Aussie Lectures Us Yanks About How Gun Prohibition is So Good

Australia now has much stricter gun laws because of a mass shooting, so Andrew Leigh, a member of the Australian House of Representatives, wrote in the Huffington Post about how this prohibition and gun buyback “reduced deaths.” Yeah, this is a real convincing piece.

Overall, the firearms homicide and firearms suicide rates had been trending steadily downwards through the 1980s and early 1990s, but the fall accelerated after the buyback. Analyzing variations in the amount of guns turned in for buyback between states, we again found the same result: in states where more firearms were bought back, there was a bigger drop in gun deaths.

Although the policy was aimed at reducing gun homicides, we found that its effect was mostly to reduce the gun suicide rate, with most of the 200 lives saved being averted suicides. This makes sense once you realize that the ratio of firearms suicides to homicides is around 4 to 1 in Australia.

Stop the nonsense! Here is a detailed analysis of suicides in general and gun suicides. Do you see any dramatic change from 1996 and 1997 when the new policies were implemented? Neither do I. suichisty But why would one expect getting rid of long guns to have any effect on suicide rates anyway?

The truth is that the semiauto and pump firearms that were the target of the ban/buyback have no more value for suicide than any of the allowed firearms.  If one shoots oneself in the head with a rapid fire gun, one does not then take another shot.  It takes only one shot to commit suicide.  So one should not expect the ban (that hardly reduced the stock of long arms and didn’t reduce the stock of handguns at all) to have had any impact on suicide.

So the entire “Australia reduced suicide because so many were being committed with rapid-fire long-guns” story is self-evident nonsense. The Huffington Post article is a snow job. And it seems much the same on the issue of gun crime. By this article’s reasoning, the NRA is responsible for the reduction of gun deaths in the United States. Seriously. The writer claims:

Yet since 1977, when Harlan Carter and Wayne LaPierre took over the organization, the NRA has taken progressively more hardline positions: opposing bans on armor-piercing bullets, describing federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” Australia’s gun lobbies have never been as well resourced, connected or politically extreme.

I remember the “jack-booted thugs” comment. I’m sure Carter and LaPierre should have called the Federal Agents who attacked the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, tortured the women and children, and then used flammable gas that—totally by accident I’m sure—incinerated everyone inside, and then raised their flag over the burning bodies of said women and children, a bunch of national heroes who we should allow to take all our guns because they are so trustworthy. Maybe that’s how Australians bend over for any man in body armor with a badge, but that’s not our culture. But back to my point, with this rise in the evil radicalized NRA came… a continuing drop in gun deaths. Here’s a local story from Tyler, Texas that didn’t get much press in the national news: “Gun homicides down dramatically, Americans unaware.”

While you may be seeing more and more shooting, the fact is, overall gun homicide rates have dropped dramatically over the past two decades, according to a recent study.

More than half of Americans believe gun violence has increased over the past two decades, but what you’re watching on the news, may be skewing your view.

That recent study said compared to 1993, the peak of US gun homicide, the rate was 49 percent lower in 2010, even though the population had grown. In other words, fewer people are dying by guns.

Assaults, robberies, and sex crimes also went down by 75 percent in 2011. Perhaps images from shooting crime scenes seem all too familiar, but perhaps the attention to gun violence in recent months has caused more Americans to be unaware that gun crimes are actually markedly lower than they were two decades ago.

There have been about two mass shootings per month in the US over the past five years, according to another report. A mass shooting is constituted as four deaths or more, but this study said each year less than one percent of gun homicides are from mass shootings. Between 1983 and 2012 there were 547 deaths from mass shootings. These shootings are highly publicized and the public is paying close attention.

So there you go. The NRA gets all radical and the crime rate keeps dropping.