Re: those NRA Australian statistics examined

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Apr 10 2000 - 01:18:30 MDT

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

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, the new laws were
legislated between 3rd quarter of 1996 and April of 1997 in the various
states of australia, so while a few states were not in compliance until
2nd quarter of 1997, this does not statistically invalidate the whole
year. The AIC also states that the only area of firearms related deaths
that has seen any statistically relevant decrease is suicides, (from an
average around 480 annually down to 331 in 1997). If the mass killing in
the once incident at Port Arthur in Tasmania is removed from the
statistics for 1996, it would have been an unremarkable year compared to
any other, and any 'decrease' that the progunners are claiming are
decreases from this abnormal high point in firearms deaths, which is
only to be expected due to it being an erroneous event. Outside of
suicide, 1997's numbers are almost exactly the same as the numbers for

This illustrates that the Australian gun controllers are exhibiting the
same sort of dishonesty as the gun controllers here in the US, where
they treat suicide as a crime that has a perpetrator and victim that are
different people, and that they are using non-valid datapoints to
measure their supposed 'decreases'.

Additionally, even counting the Tasmania incident, the 1995-1996 period
shows in the study here:
that the percent of homicides that are firearms related is pretty
average, around 21% of all homicides, and it shows that Tasmania
specifically tends to exhibit a much higher percentage of firearms
homicides than any other state in the Commonwealth.

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