2013/04: Have Australia's gun control laws been a success?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
On January 13, 2013, Channel Ten News ran a report detailing Australia’s gun buyback after the Port Arthur massacre and the fact that the number of guns in the community has now reached pre-buyback levels. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer'
Joyce Lee Malcolm, professor of law at George Mason University Law School

'Claims that Australian gun laws have increased crime are pure spin. These deceptive claims say more about the bitter partisan debate than about the reality in Australia'
Michael Brown, a senior lecturer at Monash University

The issue at a glance
Australian gun laws have recently attracted renewed attention.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. The deaths have prompted the Obama administration to support a range of laws intended to reduce Americans' access to automatic weapons.
Australia's gun laws have been raised as an example that the United States could follow. The United States gun lobby has responded by criticising Australia's gun laws, casting doubt on their effectiveness.
On January 14, 2013, Adjunct Associate Professor Philip Alpers, from the University of Sydney's School of Public Health, released survey data indicating that gun ownership in Australia has again reached the levels attained immediately prior to the gun buyback that followed the Port Arthur massacre. This data has led to discussion within the Australian community on the effectiveness of our country's gun laws.