Real Or Fake? Facebook Posts On Results Of Gun Control Laws


Following every mass shooting in the U.S., the debate reignites about reforming this country’s gun laws.

Gun control advocates often point to stricter gun laws reducing violence in other countries.  But posts circulating on Facebook claim just the opposite.

So what’s real and what’s fake? This Facebook post called “Australian Gun Update” was made in 2015, but it actually began circulating in 2001. 

According to the post, “It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government.”

That’s fake.  Australia started its gun buyback program in 1996, which took 700,000 firearms, or about 20 percent, of the national supply out of circulation. The country also banned all automatic and semiautomatic firearms and tightened licensing requirements in response to a mass shooting known as the Port Arthur Massacre, which killed 35 people. 

This Facebook Post, which remember was originally put out in 2001, also says, “Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent, Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent; Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!”

The actual statistics show that’s fake tooHomicide in Australia has declined over the last 25 years, with the current homicide rate the lowest on record.

But there is something real about this old Facebook post that gets new life every time there’s another mass shooting.  Robberies in Australia did rise for the first time in six years, but not by 44 percent. Victims of armed robbery were actually up by seven percent in 2015.

Another decades-old post that resurfaces after every mass shooting is titled: “A Little Gun History.” It actually started going viral as an email back in 1996.
It claims that many mass exterminations around the world were preceded by gun control. 

While it’s real that the systematic killings of certain populations were after a dictator confiscated their guns, it’s important to note the guns were taken from targeted populations.

What’s fake is that these mass exterminations happened immediately after gun control.  In many cases, gun control laws had been in effect for years. 

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