Re: those NRA Australian statistics examined

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 00:14:47 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote:
> Here's something from an Oz site, posted March 25 this year
> with some [explications by me]

Thanks Damien. I would prefer, however, to see the actual statistics
released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, rather than what some
gun control group claims they are. From my own experience with gun
control groups here in the US, they are superb liars and propagandists,
and while I might be wrong about your groups down there, I don't think
they can be that much different.

Since the ABS hasn't posted any actual stats on crime on its website, do
you think you could access their data at your university library?

> ==============
> Aside from a host of factual errors (including a description of "Mr" Meg
> Lees of the Australian Democrats as the leader of "a small but vocal group
> of hard leftists") [she leads a middle-of-the-road but by Oz standards
> slightly rightish minority party] more serious misinformation in the pieces
> include the following claims, with correct data provided from Australian
> Bureau of Statistics and Australian Institute of Criminology publications:
> The claims incorrectly assume that 1997 is the first year after the new
> gun laws became operative. In 1996-7 the laws were changed. 1998 is the
> first year statistics can be tested.
> Claim 1. Australian homicides are up 3.2% since the new laws.
> In 1998, compared to the average of the two years prior to new gun laws
> becoming operative (1996-1997), gun homicides dropped by 37.8%. Murder by
> all means dropped 13.7%.
> Claim 2. Armed robberies are up by a "whopping" 44% since the new laws.
> In fact the rate of armed robbery increase dropped 12% in 1998.

the 'rate of armed robberies increase' dropped 12% does not contradict
that the rate of armed robberies went up by 44%, only that this rate is
12% lower than the increase of the previous year, so that in 1997, armed
robberies went up by about 49%, possibly. Must pay attention to the
terms used.

> Claim 3. Assaults are up 8.6% since the new laws. In fact the rate of
> assaults increase dropped by 4.2% in 1998.

So the assaults were up 9% in the previous period, and increased this
period by only 8.6%?

> Claim 4. In [the state of] Victoria there was a 300% increase in
> homicides following the new laws. In fact the homicide rate in Victoria
> dropped by 19.8% in 1998. Victoria has for many years had the lowest
> homicide rate of the six Australian states. In three months we will have
> the 1999 ABS statistics. These will allow the matter to be re-examined.

I'd be interested to see whether the definitions changed.

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