As an Australian, I find it necessary to offer some actual evidence for some of the claims in this lovely warm thread.
In 2001 a created an argumentative essay on the impact of the Nationwide Agreement on Firearms (NAF). Its scored a perfect mark.
The basis for my argument was evidence provided by the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Given its now 2005 this would be an excellent time for me to further research trends and gain a more accurate perspective of the impact of the NAF.
As I'm currently working abroad, I will be unable to obtain the original essay and update it for some time. It is complete with footnotes so anyone will be able to follow my findings and draw their own conclusions, and perhaps present something of interest which has not yet occurred to me.
I invite anyone to go to www.aic.gov.au
to conduct their own research. Whilst I haven't completed reading this thread yet, there is substantial misinformation on both sides of this argument.
On a personal note, this is an argument I'm very passionate about, and I have drawn my own conclusion. I have witnessed some of the passion which others also feel for this topic in this thread, but I urge those on both sides to study hard as there is a huge mound of research to be done in order to present a half reasonable viewpoint.