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View Diary: Macho Gun Culture. Responsible for Horrific Violence? Yes, but it's not the root cause. (43 comments)

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  •  Some stats to back up your points (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Massconfusion, twigg, stevej, mungley

    would have been nice - for example Wikipedia reports that the USA's murder rate is over 4x higher than Australia's and  our per capita gun ownership is 3x higher than Sweden.

    i.e., not exactly how you portray things.

    •  If not stats ... (0+ / 0-)

      Then some links to where we can go off-site and read around the story.

      They always help.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 10:43:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Australian Gun Laws Reduced Violent Gun Crimes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashy, Roadbed Guy

      FilthyLiberalDOTcom, thanks for pointing to the gendered roots of what is too seldom called patriarchal violence.

      Some folks on this thread have been asking for statistics - I recently ran across some hopeful statistics regarding the effectiveness of Australian gun control laws.

      Violence prevention policies that reduce the number of guns in circulation can work.

      See this article.

      An extended excerpt is worthwhile reading:

      The risk of dying by gunshot has halved since Australia destroyed 700,000 privately owned firearms, according to a new study published today in the international research journal, Injury Prevention.

      "Not only were Australia's post-Port Arthur gun laws followed by a decade in which the crime they were designed to reduce hasn't happened again, but we also saw a life-saving bonus: the decline in overall gun deaths accelerated to twice the rate seen before the new gun laws," says study lead author and Acting Head of the School of Public Health, Professor Simon Chapman.

      "From 1996 to 2003, the total number of gun deaths each year fell from 521 to 289, suggesting that the removal of more than 700,000 guns was associated with a faster declining rate of gun suicide and gun homicide," said adjunct associate professor Philip Alpers, also from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. "This was a milestone public health and safety issue, driven by an overwhelming swing in public opinion, and promptly delivered by governments."

      After 112 people were shot dead in 11 mass shootings* in a decade, Australia collected and destroyed categories of firearms designed to kill many people quickly. In his immediate reaction to the Port Arthur massacre, Prime Minister John Howard said of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns: "There is no legitimate interest served in my view by the free availability in this country of weapons of this kind… That is why we have proposed a comprehensive package of reforms designed to implement tougher, more effective and uniform gun laws."

      After I posted this on Facebook, a Facebook friend asked a great question. "The summary mentions the statistics on reduced firearm homicides and firearm suicides. What happened to the overall homicide and suicide rates?"

      Here's what I found:

      Did people switch to other methods of suicide and homicide?

      I found one source comparing 1997 and 2010 rates of suicide, which showed an overall decline for every age and sex grouping except the 45-49 age bracket ( It's possible this decline happened between 2006 and 2010, but if 2010 is a decent proxy for 2006 it doesn't appear that other forms of suicide rose when firearm suicides decreased.

      Similarly, regarding homicide rates, this site says that overall homicide rates have declined since 1996, though mostly the charts show raw numbers. Australia's population has been growing since 1996 ( and the numbers of murders have been gradually decreasing (though there are fluctuations year to year), so the overall rate must be declining. See also this Snopes entry belying a false claim that crime increased because of the gun buyback program.

      So, overall, the news seems good - it appears that there was a reduction in both the firearm suicide and homicide rates and the overall rates. So, by this crude analysis, there doesn't appear to be a substitution effect.

      Every relationship of domination, exploitation, or oppression is by definition violent. Dominator and dominated alike are reduced to things - the former dehumanized by an excess of power, the latter by a lack of it. And things cannot love.-Paulo Freire

      by samdiener on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 01:22:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's interesting (0+ / 0-)

        thanks for posting it.

        However my understanding is that violent crimes, or maybe crimes of all types, have been on the decline for the past 20 or so years regardless of gun control status (e.g., there is no correlation between the decline (note, decline, not overall level!) of murder in states with strict or lax gun control - or in Canada where a similar effect was observed).

        So I suspect that the decline you describe in Australia may have had to do with larger societal trends than anything.

        Which I've been trying to plug away at promoting as a  strategy here in the USA, but with very modest effect.

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