The ban and buyback were estimated to have reduced the number of guns in private hands in Australia by 20 percent. But most gun violence involves handguns, not the “long guns” that were the focus of those changes.
Australia’s homicide rate did not fall in the first years after those restrictions went into place, though suicide declined.
Homicide dropped significantly from 2003 to 2014, a period when it was also declining across the developed world, including the United States, for reasons that criminologists say are unclear. Coincidentally or not, that decline followed the adoption of some handgun restrictions in Australia.
According to neighbors and public records, Cynda Miles worked for a local community group. Her daughter Katrina Miles and her daughter’s four children, ages 8 to 13, lived on the property. The children were all home-schooled. A friend of the family, who is in the same home-schooling network, said the children were on the autism spectrum.
The police said they would identify victims only after next of kin had been notified. Local news media, however, said that the victims were Katrina Miles, her children and her parents.
Osmington has a population of just 135 and mostly consists of farming properties and vineyards. It is about 12 miles northeast of Margaret River, a popular tourist destination known for its wineries, surfing and natural beauty.