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Thread: Crime up in Austrailia after gun ban - any hard numbers?

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    So, an internet friend of mine in Upstate New York posted this on a social networking site, and I was wondering if anyone knew where to find hard facts to back this up. If it's true, I'd be quite happy.

    There's more to it, but this is the meaty part, so to speak.

    It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new laws to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australian taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:
    Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent
    Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent
    Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

    In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

    While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

    There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Not sure if those facts are accurate, but that's about exatcly what I would expect to happen.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    That's from an email that was circulated around several years ago. Snopes has a write up on it answering your questions, which includes links to Australian Institute of Criminology, apparently the gov't dept which gathers such stats.

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp

    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    From the Australian Government's Institute of Criminology:

    http://www.aic.gov.au/stats/crime/violence.html



    Detailed numbers:

    From 1996 to 2005 homicides dropped from 354 to 295, robberies stayed about the same, but kidnappings went from 478 to 730, sexual assaults from 14,542 to 18,172, and assaults from 114,156 to 166,499.

    I suppose the extra 50000 assault victims and 3500 rape victims should just be grateful they weren't one of the 60 less murders that happened :?

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    Ah, the Australian firearms crackdown. It's funny (more "funny peculiar" than funny ha-ha") how both anti-gunners and pro-RKBA types in the US claim the Australian statistics vindicate their respective opinions, and truth be told, neither of them is right. I did some digging into the figures about a year ago, and some useful reference materials published by the Australian Institute of Criminology are:
    Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 1998
    Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2004
    Firearm related deaths in Australia, 1991-2001

    The thing to bear in mind here is that you can't show a trend with only two data points. Statistically, you can "prove" anything you want if you show only the two data points that support your position. And that generally what activists on both sides have been doing. Another thing is that correlation does not imply causation. Let's look at some claims from the Brady Campaign "fact" sheet first:

    Homicides committed with firearms have been declining – from 21 percent of all homicides in 1997 to 16 percent in 2002-2003.
    True. Thing is, as Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2004 points out, the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm had been dropping since 1969. The drop from 1997 to 2003 was simply part of that pre-existing trend, and can therefore not be attributed to the imposition of tighter gun control measures. Note, moreover, that there was no downward trend in the homicide rate.

    Along with the declining use of firearms in homicide, Australia saw a 44% decline in the use of firearms in armed robberies from 1993 to 2003. From 1997 to 2003, the proportion of robberies committed with a firearm dropped from 10 to 6 percent.
    Again, true, but there are two problems. First, the start of the decline in the percentage of armed robberies committed with firearms starts in 1993, three years before the "buyback," so again, we're to be dealing with a pre-existing trend. And again, the number of armed robberies did not decrease post-1996; in fact, it rose. The Bradies' latter claim--that "from 1997 to 2003, the proportion of robberies committed with a firearm dropped from 10 to 6 percent"--is undermined by the fact that the number of armed robberies committed with weapons other than firearms (knives, cricket bats, jars of Vegemite, sharpened didgeridoos, etc.) and (especially) the number of unarmed robberies increased to such an extent that the percentage of robberies committed with firearms could quite easily have dropped during that period without the actual number of such robberies decreasing.

    (To illustrate: say that in 1997, there are 100 robberies, 10 of which are committed with firearms. Thus, 10% of robberies that year are committed with firearms. In 2003, there are still 10 robberies committed with firearms, but the overall number of robberies has risen to 167, so the percentage of robberies committed with firearms that year has dropped to 6%. Are we any better off?)

    So the Brady Campaign is full of s**t. No surprise there. But does that mean AbNo's friend is right? Well, probably not, for exactly the same reasons. If you look at the AIC's Australian Crime pamphlets, you'll see that the rising trends in assaults and robberies (unarmed more than armed) predate the 1996 imposition of tighter gun controls, and don't show a significant deviation following the imposition of these measures. Note in particular this sentence:

    In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.
    Assuming that that claim is true, it still doesn't necessarily mean very much, and the wording is misleading at best. A look at Firearm related deaths in Australia, 1991-2001 shows that, from 1996 to 1997, the number of firearm homicides for Australia overall dropped (from 104 to 79); ditto for the next year (from 79 to 57). Thus, even if homicides with firearms in the state of Victoria did increase fourfold, we must conclude that such an increase not only happened only "in the state of Victoria alone," but also that the initial number of firearms homcides in Victoria was either not that huge, and that the increase in Victoria was readily compensated nationally for by massive drops in the other more densely populated states. Frankly, most of the increases in crime claimed by AbNo's friend are either part of pre-existing trends, or are not supported by the AIC's data.

    Really, the imposition of tighter gun control measures in Australia doesn't appear to have have had any effect on violent crime one way or the other. While there appears to have been some reduction in the amount of violent crime committed with guns in the immediate wake of the tightened gun controls, this was more than compensated for by an increase in violent crime using other weapons or personal force alone.

    That doesn't mean that Australian example is a rhetorical draw, though. Fact is, the Australian federal government, through pressure on the states, curtailed its citizens' freedoms to no good end (i.e. public safety was not increased).

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    This does not take into account the number of injuries from attacks (including but not limited to animal attacks) that could have been prevented, or at least minimized, by the use of a firearm.

    The phrase often used to justify safety is, "If only one life could be saved, it is worth it." I don't support that phrase, because it only focuses on one life being saved, not any other factors, including the number of lives that will be lost. In this case, the phrase anti-gun persons use seems to work against them, since it causes lives to be lost from not being able to defend oneself with a firearm.

    Perhaps we ought to consider the phrase, "If only one liberty can be preserved..."

    http://www.bugbog.com/travel_safety/dangerous_animals/crocodile_attacks.html
    http://www.ahs.org.au/news.php?name=croc.txt
    http://www.iccwa.org.au/Dog%20Attacks%20ICCWA%20Fact%20Sheet1.pdf
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/28/2128427.htm

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    I was told the burglaries went up since there wasno risk of being shot.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I was told the burglaries went up since there wasno risk of being shot.
    As the Snopes article points out, that's questionable. Most Australians weren't armed before the restrictions went into effect, and the restrictions didn't completely disarm Australians -- they only removed some types of firearms and even those can still be possessed if you can justify it.

    OTOH, it's possible that whatever the reality of the situation, Australian burglars once did worry about getting show by the rare armed gun owner, and now don't worry about it because they don't realize that guns are still out there. Burglars aren't the brightest of people.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I was told the burglaries went up since there wasno risk of being shot.
    Hmm, that claim seems implausible. Figure 28 in Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 1998 does show a rising trend in "unlawful entry with intent" from Jan-1995 to Dec-1997, but UEWI was already on the rise for over a year prior to the Port Arthur shootings (April 1996), let alone the increased gun controls that were imposed subsequently, nor did the trend change significantly in the immediate aftermath of the increased restrictions.

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    I believe that John R. Lott, Jr., author of 'More Guns, Less Crime', and an economist (econometrician) has reported on the effect of the Austrailian gun ban. He is likely the only public commentator competant to do so.

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    And let's not forget, apparently, Austrailia's having a problem with roving rape gangs, now.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Not "now," to the best of my knowledge. They had some trouble with two rape gangs, one in Sydney in 2000, another in Ashfield, NSW in 2001-2002. Nasty, but not exactly commonplace, and the amount of time since it ceased going on is now three times as long as the time it was going on in the first place.

    It's worth noting, moreover, that the victims of these attacks were all teenage girls, almost all younger than 18, who were lured from public places; there were no home invasion-type incidents. So it's not like the victims might have had a firearm with which to defend themselves, had it not been for the tightened gun laws.

    On the other hand, in at least one instance in the Sydney cases, one of the rapists had a handgun, indicating that the increased restrictions failed to do the trick in disarming would-be criminals.

    Regarding John Lott, I've not been able to find very many instances of him saying anything substantial about Australian crime rates. He's pointed out on numerous occasions that violent crime overall increased in Australia in the wake of the increased restrictions, but he's very rarely expanded on what that means. I did find a transcript of an online Q&A session he did for the Washington Post, in which he pointed out that the UK, Australia, Ireland and Jamaica all saw increases in crime following the imposition of tightened gun control, and then states:

    Does this mean that in Britain or other countries that these bans caused crime rates to rise? No, not necessarily by any means. In Britain, I think that a lot of the problem is the rise in drug gangs (a similar very important problem that we have in the US). But just as drug gangs can bring in the drugs that they want to sell they can also bring in the guns that they need to protect their valuable drugs.
    Let me make it very clear that the fact that I take issue with the contention that tightened gun controls lead to increases in violent crime does not mean I come down in favor of said controls. At a minimum, the increases in violent crime rates show that the tightening of gun laws almost invariably fails to achieve the effect of reducing violent crime (which is the claim that was used to sell it in the first place).

    Confession: I'm a reformed gun control advocate, and I did a lot of digging into the effects of gun control laws in various countries before I was finally forced to conclude that the evidence overwhelmingly indicated that gun control, on balance, doesn't do any good. In my own country of origin (the Netherlands), I've seen weapons laws tightened several times in my lifetime, and every time the rationale given is a need to combat an increase in violent crime. Well, if violent crime has gone up in spite of the the already existing restrictions (which were supposed to stop the increase, or even reduce violent crime), why would anyone in his right mind think that more of the same is going to do the trick?

    Note that I do say "on balance." I suspect that severely limiting private citizens' access to firearms does help reduce/prevent high-profile mass shootings like Dunblane (UK), Erfurt (Germany), Columbine, etc. Let's be honest here: a total ban on sales of firearms to private citizens could have prevented just about every high-profile mass shooting you can think of. Most spree shooters are not "people persons"; they wouldn't have the smarts to acquire guns on the black market. Take Cho Seung-Hui: he paid for his guns with a credit card, which he hadn't paid off by the time he capped himself. How many drug dealers or fences do you know who accept Visa?
    Sure, Harris and Klebold acquired their weapons illegally, but from people who were themselves eligible to own firearms. In a situation where private ownership of firearms was outlawed completely, the people who sold Harris and Klebold their guns wouldn't have been able to possess them themselves.

    However, the death toll from high-profile mass shootings, for all the media attention they gather, is a drop in the bucket of overall violent crime rates. In the worst years, maybe 100 people in the US die from this sort of incident, and a similar number are wounded. Against that, we have to weigh how many violent crimes are prevented by private citizens with firearms. Even by the most conservative estimates (quietly conceded by the anti-gun lobby), that's at least 600,000 annually in the US. Thus, a UK-style near-total ban on private firearms ownership might prevent 100 homicides a year in the US, but at a price of at least 600,000 additional violent crimes (homicides, rapes, assaults and robberies) having a significantly higher chance of being completed.

    As a former gun control advocate, I'm sympathetic in an abstract sense to the anti-gunners' mantra "if it saves just one life, it'll be worth it." Where I diverge from the anti-gunners is in that I've acknowledged that gun control never does, on balance, manage to save lives, and is therefore not worth the price.

    Sheez, sorry about the rant, guys. I guess I needed to get something off my chest, huh?

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    Euromutt wrote:
    SNIP
    Sheez, sorry about the rant, guys. I guess I needed to get something off my chest, huh?
    I wouldn't call that a rant in the least. Very cogent discussion of the issue at hand. I very much appreciated and enjoyed your comments.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I thought it was well-worded and interesting, not a rant at all.

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    Euromutt wrote:
    Sheez, sorry about the rant, guys. I guess I needed to get something off my chest, huh?
    Excellent post.

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    AbNo wrote:
    So, an internet friend of mine in Upstate New York posted this on a social networking site, and I was wondering if anyone knew where to find hard facts to back this up. If it's true, I'd be quite happy.

    There's more to it, but this is the meaty part, so to speak.

    It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new laws to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australian taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:
    Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent
    Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent
    Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

    In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

    While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

    There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.
    there is a page on snopes re that particular myth
    http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp

    i consider myself a moderate gun owner and actually support most of the aussie gun law

    We brought in gun control for mass murder reduction
    We restricted semi auto rifles and locked all guns up when not in use
    Our gun control
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia

    we had 47% less gun death since gun control
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi269.pdf

    our total murder fell nearly 25%
    open this link...look at the 2 graphs and..click on the graph picture..
    to read the detailed numbers
    http://www.aic.gov.au/stats/crime/homicide.html

    http://www.usyd.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=1502
    The risk of dying by gunshot has halved since Australian gun buy-back
    Not only were Australia's post-Port Arthur gun laws followed by a decade in which the crime they were designed to reduce hasn't happened again,

    10 years, no mass killing [4+] we were averaging nearly one a year

    but we also saw a life-saving bonus: the decline in overall gun deaths accelerated to twice the rate seen before the new gun laws
    ** firearm suicides and firearm homicides were reducing by 3 per cent (total gun death) each year until 1996,
    these average rates of decline doubled to,
    6 per cent each year (total gun death),
    7.5 per cent each year (gun homicide)
    following the introduction of new gun laws.



    our progun political party report
    http://www.shootersparty.org.au/inde...6&Itemid=9

    • The reforms did not affect rates of firearm homicide in Australia.The reforms could not be shown to alter rates of firearm suicide, because rates of suicide using other methods also began to decline in the late 1990’s.It is likely that social changes including increased resource allocation for suicide prevention impacted on rates of suicide by all methods, including firearms.It must be concluded that the gun buyback and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia.



    rebuttal
    http://forum.physorg.com/index.php?showtopic=14355
    “We find reductions in both gun homicide and gun suicide rates that are statistically significant, meaning that they are larger than would have been expected by mere chance,” Dr Leigh said.“Our best estimates are that the gun buyback has saved between 128 and 282 lives per year.”
    http://econrsss.anu.edu.au/pdf/DP555.pdf for full text











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    MarkNH wrote:
    From the Australian Government's Institute of Criminology:

    http://www.aic.gov.au/stats/crime/violence.html



    Detailed numbers:

    From 1996 to 2005 homicides dropped from 354 to 295, robberies stayed about the same, but kidnappings went from 478 to 730, sexual assaults from 14,542 to 18,172, and assaults from 114,156 to 166,499.

    I suppose the extra 50000 assault victims and 3500 rape victims should just be grateful they weren't one of the 60 less murders that happened :?
    you may find this crime link of benefit ..it has a full report available from the links on the right hand side of page
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html

    our assault has gone up ..although it is still considered a low rate and this is a total number ..including harrasment and the threat of assault

    just to qualify your post, although the assault was per capita, some numbers on our crime site are raw and dont allow for our population increase..they arent per capita
    our population has risen about 15% since 1996..so if the crime numbers stay the same...it has actually fell 15%

    The gun buy-back scheme started in most States on 1 October 1996 and ended on 30 September 1997. and the law was in full effect
    So 1998 was the first full year of gun control

    our total assault including threat, per 100,000 ...up 15% over 7 years or 2% pa
    709 in 1998,
    820 in 2005

    but a lot arent of age to own a gun
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...006/fig015.png

    and most assault is by family and friend
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...006/fig016.png

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    Euromutt wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    I was told the burglaries went up since there wasno risk of being shot.
    Hmm, that claim seems implausible. Figure 28 in Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 1998 does show a rising trend in "unlawful entry with intent" from Jan-1995 to Dec-1997, but UEWI was already on the rise for over a year prior to the Port Arthur shootings (April 1996), let alone the increased gun controls that were imposed subsequently, nor did the trend change significantly in the immediate aftermath of the increased restrictions.
    you may find australian fact and figures 2006 to be more healpful...it has crime for 10 years from 1996 and on the rhs there is links to the full report
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html

    also the Australian Bureau of Statistics is worth while

    as to our rate of burglary
    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=e...earch&meta=
    open link, recorded crime 2006, then open, data cube table 1
    Burlary per 100,000

    2276.2 in 1997
    2,319.5 in 1998
    2,195.7
    2,281.3
    2,244.9
    2,007.9
    1,781.7
    1,536.6
    1,386.6
    1,271.2 in 2006 ...it has fallen nearly 50%




  19. #19
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    jack412 wrote:
    you may find australian fact and figures 2006 to be more healpful...it has crime for 10 years from 1996 and on the rhs there is links to the full report
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html
    Thanks for the links. Thing is, though, when you're trying to determine the presence or absence of a causal relationship between increased restrictions on firearms ownership and changes in crime rates, you can't only look at the figures from the time period following imposition of the increased restrictions; you have to look at what was going on before as well.

    Sure, since 2001, raw numbers of UEWI have dropped, and from 2004 onwards, they were lower than the numbers for 1995 and 1996; and as you note, the UEWI rate has dropped significantly in the period from 1997 to 2006. But to point at those facts alone is to ignore that UEWI--both in raw numbers and in rates per 100,000 population--didn't start dropping significantly until 2002/2003.

    The fact that UEWI was steadily (albeit not rapidly) increasing prior to the 1997 imposition of new gun laws, and continued to rise in raw numbers (and remain more or less stable in rate/100,000) for five years afterwards, indicates that the subsequent drop was not the result of tighter gun control. It's worth noting that robbery and motor vehicle theft displayed very similar trend patterns, whereas assault and sexual assault did not, indicating that the drop in crimes involving theft in some form is most likely related to an improvement in the economy, and/or possibly a drop in prices of illegal narcotics.

    Conversely, however, the fact that theft-type crimes did drop (and quite dramatically so) at some point after the tighter gun laws were imposed supports the idea that those gun laws were not the cause of that increase (as the drop occurred without the gun laws being repealed).

    The long and short being that, in the case of theft-type offenses at least, the increased firearm restrictions had no effect either way.

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    Euromutt wrote:
    jack412 wrote:
    you may find australian fact and figures 2006 to be more healpful...it has crime for 10 years from 1996 and on the rhs there is links to the full report
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html
    Thanks for the links. Thing is, though, when you're trying to determine the presence or absence of a causal relationship between increased restrictions on firearms ownership and changes in crime rates, you can't only look at the figures from the time period following imposition of the increased restrictions; you have to look at what was going on before as well.

    Sure, since 2001, raw numbers of UEWI have dropped, and from 2004 onwards, they were lower than the numbers for 1995 and 1996; and as you note, the UEWI rate has dropped significantly in the period from 1997 to 2006. But to point at those facts alone is to ignore that UEWI--both in raw numbers and in rates per 100,000 population--didn't start dropping significantly until 2002/2003.

    The fact that UEWI was steadily (albeit not rapidly) increasing prior to the 1997 imposition of new gun laws, and continued to rise in raw numbers (and remain more or less stable in rate/100,000) for five years afterwards, indicates that the subsequent drop was not the result of tighter gun control. It's worth noting that robbery and motor vehicle theft displayed very similar trend patterns, whereas assault and sexual assault did not, indicating that the drop in crimes involving theft in some form is most likely related to an improvement in the economy, and/or possibly a drop in prices of illegal narcotics.

    Conversely, however, the fact that theft-type crimes did drop (and quite dramatically so) at some point after the tighter gun laws were imposed supports the idea that those gun laws were not the cause of that increase (as the drop occurred without the gun laws being repealed).

    The long and short being that, in the case of theft-type offenses at least, the increased firearm restrictions had no effect either way.
    as i said above, we brought in gun control to try and stem mass murder [4+], so far its been successful
    I’m actually just stating our crime numbers and refuting the wild numbers and extreme lengths some go to about other countries..eg. UK Canada and Australia for the perceived benefit of American progun

    We didn’t have ccw and the main change was than guns had to be locked up when not in use and that semi auto rifles were restricted,
    As to what daily crimes were or weren’t effected, simply i say that overall crime rates have gone down..not up
    gun death down 47%
    murder down 25%
    assault up 15%,
    armed robbery down 20%
    burglary down 40%
    car theft down 50%

    I would say that anyone who would say that locking up guns and not having semiauto rifles made any crime go up, has a political motive and a hidden agenda
    Australia has low crime
    usa
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2006/data/table_16.html
    aus
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html

    4 times less than your murder rate
    half your robbery
    less assault
    less car theft
    we have twice your burglary
    rate of per 100 thousand people, per capita so a direct comparison

    MURDER
    usa 6.1
    canada 1.85
    UK 1.55
    aus 1.40

    ROBBERY
    usa 160.4
    aus 83

    vehicular theft
    usa 424.4
    aus 397

    burglary
    usa 748.7
    aus 1,398

    ASSAULT total / aggravated and simple,
    usa 8.3%
    aus 5.9%
    http://www.unicri.it/wwd/analysis/ic...4_05report.pdf

    prisoners per 100k
    usa 714
    uk 142
    Aus 117
    Canada 116
    http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/rel/icps...-list-2005.pdf







  21. #21
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    Aye, perhaps, but how's your population density?
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    jack412 wrote:
    we had 47% less gun death since gun control
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi269.pdf
    Actually, that's not true: there was a 47% reduction in gun deaths from 1991 to 2001, and if we look at the graphs in the source you linked to there (particularly figure 2 on page 3), it's readily apparent that a sizeable chunk of that reduction occurred before the firearm controls were imposed. Moreover, the downward trend levels off after 1998, so if there were any benefit resulting from the tightened gun laws, it was fleeting at best.

    The paper also states in the introduction that "a fall in the number of suicides account[ed] for the largest part of that decrease." That's putting it mildly; of the 296 fewer gun deaths, 244 were firearm suicides (well, firearm "non-suicides," really). In other words, over 82% of the reduction. The drop in firearm homicides accounted for only 12.5% of the reduction.

    It's worth noting, moreover, that figure 7 shows that the bulk of firearm suicides were committed using shotguns and hunting rifles. As we know, the Australian "buyback" mainly targeted semi-auto and pump-action longarms (Category C and D firearms). But firearm suicides--attempted or completed--almost never involve more than one shot being fired, so a Category A or B longarm would serve that purpose just as readily. Putting all this together, the 1996 National Firearms Agreement didn't do much to affect the typical firearm suicide as it would have occurred prior to 1997. This fact, in combination with the aforementioned downward fact that firearm suicides had already been steadily dropping since (at least) 1991, indicates that the tightening of the gun laws cannot have been a significant factor in the drop in firearm deaths (if indeed it was a factor at all, given the stabilization of the number of firearm deaths post-1998).

    Furthermore, and this is the really fundamental point, reduction in gun deaths (or "gun violence") alone is not a valid measure of the success of gun control measures, even though anti-gunners like to pretend it is ex post facto. The main claim used to sell gun control measures, first to politicians and then to the general public, is that will reduce violent crime; that reducing the number of legally held firearms will cause fewer people to be deprived of life, health, and/or property. The implicit claims are that (a) guns that are used for criminal purposes could be made unavailable to their wielders by restricting or banning legal sale and possession of such weapons (i.e. the bulk of crime guns are used by their legal private owners, or come into criminal hands by being transferred by or stolen from their legal private owners, and their removal could not be compensated for, in whole or in part, by theft from government agencies, smuggling, etc.), and that (b) those who do harm with guns, either to others or themselves, will not succeed in acquiring alternative methods of doing harm to equal (let alone greater) extent.

    All these claims are dubious. Historical evidence indicates that, insofar as gun control measures succeed in reducing the incidence of use of firearms in violent crime and suicide (and they don't always manage that), all too often, use of alternative methods compensates for the shortfall. For example, the percentage of Australian homicides commmitted using firearms dropped steadily from 44% in 1968 to 16% in 2001 (notice, by the way, how most of that drop occurred prior to 1997?); homicide overall, however, did not drop concomitantly, indicating that blades, bludgeons, and "personal force" (hands and feet) took the place of firearms. At the end of the day, you're no less dead if you've been knifed, beaten, strangled or poisoned to death than if you've been shot to death. While firearm suicides in Australia have dropped, the number of suicides has not dropped to the same extent, because incidences of hanging have increased (see Suicides: Recent Trends, Australia, 1993 to 2003 from the ABS).

    Meanwhile, criminal use of firearms in western Europe has significantly increased in the past decade, in spite of an absence of increase in guns entering circulation from legal sources. Mostly, the guns have been smuggled in from former Warsaw Pact nations and former Yugoslav republics. This is not a matter of supply driving demand. During the Communist collapse, 1989-1991, Soviet soldiers about to be withdrawn from eastern Europe were readily flogging their hardware to anyone who would buy it. You could pick up an RGD-5 frag grenade or a Makarov pistol for 50 Deutschmarks, and an AK-74 for 200 DM, and yet the availability of these weapons did not stimulate violent crime in western Europe. But in recent years, the flow of illicitly trafficked weapons has increased in response to demand.

    The UK is a prime example of how increased gun restrictions do not guarantee an increase in public safety. In the decade following Dunblane, even though private firearms ownership was practically legislated out of existence, gun crime in the UK doubled. Now, I'm not going to argue that the increased restrictions were the cause of this, but they clearly failed to counteract it.

    Not only were Australia's post-Port Arthur gun laws followed by a decade in which the crime they were designed to reduce hasn't happened again, [...] but we also saw a life-saving bonus: the decline in overall gun deaths accelerated to twice the rate seen before the new gun laws
    Wrong. The declining trend in gun deaths predated the gun laws (ergo, no causal relationship), and while it initially accelerated after the imposition of the gun laws, it subsequently ceased to exist after 1998. If there is any causal relationship, it's seems to be that the gun laws halted the decline which had been going for over twenty years.

    10 years, no mass killing [4+] we were averaging nearly one a year
    From 1989 to 1996. The primary source (be it directly or indirectly) for your statement is chapter 4 ("Mass and Serial Murders in Australia") of Homicidal encounters: a study of homicide in Australia 1989-1999 (Mouzos, 2000, published by the AIC).

    It would be more correct to say Australia was averaging nearly one "mass" shooting a year, because there were 13 "mass" killings during that time period, of which 6 were carried out using firearms, and 7 using other methods (3 with knives, 2 with arson, and 6 with bludgeons and/or personal force). The fact that more "mass killings were committed without firearms than were commited with suggests that the availability of firearms wasn't a major cause of "mass" killings. This is reinforced by the fact that, as you correctly note, there have been no "mass" killings since mid-1997. Now, if the tightened gun laws had been followed only by a cessation of "mass" shootings, that would suggest a plausible causal relationship. But how plausible is it that tightened gun control stopped murders by non-gun means? Perhaps, just perhaps, the stop in "mass" killings was caused by something else, something that would also explain why non-gun "mass" killings stopped.

    Note that I keep putting "mass" in scare quotes. That's to a large extent because the cutoff of four or more seems rather arbitrary. Why not five? Why not three? Why should we even consider "mass" killings to be special? By this criterium, two triple murders seem to matter less than a single quadruple murder, even though the non-"mass" killings result in half again as many deaths.

    Which brings me to the fact that murder by firearm has by no means ceased in Australia since 1997. Between January 1998 and February 2006, Melbourne saw an extensive series of organized crime murders that left 34 people dead. If they'd been killed in groups of four or five, rather than in ones and twos, that'd be enough for your average of one "mass" killing a year right there. In addition, you had the Moorrabbin police murders, where two cops were shot and killed in a single incident. Note the "shot" part; the same applied for most of the Melbourne gangland killings, indicating that the criminal element in Australia continues to have access to firearms.

    We didn’t have ccw and the main change was than guns had to be locked up when not in use and that semi auto rifles were restricted,
    As to what daily crimes were or weren’t effected, simply i say that overall crime rates have gone down..not up
    gun death down 47%
    murder down 25%
    assault up 15%,
    armed robbery down 20%
    burglary down 40%
    car theft down 50%
    Sure they did. But it's not as simple as you're trying to make out. Where gun deaths and homicide are concerned, the downward trend predates the imposition of the increased gun laws; in the case of theft-type crimes, the downward trend didn't start until five years after the increased gun laws were imposed. Either way, the causal link is tenuous at best (which is a polite way of saying it's bulls**t). It's far more likely that the downward trends were caused, when they were caused, by other factors than the tightened gun controls, and thus would therefore have happened even if the additional gun control laws had not been imposed.

    Australia has low crime
    usa
    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2006/data/table_16.html
    aus
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/f...ded_crime.html

    4 times less than your murder rate
    half your robbery
    less assault
    less car theft
    we have twice your burglary
    rate of per 100 thousand people, per capita so a direct comparison
    Yeah, but you made you sure you picked a year that provided a comparison most favorable to Australia, didn't you? I notice you reference the 2004-2005 ICVS report in your post, but you don't mention the 2000 ICVS report. If we take a dekko at chapter 2 of the latter, I think we can see why.

    Of the 17 industrialized countries surveyed in the 2000 ICVS, Australia comes off very badly indeed: 2nd in car theft (the US came in 14th), 3rd in theft from cars (the US came in 4th), 1st in burglary (attempted and completed; the US came in 6th, with the caveat that the US had a comparatively high number of failed attempts, and that if only completed burglaries were counted, the US would have come in lower in the rankings), 1st in "contact crime" (robbery, assault with force and sexual assault on females; the US came in 13th), and 1st in "overall victimization" (the US came in 11th).

    Why the disparity? It's not gun laws, because nothing changed between 2000 and 2004. But during that period, the US experienced an economic downturn (starting in 2001 with the "dot-com bust") while Australia apparently experienced an economic upturn starting in 2001. That seems significant to me.

    As for the homicide factor, consider this: in any given year, about 2/3 of American homicides are committed using guns, leaving 1/3 by other means. If we imagine, for the sake of the argument, that all those firearm homicides could be eliminated entirely by reducing legal availability of firearms (i.e. that none of the killers would resort to a different weapon), the American homicide rate for 2006 would drop to ~2.0, and thus still be higher than Australia's at 1.5. This means that there are other factors at work than simple availability of firearms.

    I would say that anyone who would say that locking up guns and not having semiauto rifles made any crime go up, has a political motive and a hidden agenda
    I quite agree, which is why I've taken a skeptical attitude toward the notion that the tightened gun laws in Australia caused an increase in violent crime. At the same time, in the immediate wake of increased gun controls, there was an increase in violent crime, which the increased gun laws failed to prevent from occurring.

    And so the evidence indicates that gun laws do nothing to improve public safety (which is their only selling point), and even if they don't do harm either, that fact by itself is insufficient to justify their existence. In any democratic society, where the government supposedly derives its legitimacy from the consent of the governed, any restriction of citizens' freedom can only legitimately be imposed when there is a positive and compelling reason to do so, and generally, that justification comes down to protecting the life, limb and property of other citizens. If gun control doesn't improve public safety, there's no justification for it.

    Sure, there's evidence that in some cases, gun control has led to a reduction of the amount of crime that is committed with guns, but when--all other things being equal--crime does not go down, and criminals instead start using blades and bludgeons (against which their victims, generally being less proficient with such weapons, and now bereft of firearms, are less able to defend themselves), you haven't improved public safety. This is why, anytime you hear an anti-gun group claiming success, you have to look closely at what they're actually reporting; usually, they're talking about reductions in "gun violence," and assiduously avoid making any reference to violent crime overall. When that's the case, it's invariably because violent crime didn't go down, and public safety wasn't improved.

  23. #23
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Euromutt wrote:
    jack412 wrote:
    we had 47% less gun death since gun control
    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi269.pdf
    *very cogent and impressive analysis*
    EXCELLENT rebuttal!!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    [/quote]
    my main position is simple, gun control didnt make any crime go up, as is the claim
    what fall in crime because of gun control would be a bonus, we did it for “many” murder 4+
    I own 7 guns from a 7.62 target rifle to a rim 22 pistol and I wouldn’t consider myself antigun and though my posts to be reasonably factual. i didnt come to piss in your school sand box

    Euromutt said
    Actually, that's not true: there wasnt a 47% reduction in gun deaths from 1991 to 2001,
    … In other words, over 82% of the reduction. The drop in firearm homicides accounted for only 12.5% of the reduction.
    etc.

    Jack said
    You might want to recheck your maths…its worse than mine LOL
    there wasnt that much i agreed with in your post, can you rerun it and i'll reply

    http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi269.pdf
    [/quote]
    refer

    Table 2: Firearm related deaths: rate per 100 000 population

    Gun buyback 1996/7, and the following is aprox,

    your right its not 47% total gun dearth, thank you for correcting me..it was an oversight, I looked at the chart and just assumed the numbers were right,

    on close inspection… 1996/7 to 2001

    its about 40% gun death

    gun murder is about 50%

    suicide 30%

    accident 45%



    what would be the average reduction % ?

    but it should a yearly to 2005-6 or 7 depending what the latest numbers would be, to get a better idea

    numbers would be available from
    Australian Bureau of Statistics let me know what you find



    if you want to crawl all over the numbers..start here I have given both sides to you before

    our progun political party report

    http://www.shootersparty.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id= 36&Itemid=9



    The reforms did not affect rates of firearm homicide in Australia.The reforms could not be shown to alter rates of firearm suicide, because rates of suicide using other methods also began to decline in the late 1990’s.It is likely that social changes including increased resource allocation for suicide prevention impacted on rates of suicide by all methods, including firearms.It must be concluded that the gun buyback and restrictive legislative changes had no influence on firearm homicide in Australia.

    http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/GunLawsSudden%20DeathBJC.pdf full text



    rebuttal

    http://forum.physorg.com/index.php?showtopic=14355



    “We find reductions in both gun homicide and gun suicide rates that are statistically significant, meaning that they are larger than would have been expected by mere chance,” Dr Leigh said.“Our best estimates are that the gun buyback has saved between 128 and 282 lives per year.”

    http://econrsss.anu.edu.au/pdf/DP555.pdf for full text













  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    jack412 wrote:
    i didnt come to piss in your school sand box
    I'm quite enjoying it and was much impressed with Euromutt's parsing of statistics. I started to look at it and just didn't have enough motivation on the issue to go to that extreme.

    You, jack412, have obviously investigated the issue as well. I think the discussion between you two is adding to our overall understanding of the trends and dispelling a lot of the erroneous rhetoric on both sides for those of us following this thread.











    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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