Enough About Gun Homicide Rates Already
I don’t mean to supersaturate my blog with posts on guns, but I’m pretty knowledgeable on the subject as a current hunter, and concealed carrier and as a former infantryman, and the ignorance I continue to see and hear drives me nuts. The media and gun control advocates should be ashamed at their dishonesty and gun rights advocates should be ashamed for making stupid recommendations and not pointing out the bull shit coming from those on the other side of the issue. If you stand by and watch something bad happen you are just as responsible in my eyes as whoever is actually doing the bad, bad thing.
We need to forget about the gun homicide rate, it is completely irrelevant to the discussion about gun control. It should be obvious, but let me explain.
The gun homicide rates for a few countries (and a few states) are as follows (per 100,000 inhabitants, latest data available):
England & Wales: .12
New Hampshire: .43
New York: 2.67
I don’t really care about gun homicides though, I care about the absolute rate. I just don’t see the relevance regarding by what method people are killing each other, just that they are. So lets look at total homicide rates, and just for kicks, the non-gun homicide rates (marked with an *) for these same locales:
England & Wales: 1.45 / 1.33*
Australia: 1.57 / 1.26*
New Hampshire: 1.39
Germany: 1.17 / .70*
Canada: 1.58 / 1.04*
Switzerland: .96 / .40*
New York: 4.61
US: 4.5 / 1.48*
I need to do a quick bit of math to figure out the non-gun homicide rates for the states, but I just don’t feel like it at the moment. One thing should be clear from these numbers, guns and the controls they are subject to seem to have very little effect on the homicide rate. Using more recent numbers than I had when I last compared Maine’s homicide rate to the UK’s, Maine now has a lower overall homicide rate than the UK, and that is the number that matters. At the end of the day, the total number of coffins is more relevant than anything else.
I have scoured the internet and emailed several gun control organizations and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence out there that loose gun laws do anything to increase non-gun homicides, so I have to wonder why, if guns are the problem, the US non-gun homicide rate is so much higher than everyone else’s. This also begs the question of Switzerland, a magical land where if you don’t own a gun, the government might give you one (sort of) and also issue ammunition! The Swiss have a higher gun homicide rate, but overall, you are 50% more likely to be murdered in the UK than you are in Switzerland.
Clearly there has to be something else going on, it isn’t video games and movies, it isn’t firearms availability, it’s not concealed carry, and it isn’t lack of parenting, the biggest flag signalling lots of gun violence in the US seems to be those places where guns are heavily restricted, our urban centers. The urban cultures that flourish here in the US are not the same ones that flourish over seas, I suspect that that has a lot to do with the numbers. It would also explain why black people are statistically mindless killers (they aren’t really), black are more likely to live in urban environments, so if my hunch is right, they should be more likely to murder people. It’s not that race anything to do with violence, I strongly suspect that replacing urban black populations with urban white populations would change nothing, provided the same sub-cultures remained present.
Cultural control it would seem, not gun control, is where we should be going. Not that I want to do that either. I want to lower the murder rate, not the gun murder rate, or the “hands, fists and feet” murder rate (nearly twice as many people killed by fists and such than killed by rifles in 2010, 745 motherfuckers beaten to death vs 353 killed by rifles).
By the way, these figures are for intentional homicides, not murders. Homicide is the intentional killing of one person by another, murder is the illegal killing of one by another. If you are standing over me ready to bash my head in with a lawn gnome and I shoot you in the face, that counts, but I would be within my rights to do so. How large a slice legal homicides are is difficult to say.