More Equal time…

THIS post started the discussion, THIS post was a follow up and more information, and now this post is another perspective on the discussion…

One example of a pro-gun argument that doesn’t rely on “It’s in the Constitution!”

In 1996, in Port Arthur, Australia, 35 people were killed and 21 people were wounded when a man with a history of erratic behavior and violence (from early childhood) opened fire with two semi-automatic rifles. He obtained those rifles in an illegal fashion.
Regardless, the Australian government instituted a buyback program that eventually destroyed more than 600,000 firearms. Sadly, in the only province that reported specific details, less than 3% of the buybacks were of the same type of rifle as those committed in the massacre.

To this day, gun control advocates like to show that the homicide rate in Australia has plummeted due to the wide-reaching gun control restrictions. However, a quick look at the rate of homicide in Australia* finds that from 1976 (the first year reported) to the present, the rate varied only between 1.16 and 2.4 per year. Yes, the four most recent years had the lowest rates out of any presented. But the highest rate was in 1988, 9 years before the buyback. Obviously, the drawdown started occurring for a reason other than “most guns were removed from the public’s hands”.

Now, firearm suicides have fallen from about 22% of all suicides in 1992 to 7% of all suicides in 2005.** But there have been concerted efforts in suicide prevention from the time of 1997 – when there was a 10% INCREASE in the suicide rate (in 1997 and 1998). Notice that this increase takes place after the gun buyback program, and so therefore, removing guns from society did not hinder the suicide rate.

The number of guns stolen per year has also fallen. From 1994 (pre-ban) to 2000 (post-ban), there were, on average, more than 4,000 firearms stolen each year. Approximately 3% of those stolen weapons are later connected to an actual crime or found in the possession of a person charged with a serious offence.

Now, looking at the Australian Institute of Criminology’s own page***, we can see that while the rate of robbery, kidnapping, and homicide remain relatively steady since 1996, the rate of assault has gone up. Further reading**** shows that violent crime statistics drawn from police data do not show the large amount of violent crime and victimization that is never disclosed to police (whereas the homicide rate is fairly obvious). In fact, the AIC’s own website admits that there is a high rate of non-disclosure in the various indigenous communities, suggesting that the rate of violent crime is potentially much higher than what they can prove via official record.

On this webpage*****, the following stats are summarized:
= In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
= Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
= Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

And while the homicide rate did drop, both Australia and the United States (where there is no appreciable gun-ban) saw a decrease in the murder rate:
= Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.

Now compare the previous stats I gave for Australia to the following lines:
= U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
= Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

Would this constitute a valid pro-gun argument?






I do acknowledge that the first one, in retrospect, is a bit over the top, and these last two DO bring some clarity to the discussion.  And I am thankful that we ARE having a civil discussion here. 

I also appreciate the readers who have commented both in the post themselves, and those who’ve commented via email.  

Thank you all for reading and using facts rather than hyperbole, emotion and fear mongering… 

h/t Ron


More Equal time… — 4 Comments

  1. Good stuff, sir, but in my experience the Left is unconvinced by facts, evidence or history. It’s all about how they feel.

    I weep for what’s left of Amerika.

  2. Old NFO – Thanks very much for continuing the discussion, and for your consistently displayed good manners and sense! I’m curious about the sources for the article, though, as the only official Australian government page they cite is and that graph shows a very mild increase in assault 2005-2006, certainly nothing close to 42%. Too, the source of record, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, releases a crime report every year but notes that assaults are categorized differently in different states, so they only collect standardized data (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, robbery, extortion and auto theft depending on the year). Those numbers can be found at[email protected]/Previousproducts/4510.0Main%20Features22006?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4510.0&issue=2006&num=&view=

    and[email protected]/allprimarymainfeatures/6755E4A048688982CA2572F10017B60A?opendocument

    for 2006 and 2005 respectively, and a little more browsing on that site will reveal the same records for 1993-2011. None of them show increases nearly as significant as the assault numbers claimed in this page. Similarly, the newest comparable US stats I could find for sexual assault were from 2008 and 2009, here:
    and they show a rate of 80 reported to police per 100k people in 2008, 50 in 2009 compared to Australia’s 76 in 2011. There are arguments on both sides about sex crime reporting, (read the wikipedia article for a taste of the sound and fury), but it’s not nearly as clear cut as this dubiously sourced piece suggests.

    It’s interesting that there are such huge swings in the US data year-to-year… that’s a ~40% dropoff in the US sex crimes from 2008-2009, which I don’t think could be explained by any combination of firearms ownership, economics, or public safety program – must be some change in data collection….