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Using real figures to show something…

I commented on Twitter yesterday that some were taking the Oslo tragedy as an opportunity to push forward certain right-wing agendas.

And please don’t tell me that open carry and anti Gun Registry proponents are not unique to the right. There may be a few exceptions – but damned few.

Over at wmtc, they took it one step further and tore down the straw-man that the anti Registry and pro open carry advocates were making. Please go over and take a look.

And, just because of how I tick, I dd a bit of research and yeah, the figures cited are correct. At 10.9 gun deaths / 100,000, Texas is in the middle of the pack in the U.S. on this count.

And here’s a country by country table (again, / 100,000 of the pop.). Some of the sources are quite dated, but I don’t believe any are too far out of whack.

Country↓ Total firearm-related death rate↓ Homicides↓ Suicides↓ Unintentional deaths↓ Year↓ Sources and notes↓
 South Africa 74.57 74.57 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Colombia 51.77 51.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Thailand 33 33 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Guatemala 18.05 18.05 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 United States 15.22 7.07 7.35 0.59 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Brazil 14.15 10.58 0.73 0.28 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Estonia 12.74 8.07 3.13 0.93 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Mexico 12.07 9.88 0.91 1.27 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Philippines 9.46 9.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Argentina 9.19 2.11 3.05 0.32 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Paraguay 7.35 7.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Finland 6.86 0.86 5.78 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Northern Ireland 6.82 5.24 1.34 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Switzerland 6.4 0.58 5.61 0.13 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 France 6.35 0.44 5.14 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Canada 4.78 0.76 3.72 0.22 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Zimbabwe 4.75 4.75 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Austria 4.56 0.42 4.06 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Norway 4.39 0.3 3.95 0.12 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Portugal 3.72 1.28 1.28 0.21 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belgium 3.48 0.6 2.56 0.06 1990 Krug 1998[3]
 Costa Rica 3.32 3.32 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Uruguay 3.24 3.24 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Slovenia 3.07 0.35 2.51 0.2 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Barbados 3 3 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Israel 3 0.72 1.84 0.13 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Italy 2.95 1.66 1.11 0.11 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Australia 2.94 0.44 2.35 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 New Zealand 2.66 0.17 2.14 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Denmark 2.6 0.23 2.25 0.04 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Sweden 2.36 0.18 2.09 0.03 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Slovakia 2.17 2.17 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Czech Republic 1.77 1.77 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Germany 1.57 0.22 1.17 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Greece 1.5 0.59 0.84 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Azerbaijan 1.47 1.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Republic of Macedonia 1.28 1.28 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Kuwait 1.25 0.36 0.06 0 1995 Krug 1998[3]
 Hungary 1.21 0.23 0.88 0.09 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Ireland 1.21 0.03 0.94 0.11 1991 Krug 1998[3]
 Latvia 1.2 1.2 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 India 100 100 NA NA 2011 UNODC 2000[1]
 Spain 0.9 0.21 0.43 0.25 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Bulgaria 0.77 0.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Netherlands 0.7 0.36 0.31 0.01 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Scotland 0.58 0.19 0.33 0.02 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Moldova 0.47 0.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Lithuania 0.46 0.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Taiwan 0.42 0.15 0.12 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belarus 0.38 0.38 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 Ukraine 0.35 0.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Poland 0.29 0.29 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]
 England/ Wales 0.46[3] 0.38 0.07[3] 0.15 0.03[3] 0.2 0.01[3] 0.03
 Singapore 0.24 0.07 0.17 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Hong Kong 0.19 0.12 0.07 0 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Mauritius 0.19 0 0.09 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Qatar 0.18 0.18 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 South Korea 0.13 0.04 0.02 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Japan 0.07 0.02 0.04 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Chile 0.06 0.06 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[2]


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  1. laura k says:

    The country of my birth is a violent one. There’s no getting around that. But when you throw around statements about what most Americans think, you lose all credibility. That’s not evidence. You haven’t the slightest idea what most Americans think. You must know that. You’re ignoring everyone who lives in major urban centres, for one thing. Using New Hampshire doesn’t help your case, either! Well, thanks for the reply. Bye now.

  2. laura k says:

    Hi, thanks so much for linking to my post. Just to clarify, I didn’t mention anything about the gun registry; that was not the intention of my post.

    I have no problem with gun registries, we should certainly have them. But I find the emphasis placed on these registries by Canadian anti-Conservatives (of which I am certainly one) quite strange. People act as though registries are powerful crime-prevention tools, and they are not. They are primarly a law enforcement tool.

    Crime prevention has to begin with poverty reduction, job creation, investment in education, and so forth.

    However, we certainly need strong gun control laws! Thank you for checking the numbers, I appreciate that!

    1. trashee says:

      Completely agree. And it was my intent to use your post to refute some of the claims being made by some on the right that lax gun control laws = less gun crime. See what the Squid said on this same post – “the money spent on registries might be better spent alleviating the underlying causes that make people kill each other.”
      But that does not believe that our guns laws should be relaxed. Both preventative measures and strong laws have to work hand in hand.
      Thanks for visiting. I have enjoyed reading your posts… keep up the good fight!

      1. laura k says:

        I completely agree. Thank you and backatcha.

        PS: I love your avatar!

      2. Gun deaths are high in the USA for exactly one reason, and no amount of gun control is going to affect it in any serious way:

        People in the USA generally believe that it’s OK to kill people who piss you off.

        It’s completely a cultural thing. To a goodly chunk of their population, it’s cool… hell, it’s a RIGHT, to blow people away if the target is inconvenient.

        Until that aspect of US culture changes, it won’t matter if you take all the guns away and launch them into the sun, they’ll beat each other to death with toasters if they have to.

        1. trashee says:

          I do think some gun control would make a dent in the gun crime stats… but only a dent and for precisely the reasons you point out.
          But take care to not paint all of our southern neighbours with one brush. The rates vary widely from “kill someone who pisses you off” Thursdays at Denny’s to the mellowness of Hawaii.
          Hmmm… maybe they’d need a Toaster Registry?

        2. laura k says:

          Gun deaths are high in the USA for exactly one reason, and no amount of gun control is going to affect it in any serious way:

          People in the USA generally believe that it’s OK to kill people who piss you off.

          …. It’s completely a cultural thing.

          What a strange statement. What is it based on? Next I’ll be hearing Canadians live in igloos commute by dogsled.

          I lived in the US all my life, minus the last 6 years. Gun control would make an enormous difference.

          “Those people” are not like us… they’re savages, they cannot be tamed. That’s what you’re saying.

          1. What is it based on… Let’s see…

            1. A multitude of open-carry states
            2. A number of states have “make my day” laws where you’re permitted to shoot people who you feel are threatening you, whether or not they are actually threatening you (e.g. Florida)
            3. New Hampshire’s motto is “live free or die” and they have drive-through gun shops.

            It is considered acceptable, in most states to shoot at any person who tries to rob you, even if they just walk into your store and shoplift.

            There are places in the USA where it is illegal NOT to own a gun.

            The country has a doctrine of “pre-emptive war”… effectively “shoot first and don’t bother to ask questions”

            No end of news articles where members of the public respond with deadly force when they are clearly not being threatened by deadly force.

            The war on drugs is fought with firearms and stormtroopers, not with education and treatment.

            It seems pretty clear to me.

            My statement is not the same as “all Canadians live in igloos”. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying I think many, perhaps most, Americans would even agree that they have a cultural standard that says it’s OK to kill people who piss you off.

  3. There’s a lot of unfair comparisons on that chart though.

    1. Population density and wealth disparity. Dense populations of poor people drive crime up across the board. Comparing USA to Norway (Dense vs not dense) or USA to Qatar is probably not really a valid comparison.

    2. These numbers don’t actually say who does and does not have open carry laws.

    3. South Africa has had a weak government and a general state of lawlessness since the end of apartheid. Weak government contributes a huge amount to crime and death statistics.

    4. Culture plays a huge factor. Even the Krug reference used in the table says so on pg 220. In a lot of countries, you just don’t shoot people. You’re brought up that way, so you don’t do it.

    Israel has open carry laws, and a lower death rate than Canada or the USA.

    Thailand has strict gun control, for all the good it does there.

    All of Europe has strict gun control, and a lot of European countries are high on that list.

    I think the biggest thing that this chart shows is that while there is some correlation between the availability of legal firearms and homicide, the greatest factor affecting the rate of gun-related crime is the strength of government and law enforcement, combined with socio-cultural factors (such as poverty, and a general respect for other people’s lives).

    Based on this data (and the references) I’d conclude that registries do little to prevent gun crime, and that the money spent on registries might be better spent alleviating the underlying causes that make people kill each other.

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