Facts speak louder than statistics

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Australia – The Gun Free Utopia?

The evening of Monday, 14 March 2016 marked the 8th fatal shooting in Australia since the start of the year https://www.facebook.com/7NewsMelbourne/videos/10154063327889301/

Clearly the criminals of Australia are ignoring some of the most draconian gun laws in the world, which were enacted in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

At the same time the 800,000+ licenced law abiding gun owners of the nation continue to face significant discrimination across society.

It is worth noting that whilst criminals have shot and killed 8 people this year (so far), licenced gun owners have not shot or killed a single person.

But we continue to hear the same myths from gun control advocates, time and time again:-

     That Australia’s tough gun laws have reduced murder rates:

A 2008 study by The Melbourne Institute demolishes this claim, and shows verifiable data that the “overall” rate of homicide in Australia has headed on the same trajectory as it had been for decades prior to strict gun control. https://www.melbourneinstitute.com/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2008n17.pdf

     That there have been no massacres since the post Port Arthur gun bans:

There have been at least 8 massacres since the gun bans. So to claim otherwise is a complete myth.

In fact the “overall” rate of massacres has remained virtually unchanged since the end of massacres of indigenous populations during the Colonial era.

Clearly mass killers have simply switched to using arson and stabbing, which are evidently just as deadly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Australia

     That the gun bans reduced suicide rates:

Whilst suicide with firearms did drop, the “overall” rate of suicide actually increased!

Clearly people simply switched to alternative methods of suicide.

Also, it is absurd to think that banning semi-automatic rifles would reduce suicide, as it is not possible to continue to shoot yourself multiple times. It is even more absurd given that semi-automatic pistols remain legal in Australia. http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html#accidents

     That the gun bans restricted “high power” firearms:

In fact Australia’s gun laws are not based on the power of firearms at all. It remains legal to possess very high power calibres (such as .338 Lapua, 308, 270, 30-06) which are highly lethal at ranges in excess of 1km.

Whereas very low powered semi-automatic .22 rabbit hunting rifles (which are widely available in places like New Zealand and even the UK) are strictly controlled and effectively prohibited.

One of the most policed features of Australian gun laws are laws based purely on how a firearm looks, with no regard at all to its actual function. Leading to the absurd bans on Air-Soft BB guns and many paintball guns that can be purchased in toy stores even in places like Japan which have very tough gun laws.

     That Australia’s gun laws work because we have a lower homicide rate than the US.

Australia’s homicide rate has always been significantly lower than the US, even before there were gun laws in Australia.

It is also worth noting that the US gun murder rate has dropped by a whopping 50% in the last 2 decades. Over that same timeframe over 150,000,000+ more firearms have been added to civilian hands, and many US states now issue permits for civilians to carry a concealed firearm for self-defence. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

A final point worth noting is that Australia’s nearest cousin in the world (New Zealand) has a much better public safety record, whilst having a gun policy approach that doesn’t ban certain types of firearms. Law abiding licenced shooters in New Zealand can even legally possess fully automatic machine guns, sound moderators and a huge range of other firearms that are banned completely in Australia. And yet New Zealand has a better public safety record.  http://www.cjcj.org/uploads/cjcj/documents/Mass_shootings.pdf

Daniel Edmonds for the Editor