Re: We yield to common sense on car laws but we're reckless when it comes to children and guns

Australia's Gun Laws: The Definitive Statistics

Constitution Opinion (Published) Keywords: SECOND AMENDMENT
Source: Received via e-mail
Published: August 2000 Author: Ron Owen, President, Firearm Owners Of Australia
Posted on 09/01/2000 16:42:56 PDT by Byron_the_Aussie

Dear Mr Owen

The 1996 national gun laws have been shown in research to have significantly reduced the level of gun related crime in this country. The number of offences where a gun has been used has decreased significantly. Guns were used in 18.6% of armed robberies in 1998-99, compared with 26.8% the year before.

As a result of the national gun laws 640,000 guns were collected and destroyed. It is not only murder rates that have fallen, but all firearm related deaths. Total firearm related deaths in Australia fell from 523 in 1996 to 328 in 1998.

The guns targeted in 1996 were those that a member of our community had little justification in owning. The Government of South Australia took the view that the safety of our community was under threat by these weapons and took action to address this situation.

The studies you have referred to ignore the high level of gun violence in the United States in comparison with Australia. The easy availability of guns directly relates to the level of gun violence. The Government of South Australia considers the responsibility of owning a gun a serious one, and has sought to make the conditions of ownership strict. Responsible gun owners have nothing to fear from the national gun laws. The community is safer because of them.

Yours sincerely

Premier (the equivalent of Governor in the US), South Australia

To Premier of South Australia

John Olsen

In reply to your letter dated 2/5/2000, Ref Number 00P01231

From Mr Ron Owen, National President,

Firearm Owners Association of Australia

Dear Mr Olsen

Reading your letter and considering the amount of well researched information that has already been dispatched to your office, and the breadth, of the research information within the Parliamentary libraries in Australia, the only conclusions I can deduce from your correspondence is that you are either an ignoramus or a charlatan. You either cannot read or cannot be bothered to read or really know the truth and still ignore it.

When you say, "The 1996 national gun laws have been shown in research to have significantly reduced the level of gun related crime in this country". You omit to say, whose research it is and what that research was. We are left in the dark as to what figures and where those figures are from, that you consider to be significant. Are they figures concocted by public service staff left over from the ‘Buy Back fiasco’ as usual ,trying to justify their past failures as public looters and parasites.

On the other hand we understand you have already received the following information in detail:-

"The environment is more violent and dangerous than it was some time ago."

Police Commissioner South Australia Mal Hyde 23/12/99 - The Advertiser - Adelaide

Robbery with a firearm increased nearly 60 per cent over the previous financial year.

South Australian Police Annual Report - tabled in State Parliament 27/10/98

"I apologise for the error (in Attorney-General's letter to SSAA (Sporting Shooter's Association of Australia) member) that was made in extracting the ABS figures."

Dianne Gray - Senior Legal Officer - SA Attorney-General's Department - 27/1/99

To SSAA Researcher Paul Peake after it was claimed by the SA AG's Department that SSAA figures were wrong.

When you say, "The number of offences where a gun has been used has decreased significantly. Guns were used in 18.6% of armed robberies in 1998-99, compared with 26.8% the year before" You are discredited. by:-

"Media Release: Australian Bureau of Statistics - Recorded Crime in Australia Release Date: July 15th, 1998

Police in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all recorded an increase in the rate of armed robbery.

The largest increase (+ 63%) occurred in New South Wales. However the increases in some other States were also quite substantial.

Victoria recorded an increase in the rate of armed robbery of 38%, Queensland recorded an increase of 34%, South Australia recorded an increase of 10% and Western Australia recorded an increase of 7%.

Commenting on these figures, the Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that "they suggested that the underlying causes of the upward trend in property crime in New South Wales were probably national rather than State-based."

AIC - Australian Institute of Criminology
ABS - Australian Bureau of Statistics
"Crime involving guns is on the rise despite tougher laws. The number of robberies with guns jumped 39% in 1997 while assaults involving guns rose 28% and murders by 19%. (ABS figures) "Gun crime soars.." - Sydney Morning Herald - 28/10/98

"AIC define robbery as unlawful taking of property, accompanied by force or threat of force"

In 1998 8% were committed with a firearm, 38 % with another weapon, and 54 % unarmed

There were 10850 armed robberies recorded in Australia in 1998. This represents almost a 20% increase from the number of armed robberies recorded in 1997.

In 1013 robberies the type of weapon was not further defined, This figure was included in the category ‘Other Weapon’. It is possible that this 9% used in these robberies were firearms.

Armed Robberies have increased by 69% from 1995".

Crime involving guns has soared despite tougher laws imposed after the Port Arthur massacre...the number of robberies involving guns leapt 39% (ABS Report)...assaults involving guns jumped 28%.

Armed Crime on rise -The Sunday Mail - Brisbane 18/10/98

According to ABS figures, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in NSW rose from 827 in 1996 to 1252 in 1997.

Sunday Telegraph - Sydney - 14/3/98

"National gun laws and the destruction of 640,000 firearms under the buyback scheme appear to have done little to reduce the national murder rate, says a new study.

Research paper issued by the AIC on the affect of the new gun laws. The Age - 3/6/99"

Queensland Police Commissioner Jim O'Sullivan yesterday expressed "grave concern" as the number of armed robberies across the state took a big jump for the second year running.

Sunshine Coast Daily - 13/11/98

Fatal shootings in Victoria have increased despite the introduction of tighter gun laws in 1996, a (AIC) study has found.

" State's gun deaths rise" - Herald Sun - Victoria - 3/6/99

The number of Victorians murdered with firearms has almost trebled since the introduction of tighter gun laws.

Geelong Advertiser - Victoria 11/9/97

Lowest Firearm Related Deaths, Gun Ownership Highest Ever

Again when you say, "As a result of the national gun laws 640,000 guns were collected and destroyed. It is not only murder rates that have fallen, but all firearm related deaths. Total firearm related deaths in Australia fell from 523 in 1996 to 328 in 1998".

You would be well aware that Firearm related deaths per capita have been steadily falling since 1915, a figure which could be correlated with the increasing firearm ownership within the Australian community.

The figure of 640,000 is as dubious a figure as the implausibility of the staff who were caught defrauding the project in the two States, Queensland and Victoria which had the supposedly highest hand in figures.

640,000 is only a drop in the ocean when we consider that a third were not even semi-autos at all (which was supposed to be it’s target) but bolt actions and single shots. (See details further down article)

640,000 is only a drop in the ocean when one firearm dealer has imported more than 300,000 of not one brand name but just one model of a semi-auto’ rifle. Firearms have been imported and manufactured in Australia since the first fleet arrived, they don’t wear out, all parts can be replaced and so the Australian inventory grows every year, that’s the only way Gun dealers can stay in business.

You are aware that the suicide rate increased, and the homicide rate increased (ABS reports 20% increase in Australian murder rate 1998/1999, The Age 29.6.2000 page 4) and the accidental deaths increased, but the deaths by firearms has been decreasing for over fifteen years well before any repressive legislation was introduced.

Every study by professionals prove that the legal firearm ownership rate is not related to increases in crime statistics. You have received the data from the ABS, on previous occasions so why delude the victims, the general public again?

You believe the newspapers don’t you? How is it you missed these articles, selective vision.

"Gun deaths fell by 46 per cent during the last 15 years before tough new firearm legislation introduced after last year's Port Arthur massacre, according to figures released yesterday by the ABS. "The figures clearly show that the absolute numbers of (gun) deaths, and the rates of death, has been steadily declining before Port Arthur."

David Povah ABS - The Australian - 27/2/97

Victoria is facing one of its worst murder tolls for a decade - and its lowest arrest rate ever. The growing number of planned, ambush murders this year has put added pressure on the homicide squad."

Herald Sun - Melbourne - 12/11/99

More cases of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated burglary are being reported in Victoria...overall crime rate rising by 3.7 per cent in 11 months.

Homicide - Source:Police data, Crime management Report

1996-97 136

1997-98 120

1998-99 176 ( 11 months only)

The Age - Melbourne 11/8/99

(including murders by police)

During 1997, firearms were used in

23 per cent (75 of 322) of murders,

28 per cent (90 of 318) of attempted murders,

2.6 per cent (1 of 38) of manslaughters,

24 per cent (2,183 of 9,015) of armed robberies,

3.6 per cent (20 of 557) of kidnapping or abductions,

0.7 per cent (806 of 123,940) of assaults, and

0.2 per cent (33 of 14,138) of sexual assaults.

What action are you or anyone else of your ignoble profession taking about the other inanimate objects which the largest balance of crimes were committed with? We do not see Ban the Beer Bottle or Ban the Lump of Wood.

We have just established that Firearms are mis- used by Criminals in a minority of cases, what steps are you or anyone else of your ignoble profession taking to legislate in the common factors, as in the majority of Crime cases the following-: alcohol, blunt instruments, motor cars, surveillance television have been used by the perpetrator prior and during the crime in nearly all cases ?


When you say, "The guns targeted in 1996 were those that a member of our community had little justification in owning".

Who gives you the right to be the judge of those innocent members of the community surely they are innocent of any crime until they have been before a Jury of their Peers? How can you presume to judge them of guilt of a crime that’s not been thought of yet and then without allowing them to defend themselves in court, before a Jury, find them guilty, condemn them to have their legally owned property confiscated by your henchmen?

Sub -Judiciary is a nice word for it, the real word for this course of action is Tyranny.

We say a freeman may presume that the ownership of private property, legally obtained and held is sacrosanct in a free society. If the society is not free, or it is not free to own property there is little point in supporting that society, as to support what is unlawful, is being a party to that unlawful crime.

Thirty seven years ago, a Quarter Master, nearly knocked me over as he thrust an L1A1 SLR into my hands and bellowed, "Keep that Rifle in Tip Top Order so you can Kill your Countries Enemies with it before they Kill You. These days, I do not have to visit exotic overseas countries as my Countries Enemies are seen wallowing around our seats of government, they guzzle and cavort at the Public trough so deeply they make Caligula and Nero look like Church choir boys.

When does a member of our community alter from having "little justification" to the condition of having a rifle thrust into his hands from that same judge of character "the government"? Your answer would have to be only if that "member of the community" belongs solely to "the government" a slave or a mercenary, then of course he would not be a member of that community .

Looking at the record, over the last 100 years of "governments" eradication of its own disarmed citizens, that in itself is a huge justification for ownership.

Mr Olsen we have not been able to obtain the breakdown results from your State of the guns that you targeted, the "Centre-fire Self Loading rifles", the only State which gave a breakdown up until three weeks before the end of the "buy-back" was Victoria. Victoria also handed in a third of the firearms in Australia, so it is a pretty good sample to learn from. This is what they show.

Automatic - .1%,

Centre-fire self-loading - 3.2%,

Pump action shotguns - 15.1%,

Self-loading shotguns - 32.7%,

Rimfires - 47.5%,

other -1.8%.

The Full Automatics (Machine Guns) came primarily from museums and RSL(returned soldier's association) Clubs and were therefore a non-event anyway. However, the "Centre-fire self-loading" firearms were your primary target of the buy-back. The 3.2% are not broken down between military and civilian rifles, but note this, Victoria had registration prior to the "buy-back", without the fact that all these firearms had been already registered by the State, the level of compliance would have even been lower. Of course Queensland could not publish its correct figure so decided only to give a total. When the computers were auctioned off at the Buy Back sight at Lytton, the headquarters of the operation the program and file information were still in place. The figure collected for Lytton the biggest installation in the State and one that also processed the mobile units was 23,000 and the semi autos were only 16000 all the rest were old Lee Enfield’s and single barrel shotguns.

When you say, "The Government of South Australia took the view that the safety of our community was under threat by these weapons". Did you think that these weapons, these inanimate objects were a threat within themselves, did you take the view that without the human element that they threatened the safety of the community? No even politicians are not that dim, what your really saying is that your government are afraid of people in the community who can use those inanimate object. Your credibility would improve a few notches if instead of worrying about perceived threats from your electorate, you were concerned in really safety for the community, if you allowed them to defend themselves from crime, instead of dying waiting for 000, if you campaigned for a Citizens Militia to defend the country from external aggression or if you made any attempt to address the suicide rate for young people aged 12-24 years which has increased from 1979 to 1997. For males, the rate increased is 71%, from 14 per100,000, to 24 per 100,000. The female rate has increased 4.5 per100,000 in 1979 to 5.9 per 100,000 in 1997.
From "Australia's Young People - Their Health and Well Being 1999"
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

You and everyone else knows that unemployment and the governments interference in business which has progressively closed Australian Small Business. GST is only going to exuberate the socialist created, social engineered problems of control by dole payments. Anything but addressing these problems is only picturesque bandaids, politicians such as your self are a cancer on the back of the Australian people..

Where you say, "The studies you have referred to ignore the high level of gun violence in the United States in comparison with Australia"

Why is it relevant? When you have not corelated that the States and cities within the United States with the highest level of gun violence also have the most restrictive gun laws such as New York’s 1911 Sullivan Act and Washington’s ever accelerating repressions on the gun owner who wishes to defend himself.

More Guns TODAY than at any time in USA history, and yet the LOWEST violent crime than in 35 years.

We are all aware that Bill Clinton tells lies but he says the United States has FOUR times MORE handguns than 1990 and the Department of Justice states they have the LOWEST violent crime than anytime in the last 35 years. They also have vastly increased the ownership of rifles, especially semi-auto rifles that have huge magazines, ( impending gun-bans and new "control" laws are the BEST way for dealers to sell more guns)

Starting in 1991, USA violent crime rates began a rapid fall that continues to this day, just exactly like the rapid fall in unemployment rates than began in 1990 and continues to this day. No USA national gun-control laws were enacted until late in 1994.. The slope of the fall in there violent crime rates was set in 1991 and has remained about the same since 1991. Other than a small blip in homicides alone in 1993 after a sharp decline in 1992, all of there violent crime rates have shown rapid reductions from 1991 on.

More than likely the catalyst that drove the downward trend in there violent crime rates was the rapid decline in the USA unemployment, especially the decline in black unemployment.

He does tell lies but Clinton again supports this theory when he announced that 1999 was the LOWEST year EVER for black unemployment. That could be the reason violent crime rates have been falling.

How else do you explain the words of Clinton who has said the USA had gone from 20 million handguns in 1990 to 80 million today and yet the PEAK ever violent crime rates were in 1990 and today violent crime has fallen to the LOWEST levels since the mid-60s?

How do you explain the fact that the United States have vastly more guns and gun-owners today than in 1990 and yet gun-shot accidents have been falling for all of those years so that today, as the United States Justice Department states that they also have FEWER gun-shot accidental deaths and injuries since the USA first began to keep records in 1932.

Waiting periods existed (15 days) in California for many years PRIOR to the Brady ACT of 1994 and yet the waiting period did NOT reduce crime in California, in fact, after the 15 day waiting period in California was enacted, violent crime continued to go UP!

Are ALL our Violent Crime rates and Suicide rates driven by unemployment rates, gun laws have NEVER reduced violent crime so why not try and reduce unemployment and leave small business free from the one million and one government hindrances on its existence!

Parallels like the Australian homicides where firearms are at a 35 year low, ownership is still at an all time high, especially handguns, and yet you STILL INSIST on blaming guns for our violence?

Human nature is universal. Whether the Criminal is looking for money for his next fix, or for his groceries, the criminal will always choose a soft target over a hard target (a victim who is armed), because even a heroin addict doesn't want to be shot. And it doesn't matter if the criminal lives in Adelaide or Phoenix, AZ. Except in Adelaide your victims are guaranteed to be unarmed, while in Arizona, a significant percentage of victims are armed, and carrying sidearms.

The National Rifle Association, are exactly on target when they claim:

(1) Australian overall crime rate has gone up,

(2) it started when your National Firearms Agreement was implemented, and

(3) and it is indicative of the failure of our gun control laws.

The data at the ABS and AIC tells the same story but if a theory predicts an increase in your violent crime rate, and your violent crime rates goes up, then I would suggest you look into the basis for that theory

The causation of your increase in violent crime IS our Un informed National Gun Debacle. Whether or not your have your head in the sand, violent crime in Australia will continue to increase. It will increase even more as criminals continue to obtain firearms via the expanding black market, exactly for the same reasons that it expanded in the repressive States of America that introduced Gun Bans. The deterrents that the US states with sensible gun laws for honest citizens have, we do not have, not since our good citizens handed in some of their guns.

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