December 15, 2012

Murder And NRA

Let us memorialize the deaths of 20 innocent children in Connecticut by finally addressing the issue of gun control in this country. When will we no longer allow the National Rifle Association to be the only decision maker to decide how we control guns? Something needs to be done.

Below is an excerpt from an article appearing in the Guardian on July 22, 2012, Gun Homicides And Gun Ownership by Country, comparing murder rates by country.
"The Small Arms Survey is also useful - although it is from 2007, it collates civilian gun ownership rates for 178 countries around the world, and has 'normalised' the data to include a rate per 100,000 population. So, given those caveats, we can see which countries have the highest ownership rates for firearms - and which have the highest gun murder rates.
The key facts are:
• The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world - an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership - and even the number two country, Yemen, has significantly fewer - 54.8 per 100 people.

• But the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate - that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people
• Puerto Rico tops the world's table for firearms murders as a percentage of all homicides - 94.8%. It's followed by Sierra Leone in Africa and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean"
I extracted the data below from the above article and tried to include those countries that were most relevant when comparing them to the United States. My conclusion is the United States has a serious problem.

Click Chart To Enlarge
Here is what caught my attention.
  • The countries having worse homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population than the United States include Columbia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua.
  • The United States had a homicide rate by firearm per 100,000 in population of 2.97. The next closest country below us is Turkey with .77 per 100,000 in population.
  • Canada, England, Germany, France and Spain have the following respective homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population: .51, .07, .19, .06 and .2.
  • The United States had 88.8 firearms per 100 people. The next closest country was Switzerland with 45.7 per 100 people. Switzerland's homicide by firearm per 100,000 in population was .77 while ours is 2.97.
This problem needs to be addressed. In this article I am not advocating gun control. I am advocating that serious thought be given to what we are going to do about it. Gun control is only one solution and the NRA should not be allowed to be the sole decision maker on this important issue.

Look at the countries above that have higher homicide rates by firearm than the United States. Except maybe for Brazil, the remainder of the these countries we would expect to have higher murders per capita than the U.S..

1 comment:

  1. I used to be a proponent of total gun control but I have changed my position some time ago. While a terrible and high profile tradegy as this shows the danger of legally obtained guns failing into the hands of mentally disturbed people with violent intent, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed by the criminals. Disarming the law abiding citizens (who account for the small percentage of all gun crimes) would do very little to stop these crimes, and would only make it easier for the criminals to assault people without any fear of retribution. You can only count on the police to show up after the crime has been committed. The fact is, the USA had traditionally been a more violent country than the UK.

    Looking at the countries like Russia or Mexico where there is gun control and a very high murder rate, or Washington DC where it's practically impossible for a law abiding citizen to own a gun yet the gun violence is very high, shows that the gun ban in a violent society is never going to work. Just like drug ban doesn't.

    It appears that many of the adults shot at the school died trying to stop the shooter with their bare hands. Had at least one of them been armed, the events could turn out differently.