those NRA Australian statistics examined

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sun Apr 09 2000 - 20:14:55 MDT

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.

  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.

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

  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.




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