Peregrine flight

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Outgunned and gunned out

I got another nutty gun letter today that ends with the statement, "Are you willing to die to take my guns?" And this chestnut:

"It is not my right, at that point, but my responsibility to respond in the name of liberty. What I am telling you is something that many are trying to soft sell, and many others have tried to avoid putting into print, but I am going to say it. The time for speaking in code is over.

If they come for our guns then it is our constitutional right to put them six feet under. You have the right to kill any representative of this government who tries to tread on your liberty. I am thinking about self-defense and not talking about inciting a revolution. Re-read Jefferson ’s quote. He talks about a “last resort.” I am not trying to start a Revolt, I am talking about self-defense. If the day for Revolution comes, when no peaceful options exist, we may have to talk about that as well. " "If they come for your guns it is your right to use those guns against them and to kill them. You are protected by our constitution."

Saw a figure about two weeks ago that gave me reason to pause. 1200 gun deaths since Newtown. Incredible. Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says that guns aren't the real culprit here, it's the video games. Hey Lamar, I'll give up my video game when you unwrap my cold dead fingers from it. Video games don't kill people, people kill people. You know the drill.

Found these statistics today. I will assume that they are accurate until I find out differently and for the sake of argument. Something to consider.

The United States has 88.8 guns per 100 people, Switzerland 45.7, Germany 30.3, and Japan 0.6.

In 2012, there were 14,748 killings in the U.S., 9,960 by guns. Germany 690 killings, 158 by guns; Switzerland 97 killings, 57 by guns; Japan 646 killings, 11 by guns.

Extrapolating per 100,000 inhabitants: The murder rate in the U.S. was 5.6 times the rate of Germany, 3.7 times the rate of Switzerland, and 12 times the rate of Japan.

The murder rate using a gun in the U.S. was 16.4 times the rate in Germany, 4.3 times the rate in Switzerland and 327 times the rate in Japan.

One must ask ourselves why so much more violence here and also why people feel so threatened that they think that they need assault weapons at home. Are we really that much worse off than Germany, Japan, Switzerland and Canada?

And forget about the NRA's ridiculous attempt to block background checks and blame all of our gun problems on "criminals." Most guns used in mass shootings crimes were purchased legally according to this article in Mother Jones.

Source: Mother Jones
 Here is another map from Mother Jones that tracks mass shootings. Each dot represents a shooting in which at least four people were killed. As you can see they are spread out pretty evenly. And of course it is out of date, they seem to be occurring at an exponential clip of late.
Source : Mother Jones
Look at this map. For killing, we plainly take the cake.

Read the Ezra Klein article at Wonkblog. The south is clearly the most violent region of the country. I wonder why? Isn't it also the home of the bible belt? 

Source : Keiran Healy

Found these stats over at Informed Comment: 

Number of Murders, United States, 2010: 12,996

Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2010: 8,775

Number of Murders, Britain, 2011*: 638
(Since Britain’s population is 1/5 that of US, this is equivalent to 3,095 US murders)

Number of Murders by firearms, Britain, 2011*: 58
(equivalent to 290 US murders)

Number of Murders by crossbow in Britain, 2011*: 2 (equivalent to 10 US murders).

58 murders in britain by firearm as opposed to 8775 here, in the calendar year 2010. Britain, another multicultural hotbed, battling poverty and beset with similar problems that we face in the United States. But a fraction of our violence.

Let's look at our homicide rate next to our peaceful northern neighbor, albeit a slightly out of date graph. What gives? Is it the fluoride in the water that gives us our brutish impulses?


Ken Seals said...

Robert, it's clearly cultural. Specifically Switzerland, it's a much more monolithic culture than the diversity we have here in the US. Even though we have clear penalties for murder in the US, it's still (in the mind of the killers) a kind of behavior that is a course of action that they may may never even be apprehended for.

Sanoguy said...

Your stats are both interesting and compelling, however, the gun rights activists don't care about you or the stats... or me for that matter!