Melbourne, Australia has been rocked with five shooting deaths in just 10 days, even though the country famously restricted citizens’ right to own firearms in 1996.
Australians gave up their right to own shotguns and semi automatic rifles after a family’s tragic murder-suicide in 1996, and the common belief is that this drastically reduced crime in the city. A new string of gun violence in Melbourne may be challenging this perception.
“Five shooting deaths in just 10 days,” noted a TV anchor for Australia’s 9 News Sydney, “Despite the bloodshed, police in Melbourne are trying to allay fears of escalating violence in the city.”
The shooting is thought to have been provoked by a discussion about a stolen vehicle, and led to the death of a 19-year-old Australian man and another charged with murder. Authorities are quick to note that, compared to the world population, Melbourne is still a very safe city.
While the 1996 gun control legislation may have had a discernible impact on gun deaths in the country, gun deaths had already been on the decline since the 1980s and earlier. The country went from nearly 700 deaths in 1987, to 421 in 1996, the year the sweeping gun control legislation was adopted across the country, to 238 in 2016. Research for years after 2016 is not readily available, but likely reflects the same trend.
It would appear that, regardless of what legislation is in place, criminals do not follow the law, and will disregard any law or restrictions that would stand in the way of committing a crime if that is their intent.
Join the conversation!
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.