It’s a common meme being spread by anti gun advocates: Australia passed strict gun control laws, and firearm homicides plummeted. Is it true, or isn’t it?

According to the Australian Institute of criminology, the Australian crime rate since 1993 has looked thusly:
Year    Homicides
1993      296            
1994      288              
1995      321
1996      311  
1997      322
1998      284
1999      342  
2000      302
2001      306
2002      318
2003      302
2004      257
2005      270
2006      275
2007      247
2008      258
2009      261
2010      225
2011      236
2012      251

As you can see, the number of homicides in Australia has remained fairly stable. Of course, the anti gunners like to use “gun death” instead of all homicides, as if people who are killed by club wielding thugs are preferable to people being killed by gun wielding thugs. Let’s look at violent crimes by weapon:

As you can see, the teal colored line is “firearms.” That particular line shows that they DID indeed see a drop in “gun related” firearms deaths from 1996 to 1998. What the anti gunners fail to mention, however, is that drop was AFTER the year 1996, which saw a record number of firearm related homicides. The two year decline in gun related homicides brought the number of those homicides down to the same level as the  year 1995, the first year of the Australian gun laws were in effect. In other words, the gun law actually INCREASED the number of  gun related homicides for the two years after the law was passed. In fact, Australia saw firearm related homicides nearly DOUBLE  from 59 to 98 the year after the gun control laws were passed. Calling the fact that the number of homicides then dropped back down to 54 two years later a “plummet” in the number of homicides is misleading.
You should also note that the number of homicides committed with bare hands skyrocketed in the years following the gun law from 108 in 1995 to 151 in 2002, meaning that the now disarmed citizens are at the mercy of people who are strong enough to kill with their bare hands.
The overall number of homicides in Australia is nearly the same in 2012 as it was in 1994, the year before the gun laws went into effect.
In other words, the same number of murders are happening now as were happening in 1994, when there was no gun control in Australia.

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