The Individual Verses the State Part 2
Gun Laws A Confidence Trick.
Do increased restrictions upon firearm ownership reduce murder rates? Armed robbery rates? Criminal violence in general? Suicide rates? In short, does firearm Legislation act to create a safer society as claimed by their supporters?
If gun laws are supposed to reduce violent crime, then this must be demonstrated to be the truth, or gun control is no more than a confidence trick.
Academia’s bureaucratic criminologists are quieter now than in past years they admit (although reluctantly) that there is very little pragmatical support for the claim that laws designed to reduce general access to firearms reduce criminal violence.
The truth which is going to throw some petrol on the candle and expose the darkened room to some resplendent light, is not the question of, ‘If gun laws cause a drop in murder, suicide or violent crime’, but do they cause an increase in crime?
This question is electrifying, considering the answer is easily proved and available in books, government statistics, and the Internet, please check these references. Most people will then ask, if this is easily proven by the private sector, this information would, unquestionably be available to the government sector so why do our leaders persist in implementing it?
The sweeping argument that, by reducing the availability of firearms to the population, a community can be made less criminally violent, can be refuted by reading the statistics in criminal violence in countries that have lately introduced legislation restricting the availability of firearms. Comparing their trends in criminal violence with the trends found in the United States. We have heard the statement, “To go down the American path, of Gun Violence” several times from our Prime Minister who hypocritically follows every other path that America takes. If we could be so lucky, as the truth shows their path is the only one reducing crime.
To consider the result of legislative impositions on the individual, it is essential to analyse changes over time, linking cause with effect.
The Crime rates chosen are appropriate to analyse ‘human safety’, the murder rate, the violent crime rate, and the property crime rate. We will also examine the suicide rate since radicals often claim that reduced access to firearms reduces the temptation for vulnerable people to commit suicide.
The United States provides a valuable point of comparison with Europe and the
Commonwealths of Canada and Australia for assessing crime rates as the US is a country that took the path of oppressive controls on private ownership of firearms, beginning with New York’s, Sullivan Act of 1912 which had a mandatory one year sentence for possession of an un-licenced hand gun. 48,000 Federal, State and Local Government ordinances later, then culminated in the 1968 National Gun Control Act. which by the nineteen eighties, due to the increasing failures of those controls, two States turned back the tide and allowed qualified citizens to carry concealed handguns for self defence.
Over the next two decades while the rest of the English speaking world were making firearm ownership increasingly prohibitive, more than 25 states in the United States passed laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. There are now over 33 states where citizens can get such a handgun permit. Alaska has legislated to drop the need for a permit, and has returned to the position of allowing all to carry concealed handguns. (With certain proviso’s) As an effect, three million American men and women are carrying concealed firearms. It may seem unbelievable to the un informed, but these new laws have caused violent crime rates to drop, including murder rates. Professor John Lott has shown how violent crime has fallen faster in those states that have introduced concealed carry laws than in the rest of the USA states.
Strange as it might appear from our movie and media outlets, violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the United States for a decade. The reduction in the US crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world.
In 18 of the 25 countries surveyed by the British Home Office, violent crime increased during the 1990s. This divergence should provoke politicians to action in these countries where they implemented continuing restrictive firearm laws on the pretext that this would protect society from criminal violence. The politicians have been informed by their own research analysts and by the Firearm Owners Associations, but continue to implement further draconian legislation.
The United Kingdom which seems a little less united after a century of creeping restrictions on the individual firearm owner, perpetuates an illusion that it has protected its citizens by disarming them but prior to those early 20th Century restrictions, Briton has an astonishingly low level of armed crime,. A government study in 1890 1891 1892 found only 3 handgun homicides an average of one a year in a population of over 30 million.
In 1904 there were only four armed robberies in London, then the largest city in the world. Labour and Conservative Parties have introduced prohibitive gun bans, buy backs from the already registered, licensed shooter. The Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1988 was brought in following the Hungerford incident, and the Firearms (Amendment) Act of 1997, which banned all handguns, followed another shooting in Dunblane in 1996. As prophesied this despotic legislation has not curbed crime. British Police statistics demonstrate that England and Wales are enduring a serious crime wave.
In comparison to the American path, where the murder rate has been diminishing for over twenty years, the murder rate in England and Wales has been mushrooming over the same time period. In the 1990s alone, the murder rate jumped 50%, going from 10 per million in 1990 to 15 per million in 2000.
US vs England Murder Rates
British Police statistics show that violent crime in general has increased since the late 1980s.
The violent crime rate has jumped from 400 per 100,000 in 1988 to almost 1400 per 100,000 in 2000. In contrast, not only are violent crime rates lower in the United States, they are continuing to decline.
According to police statistics published by the (Scottish Executive), the homicide rate in Scotland has also increased during this same time period, going from 16 per million population to 21 per million population.
Figures 2 & 3 – US and England violent crime rates and property crime rates
British Property crime has also grown more serious since the early 1980s. In 1982, at 6,000 per 100,000. and still higher in 1997, at over 8000 per 100,000 population. In contrast, property crime rates are falling in the United States.
Suicide rates have eased somewhat in England and Wales. In 1989, age standardized mortality rates for suicide of all types was 10 per 100,000, and in 1999, it is now 9.5 per 100,000. Similarly, suicide rates in the US have also declined, going from 12.4 to 10.7 per 100,000 population even as firearm ownership has risen,.
Figure 4Trend in suicide rates in England and Wales
The British Home Office has also tightened up on enforcement of regulations to such an extent that the legitimate sport-shooting community has been virtually destroyed. For example, shotgun permits have fallen almost 30% since 1988. Metropolitan Police Service (London) published in June 2001, states that gun-related murders in England tripled in the first half of last year, 2000. The Centre For Defence Studies, stated “that the British Experiment clearly shows that prohibiting the possession of handguns by licensed owners is ineffective in reducing the criminal misuse of firearms”. But, there is no pressure from within bureaucratic and governmental circles to discontinue the policy of disarming responsible citizens.
Figures 5 – increase in crime rates vs. decline in registered guns.
Clearly, there is no evidence that firearm laws have caused violent crime to fall in the UK in fact it suggests that the firearm laws have increased criminal violence by disarming the general public. Despite banning and confiscating all handguns, violent crime, and firearm crime, continues to grow. The number of violent crimes involving handguns has increased from 2,600 in 1997/98 to 3,600 in 1999/00. Firearm crime has increased 200% in the past decade.
John Howard’s ‘Final Solution’
After the Port Arthur Massacre, instead of re-arming the public to ensure it never happened again, the Liberal /National Coalition betrayed their written pre-elections promises and implemented the Uninformed Gun Laws which involved the “Buy Back” in 1997. The new people controls emulated the 23 point recommendation that Darryl Smeaton returned with, from the 1995 United Nations Conference on Civilian Disarmament, which was held in Cairo, Egypt. Smeaton working hard in the Attorney Generals Department was made ‘Executive’ of his own little department ‘Office of Law Enforcement Control (Olec) charged with spending $500 million for Buy Back and implementation the legalisation of theft by government legislation. Yes they, compensated for some semi-auto’s and pump guns but the vast majority of individuals could not meet the registration requirements and have had there property taken from them with no compensation, and are still having it taken. State and Federal Government media releases made vast claims on the numbers of firearms collected but when we purchased the Buy Back computers at the Government auction and re-formatted the hard drives we found that they had only had a third of the figure that they had claimed.
Unfortunately, the firearm restrictions have not made the streets of Australia safer. Consider Murder rates. Murder involving firearms is declining, but the total murder rates have remained basically flat from 1995 through to 2001. However, early reports show that the national murder rate may have begun climbing again. Jenny Mouzos in her 2003 reports that homicide victimization in 2001/02 increased by 20% from 2000/01. She also reports that, there is an increase in multiple victim incidents. . Shortly after World War II, the Australian murder rate was around 1 per 100,000. Since then, it has climbed until it peaked at 2.4 in 1988.
Figure 7 – Trend in Australian homicide rate
The declining in murder rate in the United States stands out against the flat or even increasing murder rate in Australia.
The contrast between Australia and the United States is even more apparent with violent crime. While violent crime is decreasing in the United States, it is increasing in Australia. Over the past 6 years, the overall Australian violent crime rate continues to increase. Both assault and robbery show no signs of decreasing..
Figures 8 & 9 – Trends in Australian Robbery and Violent Crime
Recent changes in the firearm law appear to have had no impact upon the suicide rate. Despite the new prohibitions and firearm buybacks, the suicide rate in
Australia continues to increase. This contrasts with the slight decline in suicide rates in the United States even while firearm availability continues to escalate.
Figure 10 – increase in Australian suicide rates
The destruction and confiscation of legally owned private property, Australia’s firearms, cost the Australian taxpayers an estimated $A500 million, Robbery and armed robbery rates continue to rise. Armed robbery has increased 166% percent nationwide, jumping from 30 per 100,000 in 1996 to 50 per 100,000 in 1999 .
The murder rate has not declined, and the share of firearm murder’s involving handguns has doubled in the past five years. Home Invasion was a term not comprehended before the 1997 Buy back, but now makes headlines on a regular basis.
The next proposed solution to the failure of the 1997 firearm long arm legislation is banning handguns, even though, as in Great Britain and Canada, few firearms used in homicide are legally held. Police sources sometimes quote 5 %, but many observers doubt that it is that high. Some state figures have composed entirely of homicides by Police who legally hold their firearm, years pass by in many Australian States without homicides with licensed firearms at all.
Canada’s Billion Dollar Blow Out.
In response to the horrific murders at the University of Montreal. Canada twice introduced sweeping changes to its firearms laws, first, in 1991, under the Conservative government, and then again in 1995, before the first changes had been fully implemented, under the Liberals. The 1995 Firearms Act is still being phased in. Prophetically, the homicide rate has been falling faster in the United States, where during the same time frame, more than 33 states have introduced less restrictive firearm laws. The murder rate in the US has fallen from 10.5 per 100,000 in 1991 to 6.1 per 100,000, while the Canadian rate has fallen from 2.7 per 100,000 to 1.8.
Figure 11 – Homicide rates in the USA decline at a greater rate than Canada.
The contrast between the criminal violence rates in the US and in Canada is much more dramatic. Over the past decade, the Canadian violent crime rate has increased, while in the US during the same time period, the violent crime rate has slid from 600 per 100,000 to 500 per 100,000.
Figure 12 – US vs. Canadian violent crime rates
Firearm legislation has little to do with the drop in the murder rate in Canada. This is clearly shown in a 1992 study that Professor Gary Mauser, and Professor Richard Holmes, found that firearm legislation had no significant impact on the murder rate. Nor is firearm legislation operating to reduce other violent crimes. In early 2003 Professor Dennis Maki and Professor Gary Mauser showed that this legislation may even have caused an increase in armed robbery. Both of these studies are econometric analyses, and the model attempts to account for the most important other factors as “co- variables.” In the most recent study, they found that once they factored out the effects of the other variables, the introduction of the Canadian gun law still had a significant effect. Predictable, this effect was positive, that is to say, the gun laws acted to increase criminal violence.
Figures 13 & 14 – M&H and M&M t-test tables. Nearly identical trends are seen in property crime rates declining in both Canada and in the United States.
The comparison here shows the official statistics from both countries. Gannon in her analysis, the trends in violent crime in the two countries resemble each other more closely, but her data also show that violent crime in Canada is increasing, while it is decreasing in the US.
This study is consistent with almost all other research on Canadian firearm legislation. The only studies that have found an impact have been funded by the Canadian Department of Justice.
Figures 15 – US vs. Canadian property crime rates
Suicide rates are increasing in Canada but not in the United States. Interestingly, while there has been a drop in suicide involving firearms in Canada, this decline is not reflected in the total suicide rate, which continues to increase. The lack of linkage is one of the points obscured by the misleading facts of ‘gun death.’ By creating this pseudo-scientific amalgam of suicide, homicide and accidental deaths, anti-firearm radical extremists impede a serious understanding of the link between government domination and firearm misuse.
Figure 16 – Firearms and Suicide in Canada
The recent Canadian manoeuvre to oppress it’s people with firearm controls is becoming a lampoon show. Initially declared to cost only $2 million, the Auditor General recently reported that the effort to register all firearms and there owners, (People Control) has now topped one billion dollars. The final cost is impossible to calculate but if the costs of enforcement are included, estimates now reach three billion dollars.
Continued Part 3.
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