Gun Control doesn't work... Except for when it does

The argument that many gun rights advocates have is that gun control doesn’t work, that people won’t be deterred from committing crimes (“If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns,” they say in bumper sticker speak) and they often point to attempts here in America such as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that had less than robust results.

Well, what of Australia, who not only enacted gun control measures that did work, they did so within a couple of weeks of a tragic mass shooting, well within the mandated period where people are way too emotional to discuss these matters… Fortunately for Australia, they haven’t had to discuss them ever since since there hasn’t been a mass shooting there since then:

The results are in the linked story but to encapsulate it all, homicides by firearm plunged (with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides) as did suicides by gun. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase.

So gun control does work. It worked in an expansive country with tons of rural areas, and many state and local governing agencies and a lot of guns in circulation. A lot of similarities to our own country, albeit on a smaller scale. I wouldn’t be surprised if many Australians say that guns were a part of Aussie culture too.

So why won’t it work here?

Now, if you think it should work here but decry that a uniquely American right is being trampled upon, is there any way to modify this law where it would pass Constitutional mustard?

I’m skeptical of your claims. Please post the figures for gun-murders and non-gun murders both before and after the legislation in Australia.

If it turns out that non-gun murders in Australia decreased by an amount roughly the same as the decrease in gun murders, will you concede that gun control in fact did not work in Australia?

To start with:

You’re comparing a country of 22 million with one of 315 million?:rolleyes:

The USA has almost 15X more guns than Australia has people!

Its really a moot point. Within the space of two decades, the idea of gun control will be dead as a door nail. At the moment, the only point of control that could be choked is the sale through a vendor. The prolification of CNC fabs, will render that idea dead as a door nail. So much so, that the major proponents of some sort of gun control, may very well be the weapons manufacturers themselves.


Homicide rate in the US in 1995 was 8.2/100,000. In 2001 it was 4.8/100,000.

Wow, that’s a 40% drop.

The murder rate in the US has been steadily declining since it peaked in ~ 1991 at around 10/100,000. That makes it a drop of about 50%. Not sure why Australia wouldn’t see a similar trend as the US, with or without gun control.

And it’s not like there aren’t contrary studies within Australia: Warning: PDF of study at Melbourne University.

Australia has always had more gun control than the U.S.

So basically, the number of guns were under control for many decades. and I doubt Australia has the crime/gang culture of the U.S. and the number of illegally held and hidden guns that are kept by those in that culture.

Is there any reason to believe that a system similar to Australia’s couldn’t be scaled to fit in the US? Fifteen times as many people, fifteen times as many guns, fifteen times as big of a process for removing the guns from circulation?

Well that’s the real question. If non-gun murders in Australia held steady while gun murders dropped dramatically, then there is finally actual evidence that gun control works. I am eagerly awaiting John Stamos Left Ear to post the actual numbers for scrutiny.

There so many issues that could be compared here (the culture, the massive amounts of urban areas the U.S. has as compared to the amount Australia has, etc.) that I don’t even know where to start.

So I won’t.

Besides, even if I came up with a workable way to effectively confiscate large amounts of guns in this country I sure the fuck wouldn’t reveal it!

If homicide rates go down, that means that gun control isn’t necessary.
If homicide rates go up, that means gun control doesn’t work.

Never trust what you might be surprised by.

Guns per 100 residents in the US: 88 (rank 1/178)

Guns per 100 residents in Australia: 15 (rank 42/178)

Australia has a long history of gun control, including very restrictive laws on handgun ownership.

The drop in homicides in the US in the last 20 years or so is mostly due to the drop in deaths by handguns.

According to the OP, there haven’t been any mass shootings in Australia since they made this change. Although this doesn’t speak to whether or not guns are being used to kill people, hurt people, or commit crimes, I’m willing to accept “zero” as the actual number of mass shootings, which would seem to be what the Australians were trying to prevent.

The buyback part of the program isn’t a bad idea, and we’ve had those on a small scale in the US. It should be noted that these buybacks are voluntary, so you have to believe that the psychos out there are going to freely give up their guns (or the relatives of the psychos are going to do that). I’m skeptical, but I’m happy to see such programs.

Most people in the US favor getting rid of the “gun show loophole”, which I believe is the thrust of the “private sale” aspect. Ditto with registration. Presenting a “genuine reason” to purchase a gun would no doubt be unconstitutional here. A right does not require a “genuine reason” to exercise.

Read the link I posted. It has links to all of the studies - more than one - and also comments on the methodology of a study that refutes it.

I found at least one case where you are wrong though there may be more.

Here is the form you have to fill out do get a protest permit in the National Mall and other parks in the DC area.

You will notice that it asks the “purpose of proposed activity.” You also have to tell them if you have a reason to think there might be counter-protesters. Good luck leaving those answers blank and getting your permit.

So in order to get your permit to peaceably assemble - a Constitutional right - you need to give your reason for doing so (among other things).

Yeah. This seems to be the speaking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-mouth deal when it came to renewing the AWB.

It doesn’t mention the study I linked to.

And, oddly, it cites the links of the 2006 study authors to pro-gun groups, but doesn’t mention the links to anti-gun groups by the author of the study it is pushing, Simon Chapman.

They might be able to ask for the reason, but they can’t reject you for the reason, unless it is one of public safety. Your cite says that “self defense” is not a valid reason. Imagine if the form you linked to said “promoting methods of self defense is not a valid reason”.

To be fair, nobody in their right mind could have possibly thought the AWB would have any impact on crime rates, good or bad. In addition to being totally toothless by virtue of being entirely cosmetic rather than functional, the guns it pretended to target were only involved in around 0.5% of gun crimes. Assault weapon bans are useless feel-good measures even if they were to work perfectly.