MYTH: Gun Amnesties reduce the likelihood of gun crime
MYTH: Further gun regulation will reduce criminal use of firearms
MYTH: More legally registered guns will lead to more gun-related deaths
MYTH: Firearms cause more deaths each year than other weapons
MYTH: Licensed gun owners are responsible for most gun violence
MYTH: The 1996-gun laws were responsible for the decline in Australia’s gun-related homicides
Data from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) for homicide deaths from 1995 to 2012 shows the gun-related death rate continued to decline with only a few spikes following the implementation of the 1996-gun laws. If the downward spiral was due to the implementation of the 1996-gun laws, why did the previous year, 1995, have only 59 deaths or why was there an increase of 20 deaths from 2005 to 2006?
The latest AIC National Homicide Monitoring Program report shows there were 238 homicide incidents in Australia in 2013-14 compared to 307 deaths in 1989-90, bringing the national rate down to one victim per 100,000 people – the lowest since the program started in 1989. According to the report, knives were the most common murder weapon accounting for 86 deaths, while beatings were responsible for 37 deaths and guns were involved in 32 deaths – marking a 63 per cent decline since 1989-90. Based on the most-recent ABS and AIC data, the following represents the number of firearm- related homicides between 1980 and 2012.
MYTH: The availability of guns contributes to suicide
ABS data shows hanging, strangulation and suffocation accounted for more than half of all suicides (54 per cent) in 2012. While poisoning by drugs accounted for 14.5 per cent of suicides, followed by poisoning by alcohol, motor vehicle exhaust, etc., at 8.5 per cent, compared to just 6.8 per cent resulting from firearm-related suicides. [The remaining suicide methods included drowning, jumping from a high place and other means.] These statistics suggest that firearm regulation has not helped to reduce the rate of suicide in Australia. It also indicates that the focus should be how the nation reduces the underlying causes of suicide, rather than the method