Really, I should get wise and stop bringing up the US and homicide rates.
I increasingly lack the stomach to finish a fight that big.
I'm also trying to break my habit of tilting at windmills because frankly I break before they do.
So they've got 1/4 our homicides and 3 times the death by firearms rate. That actually supports the case that possession of a firearm is more likely to result in a death -not a self-defense shooting or suicide, as you state.
There are fewer guns and they produce far more deaths expressed as per weapon. That doesn't say to me that Brits are more homicidal, it says that they're not giving to collecting or hoarding like we are. Fewer guns equaling more deaths means they're just not as popular in the culture unless the owner's going to kill someone.
Or consider the opposite expression.
If tomorrow there were no guns in the UK or the US (because unicorn magic) and crime stats didn't otherwise vary the United Kingdom would see triple the reduction in homicides that the United States would. That's not an argument for firearms increasing public safety.
I appreciate the effort put into doing research though, and I came up with about the same results.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country
UK: 6.6 weapons per million; 9.5k guns.
US: 88.8 / 3.6 million
I doubt it's any increased likely hood of violence; the UK has a quarter the US's average annual homicides with (and this made me laugh) 21% youth ages 15-24 unemployment compared to the US's 17.3%
So ~3.7% more kids -volatile, horny, stupid kids, out of work and it's still a safer place.
It's a little staggering to me. We're four times as murderous and greatly more given to improvisation. I do agree that compared to that
lawful firearms ownership isn't nearly so important but we end up in with the same question: do less guns make a society safer?
It's true that firearms ownership is trending up while crime in general is trending down, but crime's been trending down anyway for reasons not apparently connected to how religious the US is, nor it's changes in GDP, nor the presence or absence the The Patriot Act, or anything specific in general. Deterrence doesn't matter, more weapons doesn't matter, etc etc etc -it's an enigma.
And while the truth is that societies with fewer guns are safer that they have less weapons isn't necessarily why.
Here's an odd stat: despite having ~32 weapons per 100 citizens (#8 globally) Uruguay has 7.9 homicides per 100,000 citizens.
And that's a strong case for weapons correlating to safety, except that A) 7.9 is still Iraq
high and B) Kazakhstan has a 7.8 per hundred-thou with 1.3 firearms per 100 people.
is a great place to get stabbed or beaten dead and guns will play almost no role at all in one's end.
It also has a 5% Unemployment Rate
with about the same number under the local Poverty Line so who the hell knows why.
So yeah, there is a fair argument that How
someone's killed isn't nearly as important as Why
...except for all those examples of places that're doing better in every other index besides homicide rates.
(My personal hypothesis is the gradual degradation of "Otherness" in US society. We're all gradually becoming "people" to each other to greater degrees and thus are more likely to depend on each other and less inclined towards seeing one another as an enemy or potential resource. *shrug*)
I admit: I'm slowly coming around to seeing how firearms possession in a society isn't necessarily why it is or isn't safer, but there's still the problem of why we're so much worse and if our collective gun-lust is a cause or a symptom.
I've had the benefit in my life to, at some point, live in the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Eastern UK. I will say this. You can look at the guns all you want. They won't say much. Take a look at how groups of Americans treat other groups of americans or are expected to be treated / treat, and you may start to get a look at why America is a bunch of social B.S. wrapped in a old piece of Freedom Bread. In comparison, while not completely void of such interactions, my time across the pond was far more civilized.