Monash University researchers released a study “Firearm Related Deaths: the Impact of Regulatory Reform” and it made big news in Australia. None of the stories below include input from critics of the study.
- The Australian
- The Herald Sun
- The Age requires username a username (MolonLabe works) and password (MolonLabe).
- The Daily Telegraph
- The Advertiser
- The Courier-Mail
GUN law reforms in the past 25 years have led to a 65 per cent drop in gun-related deaths in Victoria, a study has found.
The study, by the Monash University Accident Research Centre, showed the annual average frequency of firearm-related deaths fell by 65 per cent from 1979 to 2000, with suicide deaths down 54.5 per cent and gun assault deaths down by half.
The centre’s injury prevention chairwoman, Professor Joan Ozanne-Smith, said Victoria was a world leader in gun law reform. She said a handgun buyback established in 2000 after shootings at Monash University that year had furthered the downward trend.
“There’s something like a 75 per cent reduction in firearm deaths since 1979 (up to 2002) which is quite remarkable, and we think this is a model for the rest of the world,” she said.
Given present trends, it was conceivable that gun-related deaths could be eliminated in the future, Professor Ozanne-Smith said.
The study appears to be well done with the assumptions given. However there is a major assumption which is totally bogus. That assumption is that if you reduce the number of injuries or death that occurring using a particular type of tool that you have accomplished something useful. It appears they even include legitimate self-defense shooting by police and private citizen in their statistics. I know it’s difficult to distinguish from the truly tragic but there are some firearms injuries and deaths that are justifiable and even praiseworthy. Any legitimate study should at least make an effort to account for the benefits of firearms ownership. Furthermore, if you look at the overall homicide rate and include more recent data you will find it was essentially unchanged while the propagandists claim a nearly 30% reduction in “firearm related deaths by assault”. I wasn’t able to quickly find stats on suicide but in other countries there has been no significant decrease in the overall suicide rate after firearms have been restricted.
So what is the point of restricting firearms if there is no overall benefit in tragic death and/or injury prevention? The only point I can think of is something hinted at in some of the articles:
Researcher Stuart Newstead said a colleague witnessed the shooting deaths of two students at Monash’s Clayton campus in October 2002 and many staff members and students were touched by the shooting.
The researchers most likely are indeed ‘touched’. Typically people wishing to restrict firearms have an emotional involvement and, perhaps even with the best of intentions, don’t see the entire picture.