Australia: "Homicides jump to record levels"


April 3, 2003, 09:14 AM
Note how the law of weapon substitution is at work here. Murders spike up even as gun murders decline.

from the West Australian jump to record levels


THE number of homicides in Australia jumped to record levels last year, with babies the most common victims of murder or manslaughter for any single age group.

New figures released today by the Australian Institute of Criminology show a 20 per cent increase in homicides last financial year, with 381 deaths, compared with 317 the previous year.

But there was a 25 per cent drop in the number of people killed by guns, with knives or other sharp instruments the most common weapon.

The National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) annual report found there were 21 multiple killings last year compared with seven the previous year, although there were no massacres.

Six of the 21 multiple victim incidents involved the deaths of three people, while 15 incidents involved two victims.

Children under one were the most common victims of homicide, with 15 babies under 12 months killed in 2001-02.

Report author Jenny Mouzos said the 381 homicides last year was the highest number in Australia since the NHMP's inception in 1990.

"When you're talking about a small number, and comparatively speaking it is when you compare it with the US, the increase is not statistically significant," she said.

"A number of things can result in an increase in homicide.

"There was an increase in family homicide this year and there's been an increase in multiple victim incidents which added to the numbers."

Ms Mouzos said the high number of child victims could be explained by an increase in family and triple homicides.

Compared with 2000-01, the proportion of family homicides doubled to 23 per cent.

In 2001-02 there were 354 homicides (90 per cent murder, 10 per cent manslaughter) carried out by 375 alleged offenders.

Most of the offenders - 85 per cent - were male and most were younger than their victims, with the mean age of victims being 36 years.

Most offenders did not consume alcohol or use drugs at the time of the incident but when they did, it was more likely to be alcohol than illegal or prescription drugs.

The 25 per cent drop in firearms used to kill was the lowest figure recorded but Ms Mouzos said it was difficult to say whether the drop was a result of Australia's toughened gun control laws since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.

"It's difficult to attribute causation," she said.

"Since the national firearms agreement was put in place what we've seen is that it's gradually slowly declined."

© 2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited

If you enjoyed reading about "Australia: "Homicides jump to record levels"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 3, 2003, 10:13 AM
Hey, as long as they're not being killed with those nasty old guns, they're not really dead, right?

Ol' Badger
April 3, 2003, 10:23 AM
Good. You get what you deserve. They hired the liberal loser politicians and look what you get!

April 3, 2003, 10:29 AM
how does an under one year old child defend itself, and how have the disarmament laws affected that ability?

April 3, 2003, 10:52 AM
381-15 = 366 Total

15/381 = .039 or 3.9%

So babies are 3.9% of the total for 2001-2002.

Sounds like a pretty small number to be focusing attention on. You don't want to lose sight of the forest while focusing on the trees.

BTW, it can't and they haven't, regarding your question.

Bruce in West Oz
April 3, 2003, 08:01 PM
Good. You get what you deserve. They hired the liberal loser politicians and look what you get!

Except that the party that rammed through the legislation -- and subsequent further bans -- is the (capital "L") Liberal Party -- which is the conservative party, our equivalent of your Republicans! The left or socialist party here is the Australian Labor Party. Labor is traditionally anti-gun -- the Libs, up until this jerk-off of a Prime Minister (Howard), have been at worst, neutral -- at best, supportive, of firearms ownership.

Hence the reason there was no opposition when the conservative party proposed anti-gun legislation in parliament. :fire:


PS: A check on stats shows that gun-related homicides have been declining since the early 90s -- 6 years before the legislation referred to in this article.

El Tejon
April 3, 2003, 08:11 PM
Ag, maybe the babies were eaten by dingos? Isn't the government suppossed to protect everyone regardless of age?

BTW, babies do not protect themselves. That's what parents are there to do. My children will reload while my wife and I shoot.:)

Again, gun control has nothing to do with crime. It exists to control the people; the government understands that the criminal class does not follow their laws and could care less if they do or not.

rock jock
April 3, 2003, 08:18 PM
I gotta say, it sounds like a lot of these murders would not have been prevented if gun-control laws were non-existent. That's the problem with small statistical population groups, difinitive conclusions about cause are often difficult. The argument in this case aganist gun control should not be that more guns would have saved lives, because that conclusion cannot be drawn with any confidence; rather it sould be based on one's fundamental right to self-preservation. Whether or not one is ever forced to exercise that right is immaterial to the argument.

April 3, 2003, 08:44 PM
Statistically, that is not much of an increase since the actual sampling is pretty small (20% over a little more than 300 means almost nothing). I mean, Chicago Illinois as a city had over twice as many murders as this amount, as did Australia had for a whole country. 1997 Chicago stats, pretty grim:

It puts things in perspective doesn't it? I would gladly give up my guns (except for long gun hunting) in a heartbeat to live in Australia or New Zealand.

America is a very violent country. There are many reasons for this. I am too tired to debate it at the present, but it is a truism.

Lock Down
April 4, 2003, 06:57 AM
Looking at the number of stupid people wandering around loose in Australia it's hardly a surprise.

April 4, 2003, 09:06 AM
And bad dad brad joins agricola on the ignore list.

April 4, 2003, 11:32 AM
20% increase in homicides (firearms were banned because they are used in homicides)

200% increase in multiple homicides (but firearms were banned through “Australia's toughened gun control laws since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996”)

Firearms were banned because they are used in homicides {and multiple homicides}, and yet now the gov’t can’t attribute the drop in firearms homicides to the firearm ban…

Exactly how are they measuring the “success” of their legislation?

April 4, 2003, 11:40 AM

bad's point about this being unreliable because of the relatively small statistical size is as relevant to Australia as it is to the UK. Multiple homicides are far more likely to involve family members, usually murder-then-suicides, which are precisely the type of offences that gun control could affect the most (since most of these killings will take place in the "law-abiding" community).


cant you debate the veracity of his arguments with him? (but if he has me on ignore.... :evil: )

April 4, 2003, 12:20 PM
I wasn’t debating the statistics. I understand how they work. I was making the point that the antis always scream about the availability of firearms being one of the largest reasons for homicides and multiple homicides, but then when they finally succeed in banning them, all of a sudden the numbers cannot be attributed to their legislation. They can’t support their original argument no matter which way the numbers move…

Crime went up? Well, we need more legislation!

Crime went down? See? It works! We need more legislation just like it!

April 4, 2003, 01:19 PM
381 is not a statistically insignificant number. For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control uses 20 deaths a year within a given population as its border between significant and insignificant numbers statistically speaking.

381 represents a murder rate of 1.92 per 100,000 (Oz population is ~19.8 million source (!OpenDocument))

That is higher than or similar to 18% of U.S. states (nine states). Eight are have much less strict gun control than does Australia and are similar in population density/dispersement, socio-economic conditions and culture. (Massachusetts has high gun control and different other stuff).

My point here is not to assert that gun control causes the Oz rate or that lack of gun control is behind the low rates in the U.S. (nor to deny those assertions for that matter), but rather to point out that the correlation between gun control and low murder is not strong. In the U.S., low murder correlates much more strongly to region than to gun control -- only one of the nine lowest murder rates is a from gun control state.

Without correlation, you cannot have causation. The burden of proof is on the controllers, and they cannot support their laws with data.

New Hampshire--15--1,215,870--1.23
North Dakota--12--629,305--1.90
South Dakota--14--737,302--1.89
Vermont 11 597,855 1.83
Wyoming 10--480,900--2.07
source (

Above are murders by all instruments, not just guns.

April 4, 2003, 01:54 PM

Neither myself or bad said that the number was statistically insignificant, rather that it was unreliable because of its small size. one or two events on the scale of a Columbine, Omagh or Hungerford can affect that number (in terms of rises or falls) far more than they can affect a higher number.

I'd also agree that the region and social aspects of that region have an affect on the statistics.

April 4, 2003, 01:58 PM
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control uses 20 deaths as the border between reliable and unreliable numbers when looking at trends.

381 is neither insignificant nor unreliable statistically speaking -- nor for that matter is the change of 64 from 317 to 381.

If you enjoyed reading about "Australia: "Homicides jump to record levels"" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!