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Gun Control Really Didn’t Lower Australian Homicides and Suicides

Yesterday, Vox posted an article praising Australia’s gun control and its effect on, what they claimed, was their reduction in homicides and suicides. The author, Zack Beauchamp, obviously didn’t do their research and solely relied on editorialized headlines. The title reads:
Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted. It’s a far cry from the truth.

First off, they conveniently gloss over the fact that it reduced the rate of homicides and suicides involving firearms. Not an overall decrease. What’s even more interesting is that In the same study (which Beauchamp mentions), the researcher even said,

It should be noted that the standard errors on these estimates are fairly large, so that estimates of the declines in firearm homicide rates are usually not statistically significantly distinguishable from no effect.

So saying it even reduced just suicides and homicides involving firearms, isn’t accurate.

Beauchamp is taking some LARGE liberties in their conclusion. They are clearly trying to champion a cause, and incorrectly citing research to justify their conclusion. If one were to look at homicide rates in Australia before and after the NFA, it paints a different picture. From Homicide Statistics, research paper(Homicides per 100,000):


Country 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996(NFA Enecated) 1997 1998 1999
 Australia[17] 2.0 1.9 1.7 1.7 1.8 1.80 1.70 1.73 1.52 1.81


Country 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
 Australia[90] 1.89 1.79 1.86 1.71 1.50 1.48 1.56 1.35 1.37 1.34


Country 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Count
 Australia[125] 1.16 230

If anything, it had no affect on violent crime, as the rates of homicide per 100,000 are all over the board, ranging from higher homicide rates, to lower.

“But Polytarian, you forgot about suicide rates!” Fear not. I also looked into their suicide rates. After the NFA was enacted, their suicide rates actually had a jump (for males) from 1996-1999. Sadly, I can’t provide ‘pretty’ tables or graphs without redoing work that’s already been done (damn PDFs), but the aforementioned link will show that under Figure 1.

I hope, one day, we can address the issue of violence in the US. But time and time again, restricting firearms is not an end to those means. However, I don’t foresee this happening until the spread of gross misinformation stops.

Oh yeah, take Vox and Zack Beauchamp’s articles with a grain of salt.

Published inFirearmsGun Control

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