Sunday, May 15, 2016

Yeah, about that Australian model...

Australians now own more guns than before the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, according to new research that shows firearm imports hit a record high in 2014-15.
Doesn't fit the Preferred Narrative, does it?

There's some of the same "It's not more people shooting, it's just the same owners buying more guns!" crap the gun bigots have tried to sell here; slight problem with that:
Psychologist and self-described gun control critic Samara McPhedran, from Griffith University’s Violence Research and Prevention Program, attributes the boom in firearm sales to the rising popularity of shooting sports among a younger demographic.
“I think what the figures show fundamentally is that people are interested in target shooting and hunting, and that interest seems to be growing over time,” she said.

And under the heading of 'unintended consequences',
One unintended consequence of the post-Port Arthur gun laws was to boost the wealth and widen the influence of shooting clubs, according to Associate Professor Alpers.
The 1996 laws require gun owners to show they have a genuine reason to own a firearm. The easiest way for people in urban areas to do this is through membership in a gun club, Associate Professor Alpers said.
And not just membership but active participation. In NSW, for example, the firearm licensing regulations require members of target shooting clubs to participate at least four times a year. In Victoria, a licensed handgun owner is required to participate in at least 10 shoots a year. The requirements vary by jurisdiction.
“People who never normally went to gun clubs were now going to gun clubs and shooting ranges because the law obliged them to,” Associate Professor Alpers said.
“So the gun lobby has grown in size, political clout and, certainly, in money … as a side-effect of the post-Port Arthur gun laws.”
They put that crap in with the intention of making it onerous enough that people would give up, and some probably did; the rest are banding together and going after the politicians.  An effect the hoplophobes and gun bigots did NOT want.

Which, by the way, is making me do a happy dance.

And, speaking of not fitting the Narrative,
On the other hand, the link between Australia’s gun-buying surge and gun violence isn’t clear.

After all, rising gun sales are nothing new. “This isn’t a sudden increase. It’s a consistent pattern that we’ve seen over a number of years,” Dr McPhedran said.

And despite those increases we’ve seen steady declines in firearm misuse.”
Shades of 'Blood in the streets!  Bodies in the gutters!' not happening, right?

And let's not forget something the Australian authorities probably wish we didn't know about: the compliance rate for the 1996 confiscations wasn't exactly sterling:
The Australian Shooters Journal did its own math in a 1997 article on the “gun buyback.” Researchers for the publication pointed out that the Australian government’s own low-ball, pre-ban estimate of the number of prohibited weapons in the country yielded a compliance rate of 19 percent.

But maybe success is in the eye of the beholder. After the expected mountains of surrendered weapons failed to manifest themselves, then-Australian Attorney General Darryl Williams’s office revised its estimate of total firearms in the country to a number lower than its pre-ban estimate of prohibited firearms, and declared victory.

Inspector McCoomb, like the Australian Shooters Journal, concluded the ban “has failed.”
Friend of mine knows someone down there, lived in an area that pre-97, did not have registration.  The guy mentioned that for a couple of months after the confiscations were announced, you couldn't find 6" PVC pipe and caps anywhere; wonder what all that was being used for...

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