A new study published in the prestigious British Journal of Criminology finds that the Buyback had no benefit in reducing Australia's murder rate.  Sadly, the AAP article on this (eg here) appears to be recycled NCGC misdirection. The flaws in the article are:  1) The article labels the researchers 'pro-gun lobbyists', and fails to consistently use Dr Baker's correct title. ( 2) The article claims that other research shows differently, but no reference is provided to this 'research'.  3) The article gives the last word to 'Sydney university professor Simon Chapman', but does not say that Chapman is a former activist who helped lead the campaign to ban recreational guns.


Up-front declaration of interest helps the reader determine reliability. Professor Chapman claims that the study 'verges on academic dishonesty'. The paper is straightforward; you should definitely read it. Trend before, compared with trend after, it isn't rocket science. On the other hand, I have a tiny personal experience of the honesty of Professor Chapman.


Some years ago activist Philip Alpers joined a target shooting club and obtained possession of a target rifle, to stage a stunt threatening the safety of people around him at the target range. You can read about it on the SSANZ website.  In 2002 or 2003 I was in conversation with Professor Chapman. He said to me that even most shooters supported the gun buyback, he had a good friend who was a target shooter and supported it.  Something clicked, and I asked: "Are you talking about Phillip Alpers?"


Chapman went quiet, and terminated our conversation.

I have known Dr Baker for almost eight years. In debate she relies on evidence, not emotional rhetoric and she takes on board and fairly examines counter-evidence when it is presented. Professor Chapman discredits himself when he impugns her honesty. I urge you to read her work and assess it for yourself.  The paper itself is copyright to the British Journal of Criminology, and available here or by  email from the authors.


Don Weatherburn also has had occasion to chide Professor Chapman for his attitude to evidence.


Chris Allen, co-founder, CLASS.


Now it is clear that the benefits of the 1996 National Firearms Agreement were not sufficient to justify savage and false criticism whipped up against shooters. 

Now that we know what caused the string of massacres and the mechanism that underlay their end, effective policy action should be taken against the causes.

The principles behind the National Firearms Agreement need to be laid out and questioned.

  • Almost all of the destroyed guns were sporting types, despite the claim that they were somehow especially 'dangerous'. Was it really necessary to take away Australians' rabbit guns, in a country where the main use of shooting was control of feral pests?

  • Was it right to infantilise Australians, to act as though they have no right to take responsibility for their own behaviour?

  • Is it true that no Australian needs to be armed in self-defense? Could no single person's murder, rape or violent injury have been prevented by an intervention? Was it right teach us to hide under tables and let ourselves be killed?

  • The shooters who were vilified have murdered no-one with car bombs, recruited no killers, gang-raped no-one and murdered no policemen to keep their guns.  It is time for Australia to recognise that the hate still promoted by the activists and certain journalists was a serious wrong against innocents.

The self-righteous do not admit their fault, but most ordinary people have realised they were misled and moved on.  It is time that the media acknowledged that their activist partners 'shouted fire in a crowded theatre' with the worst results.  The innocent died, and other innocents were blamed.  Let's make changes needed, redress the excesses, and move on to a better country.