FEE has published an excellent article debunking the notion that Australia “solved” mass shootings by confiscating civilian firearms.
New Zealand is Australia’s neighbor and is very similar to it socioeconomically, but unlike Australia, it retained the legal availability of guns that were banned and confiscated in Australia in 1996. It thus served as a useful control group to observe whatever effects gun control had on mass shootings.
The authors of the study found that, after taking into account difference in population size, Australia and New Zealand did not have statistically different trends in mass shootings before or after 1996. Indeed, New Zealand has not had a mass shooting since 1997, “despite the availability in that country of firearms banned in Australia.”
…a 2016 American Medical Association (AMA) study, which examined trends in firearm homicides and suicides before and after the adoption of gun control in Australia in 1996[,] found no evidence of a statistically significant effect of gun control on the pre-existing downward trend of the firearm homicide rate.
…[The AMA study] concluded that “it is not possible to determine whether the change in firearm deaths can be attributed to the gun law reforms.”
Basically, gun control advocates have built their entire case about Australian gun control on lazy data analysis, or perhaps no data analysis at all. If anything, Australia proves the complete opposite of what advocates of gun control want.
A national gun confiscation scheme which reduced the civilian firearm stock by an astounding twenty percent and nobody can seem to find any clear evidence it caused a meaningful effect on the firearm murder rate? That’s not only embarrassing, it goes against everything they believe about the nature of the relationship between guns and murder rates.
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Author: Mike Vine