Considering Australia’s Gun Laws

I keep coming back to the gunpolicy.org chart of Australia gun deaths. One of the interpretations of this chart i hear is “well, gun deaths were already trending down anyway.” That’s obviously true. But let’s talk about the impact of the law.
I changed the graph. Let’s assume a linear progression from where Australia was in 1996 to where they are today. That’s the black line I added.


The orange line is what actually happened after the law was passed. The yellow stuff is important. The yellow area is dead bodies. That’s people who would have died without the law, or didn’t die because of the impact of the law (whichever way you want to look at it).

My point is that no matter how you draw the black line (i.e. no matter what you think would have happened without the laws) there will still be a yellow area. And that yellow area is nothing but people who would have died. Less deaths is the goal and such laws achieve that.

So the grim calculus is how many lives were saved and what does it cost? Is it worth it? I think so, but these are the kinds of questions society has to wrestle with.