Strict gun control does work

Regarding the Wednesday letter, “It’s citizens who make up a militia”: OK, I did what the writer recommended. I did not bother to look at the experience of individual states in the U.S., reasoning that strict gun control laws in one state will be negated by guns coming over the border from neighboring states with looser gun laws. But if one could find an entire country that is isolated, without other countries with looser laws right on its borders, that implemented meaningful gun control laws … why, that could be quite instructive.

So: Australia passed strict gun control along with a buyback program in 1996, after a mass shooting. According to, the rate of gun homicides per 100,000 population in Australia dropped from .57 in 1996 to .11 in 2011. Not bad! While in the U.S. the rate rose from 3.37 in 1998 (there wasn’t any number for 1996, but presumably it was higher as the number for 1993 is 7.07) up to 3.6 in 2011.

Oh, and Australia has not had another mass shooting since.

Finally, I would note that while the writer went to great lengths to discuss the framer’s intent when they penned the word “militia,” he completely ignored the phrase “well-regulated”. Do you think that the framers would consider our current system “well-regulated”?

Rosemary Nguyen

Lake Stevens

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