It’s weird to realize that global levels of violence are way down from even a decade ago. We still hear tragic stories every day, and there’s certainly plenty of violence to scare us, but, despite that, the number of places that are relatively safe continues to increase, and the rates of external violence are on long-term declining trends.
That’s why it’s such a shock to see mass shootings and potential terrorist activity in normally peaceful countries like New Zealand. Recently, a similar shock has struck another typically quiet nation: Australia.
Australia was rocked by a brand new tragedy. Darwin is not a booming metropolis. The small northwestern city in Australia was shocked when a madman went on a shooting rampage. In a single evening, five different people were shot at five unique crime scenes. Four of those poor souls were killed as a result. The fifth was successfully stabilized at a local hospital.
Details of the shooting are still slow to release as the police are continuing the investigation. They have arrested and charged a suspect believed to be the shooter.
Based on the shooter’s identity, it is believed that two of the targets were chosen deliberately, but the other three were randomly selected. Since mass shootings are so rare in Australia, this event leaves the entire country reeling.
The False Narrative
As a matter of fact, if you were to believe the leftist narrative, you would think that this was the first mass shooting in Australia since their gun ban in 1997. They’ve certainly been saying that for at least a decade.
This is simply untrue. Depending on how you count mass shootings, this is either the 3rd or 7th mass shooting since that gun ban. The discrepancy comes from whether or not the massacres were technically “public.”
Now, 7 mass shootings since 1997 still feels like a tiny number. A leftist who actually admitted to these numbers would still herald this as a big win for gun control. The problem is that even this version of the narrative is completely wrong.
Australia has never been a place of consistent rampage. The entire country has a population less than that of Texas, and they saw their first modern massacre (post WWII) in the 1970s. There were only three such events in that entire decade. The numbers spiked in the 80s, but by the 90s, public massacres were in decline. There were only 6 mass shootings, and one of them was after the gun ban.
In the two decades since, there have been 7 mass shootings. That decline is consistent with the dropping trend that started in the 90s, so there’s no evidence to suggest that the gun ban has actually helped the problem.
That point is emphasized when you look at massacres that don’t involve guns. Since the 90s, arson massacres have been on the rise in Australia, and the most recent decade has actually proven far deadlier than the 90s for total massacres. In short, the gun ban hasn’t saved a single life in this regard.
No Good Reason
Mass shootings aside, there are two more components to the gun control narrative. The first is homicide. The leftist argument is that getting rid of guns will lower homicide rates. Once again, they’ll point to Australia. Once again, the data isn’t so straightforward.
Overall homicide in Australia followed a similar pattern to mass shootings. They peaked in the 80s, dropped in the 90s and continued to drop in the two decades since. Ultimately, homicides have risen a little in the country since 2015 (perfectly mirroring what we’ve seen in the U.S.). When you look at the entire trend, there is no evidence that the gun ban had any impact on homicides whatsoever.
The final argument is that gun bans lower suicide rates. This is a marginally clearer picture, and no, the gun ban has not stopped suicide. Suicide rates in Australia did peak in the 90s. They dropped for a while before spiking again in 2015.
Since 2015, suicide rates in the country have been roughly identical to the all-time highs recorded back in the 90s. Summary: the gun ban has had no measurable impact on suicides.
This is stuff you already knew. Gun control doesn’t save lives. It’s easy to see how someone could come to the wrong conclusion in the face of shallow thinking and misinformation, but when you analyze the raw data, there is absolutely no argument that favors gun control. It only succeeds in eliminating self-defense and empowering tyrannical governments.
The Australia argument is dead. Don’t let the left continue to spread these lies.