The following was inspired by recent passionate discussions by many friends around the world. In particular, some friends “Down Under” (in Australia) have been perplexed by recent events in the US, and also question (slightly 🙂 ) my sanity in suggesting that there may still be gun violence in Australia following the famous gun “buyback” programs.
Let me say up front: Australia and other nations are to be highly commended as models of peaceful coexistence! They have far less violence than many other nations. I’m not going to attempt to discuss the details of why this may be — personally, I believe this is an ethical and spiritual issue far more than a legal or political one.
In any case, as is usual for the MrPete.Info web site, my goal here is to present a few solid, well-sourced facts. The implications of those facts are for the reader to decipher.
Comparing Australia and New Zealand (and Canada)
First: here are the key results of an Australian study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence that compared a few nations (Australia, New Zealand and Canada) with similar social contexts but quite different political/legal scenarios.
The data: “Publicly available firearm homicide data and population estimates were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), New Zealand Police, Statistics New Zealand, and Statistics Canada.” The period of data was 1979-2007 for AU and CA, and 1986-2007 for NZ. Just for reference, the raw data ranged from 1 to 0.1 per 100k population… all MUCH lower than the USA. All three nations saw long-term significant declines in firearm homicide rates (as have other nations as well.)
Results: New Zealand had a statistically significant lower rate of gun homicides, and more rapid decrease, than either Australia or Canada. (About 4% lower than AU, 7% lower than CA, both +/- 2%, with p value .001 which is very good.)