THE PUZZLE OF MURDER-BY-GUN STATISTICS

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This topic contains 91 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Rebel 5 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #1271

    Unseen
    Participant

    In the following, I will refer to rate of gun ownership stats here and rates of intentional homicide here. See if your conclusion is different from the one I express in the last paragraph.

    The United States has by far the most guns per capita, with about 89 guns for every 100 people. I assume that 100 includes children, so perhaps in the US we actually have more guns than grown up citizens!

    At the same time, “guns per capita” might leave the impression of more people with guns than is the case. This is because people who have guns often have more than one, and sometimes they have many. Some people collect guns much as I collect knives (at one time I had about 3 dozen). Other people—fearful of an upcoming apocalypse of some sort—may actually maintain what can only be called a stockpile or armory in the name of “preparedness.”

    The percentage of Americans who actually have a gun in their household or possession appears to be an unavailable statistic.

    Another wrench in the works is the fact that statistics are almost invariably based on gun ownership, whereas a lot of murder and mayhem is done with guns not legally owned by the perpetrator. These are guns obtained in burglaries, taken away from victims in assaults and/or robberies, or even taken off dead victims of gang warfare. This fact is seldom if ever addressed. There’s no law of the universe requiring someone to have a legal right to the gun they murder someone with.

    Next, since no other country comes close to the US in statistics of gun ownership—and what that really means isn’t clear, as I just pointed out—comparisons are risky at best. Nevertheless, some comparisons are quite interesting, assuming the cited statistics are accurate. And they are trusted well enough to be widely quoted, I assure you.

    For example, despite the high rate of gun ownership in the US, many countries have a much higher rate. The rate in the US is 4.7 per 100,000, in Mexico it’s 21.5 (41st in rate of gun ownership [GO]), in Brazil it’s 25.2 (72nd in GO), in the Bahamas it’s 29.8 (94th in GO), and in Honduras it’s 90.4 (87th in GO)!!!

    Wait a second…that tropical paradise The Bahamas has a murder rate more than six times higher than the United States? I might have believed Jamaica or Haiti, but The Bahamas!

    The conclusion I’ve driving toward is obvious: there is NO RELATION WHATSOEVER between the rate of gun ownership and the murder rate when you look at the big picture.

    #1275

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    Your conclusion is expressed clearly enough but I assume there is an agenda behind making the point. Could you let us in on it?

    #1276

    Gregg R Thomas
    Participant

    Murders occur all over the world, where personal ownership of guns is allow and where not allowed. The gun is the most efficient tool to commit murder, it is also the most efficient tool to resist such an attempt against your person or loved ones.

    I grew up around the bad people, they exist. Being on your knees begging for your life has little effect on them, but a gaping chest wound has a very large effect on them.

    I carry one (sometimes 2) everyday, not because I’m aching to replay the shoot-out at the OK corral but for the exact opposite reason, the chance to survive an aggressive assault.

    I truly think the reduction of murders will be accomplish by social change not gun-control laws. The real solution is to understand the reasons humans murder other humans and then to work to reduce those influences within our society.

    #1279

    Strega
    Moderator

    I find it interesting that guns and people co-exist where I live now (Vermont, USA) because I didn’t grow up in a gun-friendly country, and I kind of half expected everyone around me to be toting guns when I moved over from the UK.

    In fact, I rarely see anything resembling a gun, despite Vermonts open carry laws. I’ve been trying to be as open minded as I can regarding this potential, but I just never see people with firearms.

    I do find it extraordinary that in the USA you have to be 21 years old to drink alcohol yet only 18 years old to buy a gun. I can’t help but feel that’s back to front. In the UK and much of mainland Europe you can give your child alcohol, maybe watered down wine at dinner, and it’s nobody’s business unless some other incident is involved. Certainly at 18 years old you are an adult, and thus have access to all things previously denied you.

    Why guns at 18 years old?

    #1281

    Gregg R Thomas
    Participant

    It’s worse then you think Strega, in this country when you’re 18 you can join the Army, drink beer, shoot guns and kill people…America the Beautiful. 😀

    #1282

    Unseen
    Participant

    <p class=”minimumFontMain”>Your conclusion is expressed clearly enough but I assume there is an agenda behind making the point. Could you let us in on it?

    That’s an unusual question related to basically a statement of a bunch of statistics. Do you ask Davis what his agenda is for his posts on Pluto?

    I’m just pointing out that when you start to look for correlations between guns per capita and gun murders, you enter a morass that seems to be beyond interpretation. My agenda, if you will, was to point that out.

    #1283

    Unseen
    Participant

    I truly think the reduction of murders will be accomplish by social change not gun-control laws.

    That makes sense. Most gun control efforts only make initial sense but only end up having the most effect on the people we need to worry about the least.

    #1284

    Unseen
    Participant

    I rarely see anything resembling a gun, despite Vermonts open carry laws. I’ve been trying to be as open minded as I can regarding this potential, but I just never see people with firearms.

    I suspect that most people who have the right to open carry AND have a gun, still don’t open carry them and mostly don’t even take them out of their home. Their real reason for having them is to defend the castle should it come to that.

    Also, as I pointed out, there are probably far fewer gun owners than the number of guns per capita might make one think due to the fact that some people collect guns or keep a private stockpile. If you go into the grocery store and there are 40 other people there along with you, there might not be a single person with a gun in the entire store.

    I do find it extraordinary that in the USA you have to be 21 years old to drink alcohol yet only 18 years old to buy a gun.

    There’s no constitutional right in the US guaranteeing your right as an adult to buy alcohol. In fact, there are so-called “dry” counties where nobody can legally sell or buy alcohol. They are rare, but they exist.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Unseen.
    #1287

    Unseen
    Participant

    After a little research, I should have referred to dry communities rather than counties. Here is a list of dry communities in the US.

    #1288

    Strega
    Moderator

    @unseen. My last laptop had a fingerprint scan mechanism which substitutes as a password. I wonder how hard it would be to transpose that mechanism onto a gun trigger. It was really easy to add other people’s fingerprints when there was need, and just as easy to delete them.

    You could transfer gun ownership really easily with such a mechanism and it might mean that accidents with kids would be far less likely – nor lend itself to ‘teen taking parent gun’ issues, as in the school killings. I’m sure the code could be broken by experts so it wouldn’t prevent theft, but might it impede negative opportunism?

    #1289

    Unseen
    Participant

    @unseen. My last laptop had a fingerprint scan mechanism which substitutes as a password. I wonder how hard it would be to transpose that mechanism onto a gun trigger. It was really easy to add other people’s fingerprints when there was need, and just as easy to delete them.

    I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t already started work on something like that. The problem probably has to do with building it into the gun without adding much to the bulk.

    #1290

    Strega
    Moderator

    Probably the cost-effectiveness, because we can pretty much nanochip these days. You could add it to the gun price and promote it as a feature, maybe :). You know, the more you pay, the more it’s worth – and all that.

    #1291

    Strega
    Moderator

    @Gregg. You can drink beer at 18?

    #1292

    Unseen
    Participant

    You can drink beer at 18?

    That’s a broad generalization. Here’s how it works state by state.

    #1293

    Gregg R Thomas
    Participant

    The age to drink is different in different states IIRC. I think I’m old enough to drink in any state.:)

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