Monday, July 30, 2012

Gun Crime, Facts vs Opinions

Gun control advocates, the press and many politicians would have you believe that we in the USA are the leaders in violence and murder. They tell us again and again that as a nation we do not compare to our peaceful neighbors. 

However a U.N. report produced in 2011 tells a completely different story.

The report contends that the US crime rate in general has been declining since the mid 1990s, resulting in the steady downward trend of the Northern American
homicide rate.

The report goes on to break down the numbers on homicides and group them into geographic regions. 
The USA is in the Americas region. There are 45 other countries listed in the Americas region.  

Given the press about our love of guns and murder you would think we would be on the top of the homicide list. But the U.N's facts tell a different story. 

Here is a shortened list of the winners and losers. Homicide rates are listed after the country's name.

The winners:
Canada: 1.8 
Martinique 4.2
Cuba 4.6
United States of America 5.0

38 other countries fall in the middle.
The losers:
Venezuela  49.0
Jamaica  52.1
El Salvador  66.0
Honduras  82.1

So out of 46 countries we rank 43rd in murder rates. Some might say that that we still are the murder capital because those are statistics that do not reflect the total number of people killed, and we gun crazy Americans kill far more people than anyone else. Well that too would be wrong. 

Remember with 330 million people our population is so large that many of country's in the list would not even make a large city here. 

Total number or homicide victims:
Brazil 43,909
Mexico 20,585
Colombia 15,459
United States of America 15,241
Venezuela 13,985

All of these countries have far more restrictive guns laws than we do. Mexico has one, yes one gun store. It resides on a military installation and the process to purchase a gun is so complex only a retinal scan is missing. Brazil allows gun ownership with a license from the government and there are restrictions on caliber, style, even accessories. No one under the age of 25 may own a gun. Venezuela and Colombia are similar in their gun laws to Brazil.

Based on all this information many would point out that Canada is still the best/safest place to live. But again that would be wrong. With the exception of homicide almost all other violent crime rates in Canada are higher than ours.

As a percentage of population:
Assault   Canada 2.3 - USA 1.2
Rape       Canada 0.8 - USA 0.4
Total Crime Victims Canada 23.8 - USA 21.1

When it comes to crimes that may be prevented by gun ownership, assault and rape Canada beats us by a 2 to 1 margin. The Total Crime figures might be skewed as well since one of the big crimes in the USA that Canada does not have is car theft. The US had ten times more car thefts than Canada. But this may have been balanced out by the more  restrictive drug laws in CANADA, which resulted in 164 times more drug arrests in Canada than the USA. 

But wait everyone says Canada is much better than the USA. Nope, not even the Canadians are happy there. Their suicide rate is higher than ours, 9% higher in the 15 to 24 year group and 18% higher in the 25 to 34 year group.

Well, Europe then is much better, right?
Maybe, maybe not. They do have a lower homicide rate in most places, but Russia beat us out with 15,954 homicides or over twice our murder rate.
In the USA one in ten murder victims is female, in Europe four out of ten murder victims are women. 

All in all, when you get the real numbers and not the opinions we are not doing too bad compared to our neighbors.

The Radarman

Statistical Information:




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