Saturday, September 04, 2010

One of Howard's "greatest legacies"

New research into the effect of John Howard's firearms restrictions after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 argues that it has saved more than 200 lives each year and hundreds of millions of dollars. It has also cut multiple death shootings in Australia from one every year or two to zero over the last thirteen years.

The restrictions banned certain weapons (semi-automatic rifles and certain shotguns) and involved the compulsory purchase of about 660,000 weapons. It was one of Howard's first major initiatives after being elected and was very divisive at the time. The new research seems to vindicate his position.

I have always thought it was a good move and coming as it did on the cusp of my eligibility to begin voting, it gave me a positive impression of Howard.

12 comments:

Mike W said...

yes, hooray for not shooting people!

Though I was chatting with my Dad yesterday, who was enquiring about trying to get a handgun. He does a lot of bushwalking and there is a serious problem with wild dogs at the moment. There has been a few attacks on walkers by packs.
Dad with a gun is still more scary

byron smith said...

Really, wild dogs? Where? I haven't heard about this.

craigbenno1 said...

Byron...this article is actually miss-leading...I have been involved in the area of suicide awareness and prevention for a number of years now.

Levels of firearm related suicide were already on a significant decrease over a 10 year period before the gun buyback happened...and so the statistic is considered to be a natural progression as to what was already happening.

While xyz guns were handed in, the majority of those who did so, still had other legal firearms..so the buyback never actually decreased the availability of firearms to anyone...

The other issue to consider is that firearm related crime has continued to increase throughout Australia.. mostly using handguns which the average Australian firearm user has no access to.

Mike... if your dad lives in Australia he has no chance to acquire a handgun for the reasons you mentioned.

I come from a rural background and firearm usage was often a part of my work. We had wild dog problems on the outskirts of Sydney...which were for the most part residential dogs on the loose... but through the Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands etc there are large packs of 3rd 4th generation of domestic dogs gone feral.

byron smith said...

Thanks Craig for this extra information, though you've just blown a hole in another attempt to say something positive about Howard!

byron smith said...

Another study finds suicide rates have dropped faster than the trend prior to the laws being introduced. And no massacres since the laws, whereas there were 13 during the previous 18 years.

byron smith said...

Craig - I know this is almost a year since your comment, but do you have a source for your claim that the buyback never actually decreased the availability of firearms to anyone?

byron smith said...

Jason Alexander (a.k.a. George Costanza) lays out why military assault weapons are not covered by the second amendment.

byron smith said...

Michael Moore: Guns don't kill people, Americans do.

byron smith said...

MoJo: 58 US mass shootings in the last 30 years.

byron smith said...

Lethal Logic - myth-busting facts about US gun control.

byron smith said...

Takei: Hey, I want to fly an F-14. Makes a simple argument nicely. We regulate access to dangerous things. We strictly regulate access to very dangerous things.

byron smith said...

Atlantic: The secret history of guns. Gun control has historically been used to control blacks.