Comparing Australia with the US

Gary Strand said:

‘Twould seem that the difference between Australia’s gun laws and the US’
gun laws have no effect on suicide rates, since the numbers are nearly
identical.

By the same reasoning, you can conclude that Australia’s more restrictive
gun laws are the reason for the lower homicide rate in Australia.

Actually, I’m working from the assumption stated above (which, in various
forms, is used by nearly every anti-gunner) towards the one I made.

What I’m curious about is, if Oz’s gun laws have created it’s lower
crime rate (vis-a-vis the US) why didn’t they create a lower suicide rate?

  1. Perhaps Australians are more suicidal than Americans. If they had
    more access to guns, the suicide rate here would be higher.

  2. Perhaps it is true that guns don’t make suicide easier, but do make
    homicide easier. I can kill myself with a gun or rope, but while I
    can kill you just as easily with a gun, getting you to stand on the
    chair while I put the noose around your neck may prove harder.

Could it be that Oz’s crime rate is lower than the US’ for some reason
other than Oz’s gun laws?

Well, comparing figures for non-violent crime is dangerous because of
differences in reporting rates, but Australia’s non-violent crime rate
is similar to the US’s. For example, in 1988, the rates for Motor
Vehicle Theft were 770 (Oz) vs 583 (US).

There are certainly other factors than just gun availability that
determine the homicide rate. As well as a weapon you must have a
homicidal person. The higher US homicide rate could be caused by
having a lot more homicidal people. However, a homicidal person has a
much harder time murdering with a knife or his bare hands, so it seems
to me to be a reasonable theory that firearm availability is also a
cause.

If so, doesn’t that demolish the whole (Aussie
and other) anti-gunner’s argument?

Well, I’ve tried to explain why I think having readily available
firearms increases the homicide rate. I don’t presume to tell you how
to run your country. Gun laws that are successful in Australia could
be totally inappropriate for the US. Or you may decide that a higher
homicide rate is the price you have to pay as the price for having a
check on your government. (BTW, that idea sounds totally strange to
Australians — our country was not founded by a violent revolution.)