There is an email circulating about Australia and guns. Like many emails, it may err from the truth to make a point.
I am not a statistician, criminologist or a gun owner. I just want the facts about gun ownership in Australia to be portrayed somewhat accurately.
I’m not making conclusions or taking a stand – just providing some data.
Facts about Guns and Australia.
As a response to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 where 35 people were killed and 23 people were injured the Australian Government enacted the following policy, by the way since this policy came into effect there has not been a mass shooting since:
“Under federal government co-ordination all states and territories of Australia banned and heavily restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading and pump-action shotguns, and heavily tightened controls on their legal use. The government initiated a “buy-back” scheme with the owners paid according to a table of valuations. Some 643,000 firearms were handed in at a cost of $350 million which was funded by a temporary increase in the Medicare levy which raised $500 million*”
The below link shows that since 1997, gun related deaths and homicides have fallen. In 2010 there were two handgun related deaths in Australia.
In 2010 gun related deaths in Australia were 1.06 per 1,000.
In 2010 gun related deaths in the US were 10.26 per 1,000.
The number of homicides has fallen:
Homicide victims from 1993 to 2007 (number per year)
Homicides from firearms are a smaller percentage of total homicides.
Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides, 1915-2003
Source: Adapted from ABS causes of death 1915-2003 data
Violent Crime has gone up:
Violent crimes from 1996 to 2007 (per 100,000 persons per year)
The number of robberies is similar today to 1996:
Robbery victims from 1995 to 2007 (number per month)
- Robberies rose again in 2007 to 17,988 from 17,284 in 2006 but remains lower than recorded in the early 2000s.
- The proportion of robberies in 2007 involving a weapon (43%) was similar to that in 2006 (44%).
- The numbers of both armed and unarmed robberies peaked in March 2001. Armed and unarmed robberies follow similar monthly patterns.
Again to stress, no conclusions – just the facts – you are free to draw from this data what you will.
The charts were taken from the Australian Institute of Criminology.