to have property rights, and they’re evidently beneficial, but the argument remains for declaring these as rights, otherwise the NAP is in jeopardy. How do we have a right to property?

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  • I look to Our history in the US. I feel that the rights were inborn unto themselves. They are are organic. I dont see it practical nor applicable that a Law creates a Right. At the very least a Law could create a “Privilege.”  But in a society of Libertarian tolerance, there would ideally be few of them. From this logic, one could say that life is a privilege, and we must act accordingly, this obviously conflicts with the slogan, “A right to life.” (Which reminds me, someone who is put to death, do they have the right to life or is life considered a privilege in a death penalty case?) No need to answer this, just thinking out loud. This came from Conservatives ALWAYS ANNOYINGLY SAYING: “We are a nation of laws,” “The Rule of Law.” ect ect ect. This country exists because of Laws. “We have to follow the law because its the Law” Is it possible that Mao Se Teng (sp?) Hitler or Stalin, justified it the same way?

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  • Can government “buy-back” programs of fire arms may lead to the government selling them on the black market for profit.

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