There has been a lot of talk about gun violence and I mostly stay out of it, but I would like to point out somethings.
First let me say I am not a gun owner and apart from one time in boy scouts, and another time with a friend of mine, I have never even fired a gun and have no plans on changing that any time soon.
With that said:
The statistics of the murder rate in this country has been conflated with the statistic of the death by gun rate. These two are very different numbers.
Per the Washington Times 2012, the US has a gun ownership rate of about 88.8 guns per 100 people, that is a LOT of freaking guns, almost 1 per person and makes us by far the country with the largest gun ownership. The next highest is Serbia with a rate of just under 70. The fact that we lead the world in gun deaths is not surprising or unexpected.
It’s also not true.
Per the GunPolicy.org website Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Jamaica, Swaziland, Guatemala, Colombia, South Africa, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay, and Mexico all have a higher gun death rate then the country with far and away the highest gun ownership in the world.
This is for all deaths by guns, not just homicide. The total gun deaths in US per capita rating is 10.64. putting it at 13th. #1 Honduras has a rate of 64.8 and #12 Mexico a rate of 11.17. In the US of that a full 6.7 is for suicide, the homicide by gun rate is 3.55. in Mexico that rate is 10. When you only look only at homicide by gun rate, the US goes from 13th to 17th. Still very high, but dead is dead and when you open up to looking at homicides by all methods, the rate for the US goes to 4.7. That puts the US at #110. While there are a lot of countries with much higher rates (Honduras has a rate of 90.4), 4.7 per 100,000 homicides is still high. Switzerland (which every gun enthusiast loves to point to as a country that loves it guns even though they are required by law to keep there guns from there mandatory military service and still have a rate less then half of ours) has a homicide rate of only 0.6, of that only 0.23 is by gun.
So America is gun loving country that likes to kill people more then most western industrialized countries, but not as much as the media would have you believe.
Of all the gun deaths in the country, about 2/3 are from suicide. The total suicide rate is 12.1, so at 6.7 over half of all suicides in this country are by a gun. An interesting statistic about suicide, most attempts are done with cutting or poison, but only 6% are effective, but with guns, they are 96% effective. If you attempt suicide by cutting, poison, or even asphyxiation, you are most likely going to live, but if you shoot yourself, you are dead for sure. Suicide is often a rash decision that is made in the heat of the moment. Having a device that has a 96% success rate compared to 6%, that became a fatal decision.
The US’s suicide rate puts it at 50th in the world. But there are only a few developed countries ahead of us, mostly nordic countries and japan. Suicides seem to be more common among northern latitudes, which makes it surprising that overall Canada has a lower rate then we do. If you look only at the rate of suicides by gun, the US is 3rd per capita.
It looks as if with stricter gun control, we might reduce the number of suicide deaths in the US. What is not clear is that we would reduce the number of violent deaths in the US. While it is true that most of the homicides in this country are committed by a gun, and that we have FAR more guns in this country than any other country. But when you look at our over all homicide rate, it is high, only 110th n the world, but much higher than most other industrialized countries, though still lower than most people would guess looking hearing the media. Countries with far lower rates of gun ownership have much much higher homicide rates, and even homicide by gun rates.
I want to take just a second away with you to look at Serbia. As I mentioned before, they have a gun ownership rate of 0.7, which means that for every 100 people in that country there are 70 guns, which makes it # 2 in the world when it comes to gun ownership. If we look at there death by gun rate it is 3.9, which is less than 40% the US 10.64, if we look at the homicide by gun rate alone, we see it at 0.62, which puts it at about 20% of the US. They have a gun ownership rate at 80% of the US, yet a homicide by gun rate at 20%. They ALSO have a suicide rate on par with the US (12.4 vs the US 12.1) yet there suicide by gun rate is 2.81 vs the US 6.7, or about 40%. Over all homicide rate is at 1.2 vs the US 4.7, 25%.
At this point I am not sure that guns make a difference at all in the country and think there must be a bigger problem we have in the US than just guns.
Guns are designed to kill people, that is why we have them. But they also help level the playing field for weaker individuals to protect them selves. At least that is what we are told. If you look at the rate of justified homicides by gun, it is 0.22 in the US. This number is hard to compare to other countries because most don’t seem to keep it (I could not find it) but 0.22 rate for people seems pretty low.
So should we not own guns? I think for the small number of people that guns save, we should think twice about that. Because even though small, the people they save are VERY grateful they had them to protect themselves and there families.
Another argument people say is that you should not have a gun in your home if you have small children because they could turn it on themselves. While true, if you are saying this with a pool in your yard you are a hypocrite, because the rate of accidental death by pool owners is over 4 times what it is by gun owners.
This country has a problem with violence, the number of guns in this country might exacerbate a problem in some ways, but demanding that we institute gun control does not work because we love guns in this country and just like anyone would, when faced with someone telling you you can’t do something you love, you fight even harder to keep that thing. When people yell and yell because they don’t see there way, it just makes it harder for them in the future. If you really want to reduce the number of guns in this country, help people feel safer in their home, help them find security in their work, show them how having a gun is more of a danger to people with suicidal tendencies then to anyone else.
Suicides by gun in this country is what I would consider the most damming evidence that we need to do something about guns. Gun violence is horrible, but the rate at which it actually happens in this country seems to be more about doing violence and using the available tool then guns, it is not at all clear that having less guns would mean less deaths as there does not seem to be a correlation to this in any other country.
in conclusion, this is not well written.