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Gun Control


There was an interesting article on Vox: "Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted."

[www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9212725/australia-buyback]

The article appears to support gun control especially in the aftermath of the on-camera shooting of the Virginia "reporters"*.

*Two members of a news team (one reporter/journalist and one videographer) were killed.

The article indicates:

"...the buyback took in and destroyed 20 percent of all privately owned guns in Australia."

"...1996 and 1997, the two years in which the NFA was actually implemented, saw the largest percentage declines in the homicide rate in any two-year period in Australia between 1915 and 2004."

"...The average firearm homicide rate went down by about 42 percent."

[the article also raises issues related to suicide - initially omitted as that is not a primary point in most gun control discussions.]

Some of the stunning statistics above are hard to believe. Rightly so...

The chart on the Australian Government's official Australian Institute of Criminology website related to historical violent crime tells a dramatically different story.

[www.aic.gov.au/dataTools/facts/vicViolentCol.html]

Here are some interesting figures from the official Australian website that are clear from a glance:

-the number of total homicides for 1996 and 1997 was 354 and 364 respectively; this compares to 355 in 1995 (making the decrease from 1995 one homicide in 1996 with an increase of nine homicides in 1997).

-looking at the total homicide rate shows little significant change between 1993 and 2003.

-there is an obvious upswing in other violent crime associated with 1996 and 1997 (during the mandatory gun buyback) including:

1995

Armed robbery = 5258
Unarmed robbery = 9306
Total robbery = 14564

1996

Armed robbery = 6256 (18.98% increase)
Unarmed robbery = 10116 (8.7% increase)
Total robbery = 16372 (14.89% increase)

1997

Armed robbery = 9054 (72.19% increase from 1995)
Unarmed robbery = 12251 (31.65% increase from 1995)
Total robbery = 21305 (46.29% increase from 1995)

Most violent crime increased further over the next decade with the following peaks:

Sexual assault = 19992 in 2008 (increasing 52.62% from 13099 in 1995)
Armed robbery = 11233 in 2001 (increasing 113.64% from 5258 in 1995)
Unarmed robbery = 15358 in 2001 (increasing 65% from 9306 in 1995)
Total robbery = 26591 in 2001 (increasing 82.58% from 14564 in 1995)

*kidnapping also seems to have surged on average for the following decade but 1995 was unusually low historically and most of the surge was after 1997 so the number would be misleading.

Statistics are sometimes confusing and the Vox article appears flat out wrong on many issues and misleading on the areas where they specify gun related violence without keeping a context of overall crime rates...





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Posted by: Joey Berry on 09-28-2015

It would be interesting to see similar comparisons from other gun control or buyback programs.

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Posted by: iDrafted on 10-21-2015

Snopes addressed the issue of increased Australian violent crime statistics in 2011 with skepticism or bias.

[snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp]

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Posted by: iDrafted on 10-21-2015

On October 15, 2015, Snopes addressed the issue of a 2007 Harvard "study" about guns with clear bias.

[snopes.com/harvard-flaw-review/]

The Snopes article admits that the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy paper exists (and it largely conforms to the social media and internet representations) but claims that since it was a report rather than a study, the claim is "FALSE"; it goes on to try to discredit the conclusions of the paper rather than analyze the internet claims. There is little room to view their review as something other than a biased internet misrepresentation (which begs the question: Do we need a Snopes for Snopes???).

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Posted by: Anonymous on 03-17-2018

The main link for historical violent crime is no longer valid but the information is still available within the website.

It is interesting how a new report downplays a 4% annual increase in sexual assaults as relatively stable...

"Rates of homicide and sexual assault have remained relatively stable since 1993. The number of homicides has fluctuated, while the number of sexual assaults has increased by an average 4% per year."

Increasing 4% per year is the definition of steady growth. As the report itself supports when it points out the 7% annual growth in 'other theft' and that "[t]he rate of assault has increased steadily since 1995".

*New link posted under Source.

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Posted by: Anonymous on 09-02-2015

Australia's National Firearms Agreement (NFA) does not seem to be a good model for gun control in the U.S.

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 10-04-2015

The recent mass shooting at UCC in Oregon is a dramatic example of the state failing to protect individuals.

Is a rational answer to that failure an effort to limit individual rights related to owning guns or is that failure a signal that ultimately individuals are better at protecting themselves than the state will ever be?

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Posted by: iDrafted on 10-21-2015

The Harvard School of Public Health publishes fairly anti-gun conclusions.

[hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearms-research/guns-and-death/]

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