A common fact given by the pro gun lobbies is that in 1997, when Australia issued a gun buy back scheme, rates of crime soared dramatically. While any statistics cited will almost certainly be true, chances are they are not telling the whole truth.

One figure you may be told is a 3.2% increase in homicide. While this is true, 3.2% more people were killed, the population of Australia was also growing quite a bit. The number to look at is not the number of homicides, but the homicide rate. From 1996 to 1997 it fell from 2.0 homicides per hundred thousand to 1.7 per hundred thousand.

Another often cited fact is that in 1997 the state of Victoria's homicide with firearms went up 150%. While this may seem an incredible fact at first, Victoria state's population is around 4.5 million. In 1996, the number of firearm related homicides was 7. In 1997 is was 19. An increase of 12 in 4.5 million is hardly a statistically relevant amount.

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