By Ryan McMaken :
In the wake of the March 15 New Zealand shootings, advocates for new gun restrictions in New Zealand have pointed to Australia as “proof” that if national governments adopt gun restrictions like those of Australia’s National Firearms Agreement, then homicides will go into steep decline.
“Exhibit A” is usually the fact that homicides have decreased in Australia since 1996 when the new legislation was adopted in Australia.
There are at least two problems with these claims. First, homicide rates have been in decline throughout western Europe, Canada, and the United States since the early 1990s. The fact that the same trend was followed in Australia is hardly evidence of a revolutionary achievement. Second, homicides were already so unusual in Australia, even before the 1996 legislation, that few lessons can be learned from slight movements either up or down in homicide rates.
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