There’s some interesting statistics that liberals push in their quest for gun control and some interesting facts that prove they haven’t done their homework in order to push a desired narrative.
Warning: This is a long read. Take your time to read through the whole blog post or bookmark it to read later. The actual data/stories out of Melbourne are an eye-opener yet not surprising.
In response to the Vegas shooting, liberals love to trot out the gun-control example of Australia and its mandatory gun buyback which resulted after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. During that mass shooting, 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded.
A brief history of Australia’s mandatory gun buyback, from to Wikipedia:
“Australians reacted to the event with widespread shock and horror, and the political effects were significant and long-lasting. The federal government led state governments, some of which (notably Tasmania itself and Queensland) were opposed to new gun laws, to severely restrict the availability of firearms. While surveys showed up to 85% of Australians ‘supported gun control’,] many people opposed the new laws. Concern was raised within the Coalition Government that fringe groups such as the ‘Ausi Freedom Scouts’, the Australian League of Rights and the Citizen Initiated Referendum Party, were exploiting voter anger to gain support. After discovering that the Christian Coalition and US National Rifle Association were supporting the gun lobby, the government and media cited their support, along with the moral outrage of the community to discredit the gun lobby as extremists.
Under federal government co-ordination, all states and territories of Australia restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns, and tightened controls on their legal use by recreational shooters. The government initiated a mandatory “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. Media, activists, politicians and some family members of victims, notably Walter Mikac (who lost his wife and two children), spoke out in favour of the changes.”
On October 3, two days after the Vegas shooting, Vox author Ella Nilsen published an article entitled, “The Weeds: Australia solved its gun problem. Could America?”
Excerpt from Ella’s article:
“Through that program, the government was able to get rid of about 650,000 guns. But as Sarah notes, the program went further still, introducing a ban on automatic and semiautomatic weapons, putting in new licensing requirements, and making people wait 28 days before they purchased a gun.
The proposal worked, with suicide rates in Australia dropping about 57 percent after the reforms were implemented, and homicide rates dropping 47 percent, according to studies by Harvard researchers.”
I decided to click on the “proposal worked” link to verify Ella’s statement that “suicide rates in Australia dropping about 57 percent” and “homicide rates dropping 47 percent.”
When I clicked on that link, it took me to a Vox article dated one day before the Vegas shooting on October 2: “Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.”
The author of that Vox article is Zack Beauchamp, whose Twitter bio says “Senior Reporter. Vox. (((Globalist))). From Zack’s article:
“It is worth considering, as one data point in the pool of evidence about what sorts of gun control policies do and do not work, the experience of Australia. Between October 1996 and September 1997, Australia responded to its own gun violence problem with a solution that was both straightforward and severe: It collected roughly 650,000 privately held guns. It was one of the largest mandatory gun buyback programs in recent history.
And it worked. That does not mean that something even remotely similar would work in the US — they are, needless to say, different countries — but it is worth at least looking at their experience.
According to one academic estimate, the buyback took in and destroyed 20 percent of all privately owned guns in Australia. Analysis of import data suggests that Australians haven’t purchased nearly enough guns in the past 18 years to make up for the initial decline.”
I decided to click on the “import data” link to verify Zack’s statement that “Australians haven’t purchase nearly enough guns in the past 18 years to make up for the initial decline.”
When I clicked on that link, it took me to a PDF discussion paper entitled, “Do Gun Buyback Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data.” The paper is authored by Andrew Leigh from Australian National University and IZA*, and Christine Neill from Wilfrid Laurier University. The discussion paper is dated June 2010.
*From Wikipedia: The IZA – Institute of Labor Economics (German: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit), until 2016 referred to as the Institute of the Study of Labor (IZA), is a private, independent economic research institute and academic network focused on the analysis of global labor markets and headquartered in Bonn, Germany.
IZA is supported by the Deutsche Post Foundation. From my web research, I found that the Deutsche Post Foundation is a non-profit think tank from Germany’s largest employer, Deutsche Post, which is a postal service and international courier service company (the world’s largest).
According to Handelsblatt Global, the think tank is headed by Klaus Zumwinkel, a former Post chief executive who was convicted of tax evasion in 2009. Despite his conviction for tax evasion, the former executive is still in charge (as of 2015) of the multi-million-euro, not-for-profit foundation and an influential non-profit economic research institute, both of which have links to Deutsche Post.
Mr. Zumwinkel, who is in self-imposed exile in Italy and London, founded the Deutsche Post Foundation in 1998 during his tenure as chief executive and chairman of the postal service. (I could not read the rest of the article due to subscription requirement.)
So back to the discussion paper dated June 2010. From the abstract:
“In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth. Using differences across states in the number of firearms withdrawn, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected firearm homicide and suicide rates. We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 per cent [sic], with no statistically significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The estimated effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude, but is less precise. The results are robust to a variety of specification checks, and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate.”
I’m not surprised that the first Vox link took me to another Vox article. And I’m not surprised that the “import data” link Vox provided took me to a discussion paper from over seven years ago. Why didn’t Vox provide some more current statistical information? That is a rhetorical question, of course.
So what has been happening with gun violence in Australia since their mandatory gun buyback program? Here’s some current information that you will find interesting and liberals will not promote.
I found a 2016 three-part series published by the Melbourne newspaper called The Age. There is no date stamp on the articles yet their statistical data charts go through 2016. The series is entitled, “How Melbourne Became a Gun City.” Here’s the title of the three articles:
- Part One: Young, Dumb and Armed
- Part Two: Gunslingers of the Northwest
- Part Three: Chasing the Silver Bullet
Statistical data in the series is courtesy of the Coroners Court of Victoria, Crimes Statistics Agency, and Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit.
Below are highlights from each of the articles. Feel free to read them on your own time as they provide a lot of information regarding gun violence that still exists, and is growing, in the liberals’ favorite “gun-control model” of Australia.
A brazen new breed of criminals is taking up arms at unprecedented rates and they aren’t afraid to use them.
Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.
Shootings have become almost a weekly occurrence, with more than 125 people, mostly young men, wounded in the past five years.
While the body count was higher during Melbourne’s ‘Underbelly War’ (1999-2005), more people have been seriously maimed in the recent spate of shootings and reprisals.
Crimes associated with firearm possession have also more than doubled, driven by the easy availability of handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and, increasingly, machine guns, that are smuggled into the country or stolen from licensed owners.
In this series, Fairfax Media looks at Melbourne’s gun problem and the new breed of criminals behind the escalating violence. The investigation has found:
- There have been at least 99 shootings in the past 20 months – more than one incident a week since January 2015
- Known criminals were caught with firearms 755 times last year, compared to 143 times in 2011
- The epicentre of the problem is a triangle between Coolaroo, Campbellfield and Glenroy in the north-west, with Cranbourne, Narre Warren and Dandenong in the south-east close behind
- Criminals are using gunshot wounds to the arms and legs as warnings to pay debts
- Assault rifles and handguns are being smuggled into Australia via shipments of electronics and metal parts
In response to the violence, it can be revealed the state government is planning to introduce new criminal offences for drive-by shootings, manufacturing of firearms with new technologies such as 3D printers, and more police powers to keep weapons out of the hands of known criminals.
It is the triangle of Melbourne suburbs where those with guns rule the streets and sleeping children are no longer safe from the bullets.
As a wave of gun crime washes through Melbourne’s streets – with at least 100 shootings in the past 20 months – the number of bullets being fired has inevitably led to unintended victims.
These neighbourhoods are littered with reminders of violence: there is the business owned by a man who lost one brother at the end of a firearm, another to a drug overdose; the street in Dallas where a 19-year-old was found dying from a gunshot wound in July; the Broadmeadows house, with the carcasses of three cars in the front yard, which was struck in a recent drive-by shooting.
Typically, guns fall into the hands of criminals in three ways: stolen from registered owners, mostly from farms or other regional properties; illegally imported; or from the “grey market” of illicit firearms created after a wider range of guns were made illegal as part of sweeping reforms introduced in 1996.
Gun violence is gripping the city and as Victoria’s justice system and politicians come under fire for failing to tackle the crime wave, cops on the frontline have become the targets of real bullets.
Meanwhile, the number of guns on the street swells. Firearms offences have doubled in the past five years. There is now a shooting once a week. It is only a matter of time before more innocent people get caught in the crossfire.
Last year alone, there were 755 incidents in which “prohibited persons” – those with serious criminal convictions – were caught with firearms. It’s a five-fold increase since 2011, according to the Crime Statistics Agency.
Part of the problem is no one can really pin down where all the illegal guns are coming from. Authorities point to the “grey market” the term given to rifles and shotguns that were not handed back in the 1996 amnesty that followed the Port Arthur massacre and have circulated for the past two decades.
A new national gun amnesty, which many have advocated for, would lead to the voluntary surrender of illicit weapons. Gun control advocates say a new amnesty would particularly target those grey market firearms.
But that argument doesn’t account for the many handguns that have been used in recent shootings. Handguns were not part of the original amnesty, and hence are not part of the grey market.
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief executive officer Chris Dawson admits the “serious national problem” of illegal guns circulating through the country is far from well-defined. Guns, points out Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Stephen Fontana, are surprisingly easy to hide, and traffick.
The next time a liberal tells you how wonderful Australia’s gun buyback program has worked, point them to the “How Melbourne Became a Gun City” series. Remind them that criminals never follow the laws.
Thanks for reading!