US Gun Violence - Not Down Under

In 1996, Australia experienced a mass shooting where 35 lives were taken at the now-called Port Arthur Massacre. That year, the country passed stricter gun control regulations (automatic weapons ban, tightened licensing on gun licensing and national registration of firearms). It has since seen a sharp decline in gun-related deaths. What would it look like if the US saw the same level of success as Australia with stricter gun controls?

The sharpest decline is in the first two years prior to gun control. We see a 20% drop the first year after strict controls. This translates to ~6,000 less gun related deaths per year. At its most effective we could see what Australia experienced, an approximate 50% decrease in gun-related deaths ten years after policy implementation. This potential would mean ~15,000 fewer deaths per year.

The fundamental principle of this blog and the world of analytics is to remain unbiased. I will not purposefully obscure facts and data to promote my beliefs (with the exception of sports related posts). There are many economic and sociologic considerations to examine in a more thorough analysis on how the US would implement successful new gun control policies. A simple truth, however, is that the US has had little to no effective policy actions taken to reduce firearms deaths in the past 20 years. History has shown you cannot eradicate violent crime, but if we can reduce it by 5, 10, 15%, I believe we owe it to the families of victims in Orlando, Newtown, Blacksburg, San Bernadino, Killeen, Aurora and the thousands of other firearm homicides to do so.

Sources:

US Homicide - Firearm Related Deaths: CDC, http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe

AU Gun Related Deaths: Gunpolicy.org, http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compareyears/10/total_number_of_gun_deaths

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