Hostage Crisis In Sydney, Australia Cafe Apparently Linked To Terrorism

A hostage crisis has been unfolding overnight at a cafe in Sydney, Australia that has apparent links to international terrorism.

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

Beginning last night U.S. time, and roughly mid-morning local time, there’s been a hostage situation at a cafe in the heart of the business and financial district in Sydney, Australia that appears to have some element of ISIS-related terrorism associated with it:

SYDNEY, Australia — An assailant carrying a black flag with white Arabic script held hostages in one of this sunny city’s favored holiday haunts — a cafe specializing in chocolate drinks and desserts — through the day Monday, throwing Sydney’s center into lockdown and testing Australia’s heavily armed tactical response police, negotiators and the government’s readiness for a terrorist attack.

The assailant walked into the Lindt Chocolate Café, at the top of Sydney’s Martin Place in the city center, at around 9:45 a.m. local time, locking the door and capturing an unknown number of cafe workers and coffee and chocolate drinkers, some picking up a caffeine hit on their way to work, others taking a midmorning break. The cafe is as much a regular coffee stop for local office workers as it is a tourist draw.

Helicopters hovered over the city, the train network was temporarily stopped and strategic buildings — including the nearby Sydney Opera House, the New South Wales Parliament, the state library, law courts and the Reserve Bank were evacuated or shut down. Traffic on part of Sydney’s iconic Harbor Bridge was stopped.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed he had briefed the National Security Committee of the cabinet twice within six hours, and two ministers were returning from overseas, underscoring the seriousness of the siege.

“This is a very disturbing incident,” Mr. Abbott said in a televised message from Canberra, the nation’s capital. “It is profoundly shocking that innocent people should be held hostage by an armed person claiming political motivation.

“We are a free, open and generous people, and today we have responded to this in character. Yes, it has been a difficult day. Yes, it has been a day which has tested us, but so far, like Australians in all sorts of situations, we have risen to the challenge.”

Five people, including two cafe employees, had fled by 7 p.m. local time, but it was not clear whether the assailant had allowed them to leave or they had escaped.

Stephen Loane, the chief executive of Lindt Australia, said that nine or 10 employees were inside the cafe when the siege started, along with an unknown number of customers. “Originally, we were thinking it was a holdup,” he said, but “by the time I got down there, the streets were blocked off and there was a different situation.”

Soon after the siege began, a commercial television network, Channel Seven, which has a nearby studio, showed footage of people, one wearing the Lindt Café uniform, pressed against the cafe window, holding up the black flag with white script.

The deputy police commissioner, Catherine Burn, said that the police had made contact with the armed person inside the cafe, and that they were working to resolve the standoff “peacefully.”

“Nobody has been harmed or injured at the moment,” she said. “We have been working through our negotiations to try to make sure that people inside” have “what they need so that they don’t become ill or injured.”

Offices near the cafe had been evacuated and a number of streets were closed, the police said. The police also asked that people in offices nearby “remain indoors and away from open windows.”

Live television footage showed shoppers and office workers gathered some distance from the cafe, behind shelters, and television news showed heavily armed police officers in the area.

The police did not say whether a terrorist group or an individual with links to terrorism was behind the siege.

But James Brown, a military analyst at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, said, “Someone in that shop wants us to know they have an Islamic link.”

He added: “They could be doing it for any one of a number of reasons; it could be a terror-related incident. It is unclear what outcome they want.”

When the story first broke last night, it was unclear whether police were dealing with one gunman or a group of individuals, but as the morning is breaking here in the U.S. it seems apparent that we’re dealing with a single lone gunman who may fit the profile of the “lone wolf” terrorist that has become unfortunately common in recent years. Some reports indicate that Australian authorities believe that they know who the gunman is but are not releasing his name to the public. They also appear to be in communication with him and he has been allowing the people being held hostage inside the cafe to communicate with the outside world via social media on at least a limited basis. Beyond that, authorities in Australia are understandably releasing very little information about what’s going on, especially as the hours tick closer to midnight and the lights in the cafe appear to largely be turned off. Notwithstanding the lack of information about this specific incident, though, there have been plenty of warning signs about potential terrorism in Australia for some time now:

The attack is eerily similar to one outlined earlier this year, when the police conducted counterterrorism raids across Sydney. The raids netted two people who were charged.

On Sept. 12, Mr. Abbott raised Australia’s terrorism alert level from medium to high after warnings from the nation’s security officials that there were increased threats to the nation.

Two weeks later, police officers in Melbourne shot dead a man — a known terror suspect — who lashed at them with a knife. Speaking to the Australian Parliament in late September, Mr. Abbott said that an Australian Islamic State operative had instructed his followers to pluck people from the street to conduct a demonstration killing. “All that would be needed to conduct such an attack is a knife, a camera phone and a victim,” Mr. Abbott said.

Mr. Abbott’s warning followed a September statement from an Islamic State spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, to Muslims in Australia to carry out a lone-wolf attack.

Mr. Abbott, who heads the conservative Liberal Party, followed up his warning with legislation giving the police broader powers to arrest suspects and cracking down on the news media’s reporting. He had also responded quickly to President Obama’s appeal several months ago for support in the fight against the Islamic State, sending a squadron of fighter jets and several hundred Australian military personnel to the Middle East. This move was criticized by some analysts in Australia as likely to foment more anger from young Australian Muslim extremists.

Tobias Feakin, a national security expert with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said that “there is a lot more noise to hear when there’s a network to track,” rather than an individual acting alone. “These people are using low-level technology, and anything can present as an opportunity. Individuals leave fewer tracks.”

(…)

Australian intelligence officials have estimated that about 70 Australian citizens, typically disaffected young Muslim men from immigrant families, have joined the Islamic State. The passports of about 100 others have been canceled for fear they might do the same, they said.

The Australian Federal Police made seven arrests for terrorism offenses in the 12 months ending Oct. 31.

The United States Consulate General in Sydney, which is about a block from the cafe, was evacuated during the siege Monday. A spokeswoman for the United States Embassy in Canberra said that American officials did not yet know the nationality of the people being held.

Lindt posted a statement to its Facebook page thanking people “for their thoughts and kind support.” The statement added that, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the staff and customers involved and all their friends and families,” and that the matter was being dealt with by the authorities.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Professor Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, and the Australian National Imams Council issued a joint statement assailing “this criminal act.”

With morning breaking in the United States, the cable networks are, of course, all over the story but it doesn’t appear that anything new is likely to break in the coming hours absent a decision by the gunman to end the siege or some sort of rescue mission by Australian authorities. In any case, this post will be updated as warranted and, hopefully, the matter will be resolved quickly and safely.

Update: The Sydney Morning Herald is identifying the hostage taker as a self-proclaimed cleric who has had run-ins with the law before:

The man who continues to hold more than a dozen people hostage, placing Sydney’s CBD into lockdown is no stranger to the NSW police or the judiciary.

Self-described cleric, Man Maron Monis, 50, first came to attention of police when he penned poisonous letters to the family of dead Australian soldiers.

Last year he was charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and mother of two.

And most recently, he was charged with more than 50 allegations of indecent and sexual assault relating to time allegedly spent as a self-proclaimed “spiritual healer” who dealt with black magic at a premises in western Sydney more than a decade ago.

Monis, who has also gone by the names of Sheikh Haron and Mohammad Hassan Manteghi, was born in Iran and most recently has been living at Bexley North in Sydney’s south.

He recently likened himself on his own webpage to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, claiming the most recent charges against him have been laid for “political reasons”.

His website also carries a quote, posted earlier this month stating: “I used to be a Rafidi, but not any more. Now I am a Muslim, Alhamdu Lillah”.

It has been Monis on-going legal battle for his conviction for penning those poisoned letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers between 2007 and 2009 that has consumed him.

It is understood Monday’s incident followed an unsuccessful, last-ditch attempted in the High Court on Friday to have the charges overturned.

Monis was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and placed on a two year good behaviour bond for the “offensive and deplorable letters” sent with the assistance of his girlfriend Amirah Droudis.

They were sent to the families of  Private Luke Worsley and Lance Corporal Jason Marks, who were killed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008.

He also sent a letter in 2009 to the family of the Austrade official Craig Senger, who was killed in the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta in 2007.

Monis claimed the letters were his own version of a “flower basket” or “condolence card”.

Bree Till, widow of Sergeant Brett Till, killed while defusing a bomb on March 12, 2009, said at the time of his conviction: “We sat reading these letters (which) made out to be something supportive but then the juxtaposition of this man accusing my husband of being a child-killer while dictating how I should raise my children. It was scary,” she said.

He fought the validity of the charges all the way to the High Court arguing they were political and only sought to persuade the families to oppose Australia’s military involvement in Afghanistan.

But when he lost that battle, and had to stand trial, he pleaded guilty to all 12 charges against him in August 2013.

But his problems with the law did not end there and Monis is currently on bail in relation two separate, serious cases.

He was charged in November 2013 with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder of his ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal.

Ms Pal was stabbed and set alight in a Werrington apartment block.

Droudis has been charged with the murder.

And then in April this year, Monis was charged by sex crimes squad detectives with the indecent and sexual assault of a woman in western Sydney in 2002.

Police allege that Monis was a self-proclaimed “spiritual healer” who operated out of premises on Station Street at Wentworthville.

News of his arrest prompted more victims to come forward and Monis was hit with an additional 40 charges in October.

It is alleged that Monis placed ads in local newspapers offering “spiritual consultation”.

He claimed to be an expert in astrology, numerology, meditation and black magic.

So, if this is all true, this guy may be something of a nutcase who has only recently latched on to radical Islam. At the very least, there does not appear to be any connection between him and any international conspiracy.

Update #2 It sounds like the crisis may be over, based on these tweets from a reporter for Sydney’s Channel 7:

And News 7 itself is reporting that the siege is in fact over, although there are injuries among the hostages:

FILED UNDER: Crime, National Security, Terrorism, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jim R says:

    Prepare for a heavy dose of “Terrorists under every bed!” type fearmongering from the usual suspects.

    How long before someone says “See, this is why we need to torture?”

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @Jim R: And how this somehow proves gun laws are bad.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    In “Positive Outcomes From Obamacare That You Won’t Ever Hear About From OTB”
    Governor Brownback is counting on savings from Obamacare to help repair the serious budget crisis that Republican economic policies have wrought in the State of Kansas.
    http://www.khi.org/news/2014/dec/11/aca-plays-role-brownback-budget-fix/

  4. Neil Hudelson says:
  5. bill says:

    @gVOR08: in “certain” cities in the US someone could have already shot the “lone wolf” down. and it wouldn’t be “news”.
    hopefully the aussies already have his family in their sights and have threatened him with such retaliation.
    all in all it’s been a nearly 24 hr deal, something’s gotta give soon- maybe he wasn’t cut our for this line of work? the “merry christmas” sign in the window must be offensive to some.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @bill:

    in “certain” cities in the US someone could have already shot the “lone wolf” down. and it wouldn’t be “news”.

    BWAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA…… Right wing gun nut fantasies never cease to humor me with their absolute lack of any connection to reality.

  7. Jack says:

    2. The gunman is starting to talk to authorities (nothing illuminating yet):

    But, but…Australia bans all guns. How did the criminal get his hands on one. Oh, yeah, criminals don’t respect laws.

  8. Tyrell says:

    According to latest news, this man has several serious convictions and various other charges. He is an Iranian “refugee”. No direct links to ISIS found yet. This man obviously is a nut, a radical Muslim, and is obviously an ISIS supporter even though not a member.No telling what all he did in Iran. Not a good mix for sure. Why he is not still in prison is certainly a good question: based on his record he should have never seen the light of day.
    “You can go home pig or pork, make your choice !” (Marshall Dillon, “Gunsmoke”)

  9. Jack says:

    @Tyrell:

    Why he is not still in prison is certainly a good question: based on his record he should have never seen the light of day.

    Answer: Liberal sentencing laws.

    It wasn’t his fault, society made him that way.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    That’s not true.
    If you have to lie to make your point…it’s not much of a point to begin with.
    Try thinking about that for a bit…before you post the inevitable response filled with more BS.

  11. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: LIke every argument you’ve ever made?

    Show me what is a lie. You liberal trash.

  12. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Tyrell:

    Iran is a mainly Shiite country while ISIS is a Sunni…

    Oh, screw it. It won’t sink in anyway.

  13. wr says:

    @bill: “hopefully the aussies already have his family in their sights and have threatened him with such retaliation.”

    Wait, you think that a government should threaten to murder innocent civilians to force criminals to obey their orders? This is what a “conservative” thinks of as law enforcement these days?

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Apparently you didn’t read my entire comment.
    Get back to us when you have some idea about what you are commenting on.

  15. Jack says:

    The solution is simple. 1) He allows everyone to go safely and surrenders, or 2) Threaten to give his dead body a pig blood bath before dumping him in a hole and covering him with pig intestines as his last rights.

    His choice.

  16. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Again, point out anything that is untrue. I’ll wait.

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @wr:
    Once you accept a$$-rape as humane treatment nothing is off the table.

  18. stonetools says:

    Unfortunately, the gun nuts have already showed up on Twitter crowing that this the inevitable result of Australia’s tough gun restrictions. Fortunately the Aussies have been putting them in their places, with the usual Aussie directness.

    No casualties yet, thank God.

  19. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Do you think maybe it’s a problem that your approach to such a problem is rooted in 1960’s television…and that you seeming have no idea of the differences between Shia and Sunni?
    Wait…that’s pretty much the Republican world-view in a nutshell.
    Never mind.

  20. Tyrell says:

    @Neil Hudelson: I understand that and this thing is puzzling considering that Iran is against ISIS. Sounds like this guy is crazy for sure, unstable, and unpredictable.
    They showed an earlier photo of him, wearing a turban and beard. That is a sign of trouble if there ever was one.

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    The way comment threads work is that you post a comment making some wild claim…then, perhaps, someone responds.
    For instance, If you make wild unsubstantiated claim “x”…and someone responds saying “x” is untrue…then you should be able, through basic reading comprehension skills, to understand what is untrue.
    It’s pretty simple.

  22. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: So, nothing. I understand. Typical liberal coward.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    OK…apparently you cannot manage to use the intertubes for anything beside lying…so I will help you.
    Your comment:

    But, but…Australia bans all guns.

    From Wikipedia:

    A common misconception is that firearms are illegal in Australia and that no individual may possess them. While it’s true that Australia has restrictive firearms laws, rifles and shotguns (including semi-automatic), as well as handguns are all legal within a narrow set of criteria.

    From GunPolicy.org:
    http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/australia

    The number of licensed gun owners in Australia is reported to be
    2012: 730,000
    2010: 873,625
    2001: 764,518

    So I’m am sure I will soon see a comment from you where you admit you were wrong and apologize for you childish ad hominem attacks.
    Muh-hahahahahhahaha……

  24. stonetools says:

    Meanwhile, Aussies are really standing together in this. Forty Aussie Muslim groups have condemned the attack, their is an interfaith prayer vigil, and Aussies have offered to ride alongside Muslims in religious attire to protect them with any bigots who might attack them.Aussie police seem to have professional and patient throughout. And more hostages have escaped, all without casualties. Good on yer, Australia!

  25. CB says:

    I see that the brain trust is giving this topic the calm, measured reflection it needs. Good to see, because it’d be ridiculous if this turned into yet another shit covered platform for everyone to beat their favorite dead horses. Good thing that isn’t happening though. Boy howdy.

  26. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Effectiv in 1996, the Australian Gun Control Act prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.). Additionally, Minister John Howard called “the announced that he had convinced Australia’s states to ban automatic and semiautomatic weapons and instigated a gun buyback for high-powered and rapid-fire rifles. Emphasis Mine.

    If the Prime Minister called it a ban, it was a ban.

  27. Moosebreath says:

    @Jack:

    “automatic and semiautomatic weapons” does not equal “all guns”.

  28. stonetools says:

    Aussie police went in… It’s on !
    Hostages escaping….

  29. stonetools says:

    All done. Gunman down,

    Four hostages injured, according to initial reports ( 50/50 they’re wrong).

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So in your mind allowing guns is the same thing as banning “all guns”…your own words emphasized.
    Good…go with that.

  31. stonetools says:

    Whelp.
    CNN says two dead, three injured…
    Ah well, good job still by the Aussie security forces. Prayers for the survivors.

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @stonetools:
    If only a bunch of people on the street had been armed…then it could have been a real shoot-out… with a lot more people killed in the cross-fire.

  33. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Until you can show that the gunman had a revolver, I’ll stick with what I’ve written. In addition, it’s highly unlikely this terrorist had his weapon registered and had the appropriate paperwork to carry it. So, again, criminals don’t obey the law.

  34. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Yeah, because two dead and three injured is such a win for the security forces. Eyeroll.

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    But, but…Australia bans all guns. How did the criminal get his hands on one. Oh, yeah, criminals don’t respect laws.

    I’m guessing that gun-related crime in Australia is less than in America.

  36. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You just don’t have the spine to admit when you are wrong.
    Get back to me when you grow one.

  37. Jack says:

    @al-Ameda: Australia also doesn’t have a 2nd amendment. What Australia does or does not have is irrelevant to America.

  38. Neil Hudelson says:

    @bill:

    There is a gunman in PA that has already killed 5 people, and sources indicate he is a veteran.

    http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/12/five_people_killed_in_montgome.html

    Are you advocating we, as Americans, should target a military veteran’s family?

    If yes, then you are a man of principles, albeit a morally depraved, disgusting man of principles.

    If no, then it appears you are an Islamaphobic bigot.

    Which is it?

    I’ll be sure to bring this up every time you imagine you have something valuable to add here.

  39. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: Guns in civilian hands is greatly limited and strictly controlled. The enacted a gun ban during which 90% of civilian owned firearms were turned in via buybacks. Brittan has a gun ban. Australia has a gun ban, Japan has a gun ban. That doesn’t mean there are not guns, which is obvious because criminals keep getting their hands on them in those countries.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    I said…get back to me when you grow a spine.

  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    So, again, criminals don’t obey the law.

    Which is why we should have no laws.

  42. C. Clavin says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Which is it?

    Well played, sir.

  43. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: I said…blow me.

  44. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Which is why trying to force everyone to register/background check guns will be of no use…because criminals will not register/background check their gun purchases.

  45. stonetools says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    What’s striking is that the hostage crisis in Australia is a rare event, with Aussies shocked that something like this could happen.The whole nation is riveted to the event in Sidney

    In the US, another mass shooting is just par for the course.
    Amazing difference in societies.

  46. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Australia also doesn’t have a 2nd amendment. What Australia does or does not have is irrelevant to America

    So data doesn’t matter to a conservative gun nut. But then I knew that already. Thanks for confirming this to all readers.

  47. C. Clavin says:

    There were 43 gun homicides in Australia in 2012, or .02 per 100,000.
    There were 8,896 gun homicides in the US in 2012, or 2.83 per 100,000.
    If my math is correct, and please feel free to check me on this, that means the US has 141.5 times the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people than Australia.
    141.5 times more.

  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Which is why trying to force everyone to register/background check guns will be of no use…because criminals will not register/background check their gun purchases.

    For the same reason, trying to force everyone not to possess mines, RPGs, surface to air missilse, grenades, mortars, and chemical weapons is no use…because criminals wil not obey these laws.

  49. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: For the same reason, trying to force everyone not to possess hash, heroine, Marijuana, codine, ecstasy, and crystal meth, steroids, salvia, PCP, LSD, Cocaine, crack, moonshine, Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, etc., is no use…because criminals wil not obey these laws.

  50. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Effectiv in 1996, the Australian Gun Control Act prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.).

    See, Jack, the reason you’re a liar is that you at first claimed that “Australia bans all guns”. (bolding mine) so that a criminal couldn’t get his hands on one. But as you later admitted above, it doesn’t ban all guns — what it does is strongly regulate them. And even with that regulation, there are still approximately 700,000 registered gun owners in a nation of about 23 million people.

    So yes, the claim that “Australia bans all guns” is, quite simply, a lie.

  51. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: Does the UK, Japan, Australia have a gun ban in place? The answer is yes. Just because there are ways around the ban not make it not a ban.

    The US had an “Assault Weapon” ban in place from 1994-2004. That did not mean that assault weapons could not be gotten. What part of this argument are you not getting? You are making my point for me.

  52. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Have you just unknowingly switched to making my argument for you? I think you’re getting a bit confused .

  53. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You are still lying.
    If you can’t make your point without lying why bother???

  54. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Does the UK, Japan, Australia have a gun ban in place? The answer is yes. Just because there are ways around the ban not make it not a ban.

    A ban? The answer is no. They have heavy regulation in place which restricts but does not entirely ban private gun ownership.

    It’s a funny sort of gun “ban” in Australia, for example, that allows 700,000 adults to own guns.

  55. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Just because there are ways around the ban not make it not a ban.

    If there are entirely legal, normal and commonly-used ways around the “ban” then it is not, in fact, a ban. It is merely a regulation.

    This word you keep using, “ban”, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  56. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: California, Chicago, NY, and DC “ban” the carrying of firearms by civilians. It’s an affirmative defense against the charge of concealing a weapon if you hold a concealed carry permit. That does not make it any less of a ban.

  57. stonetools says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    It’s clear to all gun cultists-even reasonable seeming ones-that regulations are really either out right bans or precursors to bans, because liberals cannot be trusted. In the same way, allowing background checks are just the slippery slope to outright bans, confiscation of all guns, rule by the UN, and the end of America as we know it.

    You can’t understand gun paranoia unless you put on the right tinfoil hat and tune to the correct frequencies….

  58. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: The Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) signed by Clinton in 1994 has that word ban right in the name. Apparently politicians can use the word in legislation that does not effectively ban anything, but I cannot because there are legal ways around the “ban”.

  59. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    allowing background checks

    If they were only “allowed” and not forced by penalty of law, I wouldn’t have a problem with them.

  60. Blue Galangal says:

    Rafer, Cliff, Neil, and stonetools: You made my morning. Cheers.

  61. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    California, Chicago, NY, and DC “ban” the carrying of firearms by civilians.

    Again, no, they don’t. You simply do not understand what the word “ban” means. In my own state of New York, for example, I know many people who have licenses to possess, open carry and/or concealed carry shotguns, rifles, and handguns. A “ban” would mean that virtually no one could have a gun. Regulation, by contrast, means that some but not all can have guns.

    (A weapon such as an RPG, by contrast, is indeed banned. You can’t go down to One Police Plaza and get a license to own an RPG the same way you can for a hunting rifle).

  62. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    It’s an affirmative defense against the charge of concealing a weapon if you hold a concealed carry permit. That does not make it any less of a ban.

    Yes, it does. If you can get a concealed carry permit for a gun then guns are not banned. They are merely regulated.

  63. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Ah well, good job still by the Aussie security forces. Prayers for the survivors.

    Apparently the security forces went in batons blazing. No? Then you are pro gun.

  64. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jack:

    Apparently politicians can use the word in legislation that does not effectively ban anything,

    Oh my gosh! Politicians named a bill something that does not accurately reflect the actual content of the bill! Next you’ll be telling me the Patriot Act doesn’t actually have anything to do with patriotism!

    but I cannot because there are legal ways around the “ban”.

    You can do anything you want. But if you want to argue with and convince people, then you have to use the commonly-accepted meanings of words, rather than meanings that only exist in your own head, otherwise you’re not actually going to convince anyone. Now I don’t know if convincing anyone is really important to you, but if it’s not then what are you doing here? Why don’t you just go outside and enjoy the day?

  65. C. Clavin says:

    @stonetools:
    I guess it’s like Cheney saying that the Bush Administration didn’t torture people.
    Once the great mass of un-thinking hear it…it’s true…no matter the facts.
    A$$-rape…Ban…it’s all good.

  66. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: So you are good with the Affordable Care act which is neither affordable nor cares? Well, at least they got the act right.

  67. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders: I am not going to convince you. Your mind is made up. Neither will you change my mind. All of the post here on OTB are mental masturbation.

  68. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell:..They showed an earlier photo of him, wearing a turban and beard. That is a sign of trouble if there ever was one.

    Sweeping Generalization describes a claim encompassing a great deal of phenomena without sufficient qualifaction. Such claims are often made in the absence of evidence, or in some cases in willful disregard for such evidence. The reasonable response to such a sweeping generalization is “Prove it.”

    http://left.wikia.com/wiki/Sweeping_generalization

    Prove it Ty.

  69. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You’ll never convince anyone if you completely ignore the facts and call people who do provide facts, which contradict you, childish names.
    Just sayin’

  70. Matt says:

    @Rafer Janders: Bans never fail it can only be failed….

    Reminds me of conservatism…

    This also further proves the points of gun owners. Even with super restrictive laws this stuff happens and then the same people who claimed all they wanted was a few “reasonable commonsense measures” start demanding even more restrictions/bans…

    It never ends with you people.

  71. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Matt:

    There were 43 gun homicides in Australia in 2012, or .02 per 100,000.
    There were 8,896 gun homicides in the US in 2012, or 2.83 per 100,000.
    If my math is correct, and please feel free to check me on this, that means the US has 141.5 times the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people than Australia.
    141.5 times more.

    Your mistake is in assuming that any act of violence with a gun is proof that gun control doesn’t work.

    Whereas gun control advocates can point to the dramatic differences in gun violence and accurately point out that they do.

    It’s not “all or nothing;” it’s managing risk.

  72. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack:

    Australia also doesn’t have a 2nd amendment. What Australia does or does not have is irrelevant to America.

    Did I mention the Second Amendment in my post?
    Are you’re saying that Australia should have a Second Amendment?

  73. Jeremy R says:

    @Jim R:

    How long before someone says “See, this is why we need to torture?”

    Mediaite: Fox’s Hasselbeck Uses Sydney Siege to Defend CIA Torture Program

  74. stonetools says:

    @Matt:

    The ban on fully automatic weapons since 1934 works pretty well. But don’t worry, most liberals aren’t talking about banning your deadly little toys.

  75. bill says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: the fantasy is that disarming law abiding citizens is a good thing. try google for facts sometime, it’s not that hard.
    @wr: with the sheethead crowd, sure thing. works for israel and other mid-east countries. paybacks a bitch when your family is on the hook.
    @Neil Hudelson: is he trumpeting islamic jihad or did i miss something? there’s a difference between joe sheethead who immigrated legally and is contributing to society vs. these scumbags who kill for fun and fear.

    meanwhile your “hero” wound up dead with a low body count- don’t be too depressed. how he got a gun in a country where it’s illegal is just beyond belief…..for idiots.

  76. humanoid.panda says:

    with the sheethead crowd, sure thing. works for israel and other mid-east countries. paybacks a bitch when your family is on the hook.

    Israel is doing lots of things that are illegal and immoral (including buldozing the homes of the families of suicide bombers) but i, sorry to ruin your masturbation fantasies, it had never held anyone’s family hostage at gunpoint.

  77. Matt says:

    @stonetools: Yes my “toy” that I use every year for meat that I can’t afford with cash. Your “toy” on the other hand causes the death of over +30k a year.

    Thankfully I haven’t had to use them in self defense.