Australian homicides (courtesy news.com.au)

Australia instituted draconian gun control/confiscation after the Port Arthur Massacre in April 1996. Recently, the Land Down Under under’s been held up as a model for “gun safety” by President Obama and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The chart above cast doubt on the idea that civilian disarmament has made Australia safer. When examining it, keep in mind the correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. That said, check out . . .

the way the lines on the first chart form a mirror image.

A dip in firearms related homicides (as a percentage of the whole) in 1993 is concomitant with a rise in knife-related homicides. There’s a similar relationship in 2001/2003. The parallel more or less continues all the way to 2012, where the lines are moving back to their relative starting positions in 1989/1990.

Despite the warning at the beginning of this post, it seems fair to conclude that Australian gun control did virtually nothing to affect the relative percentage of homicides committed by guns or edged weapons.

news.com.au created the graph, They illustrate their story Scary trend in Australian gun crime with more than 200 shooting deaths a year with numerous examples of firearms-related homicides, proving that “gun violence” is still a thing in Australia.

Here’s an interesting data point to add to the mix . . .

While the tightening of gun laws following the Port Arthur massacre drastically reduced the number of guns in private ownership, it’s believed the figure has now climbed to even higher than before the devastating shooting.

There are currently around three million registered firearms in Australia, according to gun control researcher Philip Alpers from Sydney University’s School of Public Health. This compares to less than 2.2 million registered firearms in July 2001. He estimates that there are about 200,000 illegal handguns on the streets, many of them stolen.

It seems reasonable to conclude that the percentage of firearms related homicides in Australia has little to nothing to do with legal firearms ownership, which has increased by roughly 30 percent since the Port Arthur gun control initiatives. It’s the same lack of correlation between gun ownership and firearms-related homicides we’ve experienced in the U.S. in the same time period.

Here’s a chart of the total number of homicides in Australia for roughly the same time period.

(courtesy aic.gov.au)

Again, there was a spike after Port Arthur-inspired gun control/confiscation. And the number of homicides is decreasing “despite” that circa 30 percent increase in legal firearms ownership. Same deal here in the U.S.: more guns, less crime.

Bottom line: no matter where it’s enacted, gun control doesn’t work. Unless your goal is to disarm law-abiding citizens. And maybe not even then.

32 Responses to The Truth About Australian Gun Control

  1. As always, gun control, ANY gun control, is all about enslaving the population. always has been and always will be.

  2. It is simply a mirror imag not a reverse. A mirror image is by its very nature reverse. As you move away from a mirror the object in the mirror doesn’t come closer but rather farther from the perceived plane of the mirror. In that the mirror plane is between the two statistics charted on your graph they are mirrored not reverse mirrored as that would imply a parallel shift.

  3. “There are currently around three million registered firearms in Australia, according to gun control researcher Philip Alpers from Sydney University’s School of Public Health. This compares to less than 2.2 million registered firearms in July 2001. He estimates that there are about 200,000 illegal handguns on the streets, many of them stolen.”

    So, the number of registered firearms has increased by 30-ish% over 1 decade, despite the “turn ’em all in” claims we have heard are so successful?

    Que jlp to tell us how all the guns in Australia have been turned in (**) upon “request” by the government and how we will follow suit as soon as .gov tells us to.

    (**) I believe he recently stated 99%, then changed it to 99-3/4%, firearms have been willingly been turned in.

    That would imply jlp is asserting that before the ‘turn in,’ there were 200 million guns in Australia. That seems a tad…high. I’m thinking his 99% number is not actually factual.

    • A lot of the US rhetoric does imply that it was a total ban and that everything had to be handed in. Simply not true.

      The primary target was automatic and semi-automatic firearms – the logic being that it is a bit harder to do a mass killing with a slow bolt action rifle. A few other things were also banned, but this was perhaps more of a ‘tidy up’ of old rules etc.

      So, the autos were banned and you had to hand them in (or sell them overseas via a dealer) and collect your compensation cheque. Plenty of folks also used the ‘amnesty’ and buy-back to get rid of a bunch of old stuff sitting around from grandpa’s day and either pocket that cash or use it to buy a new firearm.

      The gun shops did a huge trade in new guns that were being bought to replace models that were banned. Sure, you liked your 20+ year old self-loading .22 rifle that you plinked rabbits with, but your brand new lever action .22 or .17HMR is so much better.

      Most Australians think the changes were good, and even if you are a shooter and were inconvenienced the likely response is that the changes were annoying, but not evil.

      Updates and changes to licensing (involving training, background checks) and registration (including storage rules) are overall a good thing.

      Australia did not have a total confiscation. It was really all about getting rid of auto loading for most people.

      • “Australia did not have a total confiscation.”

        Understood, and thanks for the clarification and details.

        Of course, your facts fly in the face of those presented by one of our frequent socialist posters here….but that should come as no surprise. Facts are a burden to such folks.

  4. One thing well-intentioned antis do not understand:
    it doesnt take a gun to kill unassuming victims. But it does take a gun to defend oneself when violent criminals have begun the attack.

  5. In other news, carpenters who have been denied the right to own hammers have started pounding nails with rocks and ratchets. Millions denied afternoon naps as the pounding continues!!!

    Framers gonna frame, killers gonna kill. Why is this such a difficult concept?

  6. So, gun confiscation to reduce gun crime in Australia was an absolute failure. Gee, everyone on this blog could have said that and probably have many times before. The question is this: Now that we have statistical evidence showing that Australia’s political elite are insanely stupid and tyrannical, are the Australians going to take back their country and reverse it…or are they going to allow these tyrants to double-down? I bet they will capitulate. It always seems that most populaces that are still tied to a monarchy, even if symbolically, seem to easily accept tyranny through a thousand paper-cuts.

  7. The truth about Mr. Alpers is that he is not a Professor at all, he never even attended university. This guy started doing the rounds in New Zealand and became the media’s defacto go-to gun ban guy (he used to work in the media), then thankfully he left for Australia but somehow managed to get appointed as an Adjunct Professor there.

    There’s a good discussion of his background and scholarly efforts here http://corregidor.org/acgq/web_redirect_3628.3645.8883/forum_pages/article_alpers.html

    TL;DR – he’s a gun banner masquerading as a researcher who manipulates data to suit his preconceived dogma, treat all figures he spouts accordingly.

  8. I like ttag, I don’t like gun control. But I don’t think this chart says what you think it says, RF. This chart doesn’t say anything at all about total number of homicides. It only shows percentages. So even if the actual number of knife homicides stayed constant, a reduction in the actual number of gun homicides would equate to an increase in the PERCENTAGE of homicides committed by knife, and vice versa.

  9. Phillip Alpers is a self appointed expert whose work has been discredited many times.
    Link here http://ssaa.org.au/news-resources/know-your-opponent/philip-alpers-a-most-dubious-researcher/

    At federal senate enquiry a year back he and other anti gun groups kept claiming legal owners had guns stolen or sold them on black market all the time. Police at enquiry repeatedly said no that most guns recovered were smuggled in and sold. Customs caught one of their own officers selling Glocks he was bringing in 50 at a time using fake gun shop paperwork about three years back

    Murder rates here were low before Port Arthur as we mostly didn’t have the drug issue violence that USA has. We have drugs and gangs and violence but not as much. Most murders fall under domestic disputes with knive or blunt object

    As I have stated here before anti’s seem the same everywhere

    New Legal gun ownership went up by 40 000 in just my state last year and we have under 4 million people
    Gun shop I was in yesterday had 100’s firearms

  10. I would be much more interested in a graph of the overall homicide rate in Australia since 1989. Even then, there are so many variables involved that such a graph means nothing.

    • Here’s the over all homicide rate (HR), firearms homicide rate (FHR) and non-firearms homicide rate (NFHR) for Australia from 1915-2004. You can see from the graph that firearms homicides were never a majority of the overall rate. Firearms homicides have never risen above 45% of all homicides in Australia.

      After 1984, you can see the FHR started and continued on a steady decline, while the over all continued to climb until 1987. In 1996/1997, the National Firearms Agreement (gun-control law) was put into place (marked on the graph), but as can be seen it did not alter the the downward trend of the FHR in any significant manner. In other words, it did not slow nor accelerate significantly the downward trend. Which implies the conclusion that the NFA had little or no effect on the homicide rate.

      Graph:
      http://i64.tinypic.com/2yugbaa.png

      Data Source: https://www.melbourneinstitute.com/miaesr/publications/working-paper-series/abstract-178.html

  11. Without a long history of Australian government the federal government here has more say over States by use of finance than what I have seen in USA

    In WW2 the states conceded income tax and many other items to federal as a “temporary” measure. They never got it back. So states rely heavily on federal money

    This was used as a very blunt object to get my pro gun state to become officially anti in 1996

  12. Stab man and knife boy more than make up for any reduction in any fewer homicides by gun that may occur due to widespread gun confiscation.

  13. This would carry a larger message if you included the change in crime rate for assaults, home invasions, and other crimes against those that are disarmed and can’t defend themselves. My understanding is those crimes have gone up substantially.

  14. Where is Jlp? He has been going off lately about Australia. I am sure he is lurking somewhere under a billy-goat free bridge.

  15. The author cherry picks stats by quoting gun deaths today compared to the time of the Pt Arthur massacre, implying that there’s been no change.
    The author fails to mention that Australia’s population has increased by 30% over the same period (18m -> 25m).

  16. New Zealand has gun controls similar to the US’s and has gun violence trends similar to or better than Australia’s. The slight decline in violence is due to better tranquilizers, not more gun control.

  17. As a Canadian we own guns for sport not self defense. I find it just wrong ro take guns away from legal gun owners. Criminals of course sieze thiers. There are far more children drown in pools than people shot (1000 to 1). Yet no one says ban swimming pools. In a free society it just seems wrong to take a sport away from people who are harming anyone.

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