No law that restricts access to guns will do anything to stop criminal violence, because, after all, criminals don't care about laws. That's what makes them criminals.
The situation in NSW Australia in 2015 has gone along the path that would generally be predicted in the circumstances. The circumstances being the unwillingness of Australians to accept peer reviewed evidence that conflicts with their prejudices.
The mere possibility that the intended victim might be armed serves to deter most criminals.
Those who believe that a high homicide rate results from greater firearms availability might like to consider the data compiled by the National Injury Surveillance Unit (from Killias 1993. That liberal institution have deleted their web page, but a copy exists here) comparing firearms ownership and homicide rate in Switzerland with that in England & Wales (reproduced below).
|England & Wales||
If availability of firearms caused homicide, then why do the SWISS, who have five times as many guns per head of population when compared to ENGLAND, have fewer murders per head of population?
As for availability of
guns causing suicide. Back in 2000 AD I copied this file from the
Australian Bureau of Statistics site. If you look at total
suicide deaths by year, (Table 9.3) you will see that there is < 10%
variance year on year until the year that gun controls were
introduced. (see if you can guess when that was). Then, if
you look at Table 9.5 and look at deaths by "firearms and explosives"
you will find that total person deaths by firearms went from 23.7% in
1988 to 12.2% in 1997.
So the ad hoc conclusion must be that
taking guns away from people seemingly made people more likely to
commit suicide. (But at least the control people can console
themselves that suicides were much less likely to use a gun to kill
Oh, and in case you didn't guess it, John
Howard introduced the gun control legislation in 1996.
"Well why", you might ask, "do the Australian authorities not admit that they were wrong, and liberalize gun laws?"
answer is that there is self interest by those who wield
political and media power. While it is a proven beyond reasonable
doubt fact that guns in the hands of "we the people"
reduce violent crime, murder, robbery and aggravated assault against
population at large (see John
Lott below), it would appear
those with a
high media profile are in fact at greater risk when guns
are held by ordinary citizens.
For instance, out of 43 US
presidents, 4 were "removed" from office by guns, and another four took
sick leave as a result of guns. Those odds are much worse than
for a soldier in an active war theater. (~10% fatality rate, ~10%
wounded rate). And a disproportionate number of
governors, senators, representatives and media personalities (e.g. John
Lennon) have been attacked.
WHERE IS THE
John R. Lott, Jr., School of Law, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637 and David B. Mustard; Department of Economics; University of Chicago; Chicago, Illinois 60637 wrote an academic paper dated July 26, 1996 on their research into "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns". Following is the abstract:
Using cross-sectional time-series data for U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992, we find that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes, without increasing accidental deaths. If those states without right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, county- and state-level data indicate that approximately 1,500 murders would have been avoided yearly. Similarly, we predict that rapes would have declined by over 4,000, robbery by over 11,000, and aggravated assaults by over 60,000. We also find criminals substituting into property crimes involving stealth, where the probability of contact between the criminal and the victim is minimal. Further, higher arrest and conviction rates consistently reduce crime. The estimated annual gain from all remaining states adopting these laws was at least $5.74 billion in 1992. The annual social benefit from an additional concealed handgun permit is as high as $5,000.The original paper was written for an academic audience and has a lot of jargon in it. The subject is treated in a more comprehensible & user friendly manner in John Lott's book.
When the Lott-Mustard article originally appeared it
provoked an uproar among control advocates. In
1998 local gun control advocate Associate Professor Chapman admitted
defeat when he wrote "With the national armed
robbery rate up 47%, . . no downturn in gun suicides or domestic
slayings . . was it (i.e. the taxation funded buyback of
guns) all for nothing?
intervening nineteen years nobody has been able to refute Lott &
Mustard's findings. Many have tried, but read them
yourself. (e.g. google "refutations of Lott Mustard
paper"). They mostly aren't worth reading, and one cannot help
but wonder how
the authors were ever employed as research assistants.
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