On the success of the Australian Gun Ban

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by meener777, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. meener777

    King County
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    There is a lot hype surrounding the success of gun laws in Australia and the United Kingdom. After having examined some of the claims I thought I would share my findings so you all can help to share the truth around the internet.

    The first claim we need to examine is the claim that gun bans cause homicide rates to go down. Lets look at a chart comparing the three nations, showing the % change in homicide rates since 1990.


    Notice a few things:
    1. In 1997 the UK banned handguns almost completely in response to the Dunblane Massacre. Is this strict firearms law responsible for the fact that their homicide rate is lower than ours? Well if it is then we should see a drop in homicides after it was passed. But we don't. In fact, we see that their homicide went up and up and up, and that, as of 2009 it was still higher than it was before the handgun ban. Conclusion: no effect.

    2. In 1996, the Australians banned and confiscated the vast majority of long arms and implemented heavy regulation of the remaining firearms in their country as a response to the Port Arthur massacre. The data shows that immediately following the ban there were two years in which homicide rates were higher and then eventually they did in fact start to drop. However, did the ban cause this drop? In science when we perform an experiment to determine the efficacy of a new medication we need to show that a statistically significant effect was seen in the experimental group that we did not see in a control group. The problem here is that we have a control, the United States, where guns were not confiscated and we still homicide rates dropping. In fact they drop farther and faster than those in Australia. Furthermore, around the world we see drops in homicide rates since 1990. Scientifically speaking, we have to say that we cannot reject the null hypothesis that the gun ban had no significant effect.

    Additionally, we can see that in Australia post-ban there is a clear substitution effect of knives for guns (data from Australian Institute of Criminology):


    The other claim that is made about the Australian gun ban success is that it stopped mass murders, but that is also clearly false. In 2002, five years after the confiscation, a student at Monash University arrived with six loaded handguns and shot seven people, killing two. See this link for details. Furthermore, people are still killed on masse routinely in Australia. There have been at least three cases of mass murder using fire since the ban with death tolls of 10, 15, and 21. See this link for details.

    The final claim that is made about the gun ban is a reduction in firearms suicides. However a 2009 paper from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University concluded the following:

    "The observed reduction in firearms suicides was initiated prior to the 1997 introduction of the NFA in Queensland and Australia, with a clear decline observed in Australian figures from 1988. No significant difference was found in the rate pre/post the introduction of the NFA in Queensland; however, a significant difference was found for Australian data, the quality of which is noticeably less satisfactory. A marked age-difference in method choice was observed through a cohort analysis demonstrating both time and age influences. Within sequential birth cohorts, rates of firearms suicides decreased in younger males but increased in hanging suicides; this trend was far less marked in older males. CONCLUSIONS: The implemented restrictions may not be responsible for the observed reductions in firearms suicide. Data suggest that a change in social and cultural attitudes could have contributed to the shift in method preference"

    Clearly, some people are seeing what they want to see here.
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  2. salmonriverjohn

    N.W Oregon coast, Gods country
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    Very good stats. Thanks for the information, ammunition so to speak if you prefer.
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  3. Lebowski

    Greater PDX
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    Thank you for presenting this data. It is a useful and well thought out counterpoint to any argument in the contrary.

    If not completely convincing to some, it at least gives cause for consideration.
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  4. deen_ad

    Vancouver, WA
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    < Why they don't have school shootings in Israel.
    Notice the long gun slung over the teachers shoulder?

    As former Australian politician Tim Fischer turns the shooting of Christopher Lane into an opportunity to push a travel boycott until the U.S. changes its gun laws, police in Sydney launched "a new plan to tackle out-of-control gun violence" there.

    The new action against gun violence was launched on August 21 and will pull together various police-sponsored gun control operations into one. The name of the new effort is Operation Talon.

    According to the Ballina Shire Advocate, "over 9,000 guns have been taken off New South Wales (NSW) streets and 3352 people have charged" during previous operations in the last 12 months alone.

    NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione explained: "There is no single source of gun violence... guns have fallen into the hands of organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs, mid-level crime groups and petty thieves and the lines are often blurred."

    Not ironically, Australia implemented a massive purge of guns in 1996, which included bans on "assault weapons" and other semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. They also did forced buybacks and then entered into a strict licensing and registration agreement where certain single-shot rifles and similar firearms could be owned but only if the owner provided justification for the possession of such a weapon.

    Yet 17 years after the implementation of gun control schemes that are very similar in many ways to those being pushed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the NSW police department is launching a new operation to rein in gun violence.

    The lesson: criminals do not pay attention to gun bans. They never have and they never will.


    And a few minutes and Google will get you more too.

    NRA Life Member, Benefactor Level
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    "Having a gun is like a parachute, if you need one and don't have it you may never need it again"
    rds801, salmonriverjohn and meener777 like this.
  5. 8ball

    Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Outstanding post Meener. You picked up on the adoption of arson as a preferred weapon for those who seek to kill indiscriminately. There have been some terrible fires set deliberately that have taken many innocent lives.

    I would also caution against drawing other parallels to Australia. It's a remarkably homogenous country. Although everyone except the indigenous Australians are immigrants by definition, decades of socialist government have created a massive, apathetic middle class and a huge welfare system.

    Australia also has few individual rights recognized in their Constitution. No First Amendment - there is widespread censorship of movies, books, games etc at a bureaucrats whim. No Second Amendment of course. There is no right to freedom of religion either - they held a referendum on it not that long ago and the majority of Australians rejected it! Voting is mandatory. In my opinion, Australians are subjects, not citizens.

    It's a beautiful country, the people are wonderful, and they've been loyal allies in time of war, but you probably don't want to live there. I should know- Australian by birth, American by choice. :)
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  6. Bacchus

    The Republic
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    Ban matches! For the children!
  7. salmonriverjohn

    N.W Oregon coast, Gods country
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    Australian men were emasculated long ago and it was self inflicted. Now their relegated to selling cleaning and cooking products on the Tele. This has got to hurt the old ego down under,, kroikies!
  8. tiggers97

    United States
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    Well done, Sir!

    Another favorite one in the Pacific that gun-control advocates like to use is Japan. I found this paper on their development and history of gun control useful background information.

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