[ View the story "Can Australia teach the US about gun control?" on Storify] Can Australia teach the US about gun control? We look at the effects of Australia's 1996 gun reform.
The Stream· Wed, Jan 30 2013 11:15:10
In the 17 years since Australia implemented the 1996 National Firearms Agreement, there have been
no major massacres
due to gun violence in the country.
The Stream spoke to Chloe Angyal of Feministing about the differences behind the US and Australian approaches to gun laws.
Chloe Angyal on gun law reformajstream
News coverage of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre by Australia's Channel Seven and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Port Arthur Massacre 1996 Part 1 of 2ausicon222
This video, part of a
produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, features former Australian Prime Minister John Howard reflecting on his campaign for stronger gun control.
The Howard Years Part 2/6abusufyaan
Following the massacre, Australia instituted a mandatory gun buyback, collecting and destroying almost 700,000 guns at an estimated
cost of $500 million
. The buyback was payed for by the public through a one time tax.
Election 2012 - Patriotism and Common Sense*Pinterest
The following graph, from a
conducted by Andrew Leigh and Christine Neill, shows a drop in firearm suicides and homicides in Australia since the change to stricter gun laws.
Despite the decreasing trend of deaths due to gun violence in Australia, the state of New South Wales (NSW) has recently experienced a
spike in shootings
Using statistics by NSW Police, the Australian Crime Commission, and the Australian Institute of Criminology, the
below highlights the suburbs of Sydney, where recent violence has taken place:
Below is a screenshot showing the locations of shootings in Sydney's suburbs. The full interactive map by the Sydney Morning Herald can be found
, along with a
chart demonstrating fluctuations over time.
So guns are on the rise in Australia. Every wannabe gangster now brandishes a Glock. At least we don't have an NRA to ennoble this thuggery.Harry Kolotas
In the UK and Australia, children are more important than guns.A Woodland Book Shop
Australia went door to door and took their citizens guns away. Their crime rate is now tripled. Armed robbery up 44 % rising the fastest.Drew Pry
, by the Australian Institute of Criminology, shows the number of robbery victims per month in Australia.
The Stream's community debated whether Australia's gun laws are too strict:
@AJStream No. I think current Australian gun laws strike the balance between public safety and the rights of current gun owners.Christopher C
@KeepsmilAlhaji @AJStream Australia's, intro 1996, has been very successful, reducing overall homicides, gun theft as well as mass killingsJo
@AJStream Who cares! Do the laws keep the citizenry safe? Enough about guns! America is imploding. Over privileged, violent and immoral.aaron haynes-lewis
Others wondered if Australia's gun laws would work in the United States:
@ajstream @christinataylor guns control in the US will make the united state safer and conducive for every oneUche Eze
@AJStream constitutional ammendments are incredibly difficult. complete ban is off the table. some containment policy to be reachedAli Almurtada
@AJStream I think Aus associates guns with violence & crime (there’s a stigma). In the US gun ownership = protection, strength, freedomChristina Taylor
@AJStream In a way yes! But #Australia isn't like the #USA when it comes to its population density & the number of personal weapons owners!Neslihan Kurosawa
Netizens from around the world spoke about whether gun control in their country helped them feel safe:
@AJStream Do v hve violent crimes in Maldives despite guncontrol? Yes. Wud it hve been much worse if it weren't 4 gun control? Hell, YEAH!Aisha H Rasheed
@AJStream laws?? They dont apply when gangsters hire guns from cops themselves at the right price #KenyaHarun saleh
@AJStream Absolutely, I can & do walk my streets & CBD & feel safe from gun related crime. Doesn't mean 2 say some areas don't have crimeEmbrace life
@ajstream not at all because guns are still sold in the blackmarket.Daniel Fyah
@ajstream I think a ban can't work, instead increases illegal use. They just need to control.James Propa