Saturday, June 1, 2013

Homicides Statistics

Since you can bet that the politicians will be trying to whip up more support for gun-control as soon as they can find another shooting-crime to exploit, I thought I'd take this brief period of calm -- and lack of media-driven hysteria -- to display some plain, boring old facts.  Their sources are, respectively, the FBI's annual Crime Statistics Reports, the National Safety Council, and the World Health Organization.

Now since it takes a year for the FBI to compile its crime statistics, the latest year for which it has complete facts is 2011.  So, in 2011, the number of homicides committed in the US, by category, were:

with "assault rifles":     18
" hunting rifles:           453       (shotguns were included in this category)
" blunt objects:          674
" hands, fists, feet:     867
" knives:                  1817
" handguns:              6009

During the same year, according to the National Safety Council, the number of homicides by vehicle were:

by drunk driving:  12,839
" sober driving:     32,885

Do the math.  The total number of Americans murdered by all firearms was 6480.  The total number of Americans killed with vehicles was 45,724.  Is anyone howling for "vehicle control"?

Okay, now let's see how "violent" America is in comparison with other countries.  You can find this at -- the latest in World Murder Statistics, in murders (and remember that other countries have differing legal definitions of murder) per 100,000 citizens:

1) Honduras:                              91.6                                       
2) El Salvador:                           69.2                                        
3) Cote d'Ivoire:                        56.9                                        
4) Jamaica:                                52.2                                          
5) Venezuela:                             45.1                                                                        
6) Belize:                                   41.4                                           
7) US Virgin Islands:                  39.2                                      
8) Guatemala:                            38.5                                          
9) St. Kits and Nevis:                38.2                                     
10) Zambia:                               38.0                                           
11) Uganda:                               36.3                                           
12) Malawi:                               36.0                                          
13) Lesotho:                              35.2                                           
14) Trinidad:                              35.2                                           
15) Tobago:                               35.2                                           
16) Colombia:                            33.4                                           
17) South Africa:                        31.8                                           
18) Congo:                                 30.8                                            
19) Central African Republic:      29.3                            
20) Bahamas:                              27.4                                            
21) Puerto Rico:                          26.2                                            
22) St. Lucia:                               25.2                                           
23) Dominican Republic:              25.0                                   
24) Tanzania:                               24.5                                           
25) Sudan:                                   24.2                                          
26) St. Vincent and Grenadines:   22.9                         
27) Ethiopia:                                22.5                                           
28) Guinea:                                 22.5                                          
29) Dominica:                             22.1                                           
30) Burundi:                                21.7                                      

31) Democratic Republic of the Congo: 21.7             
32) Panama:                               21.6                                          
33) Brazil:                                  21.0                                          
34) Equatorial Guinea:                20.7                                       
35) Guinea-Bissau:                     20.2                                          
36) Kenya:                                 20.1                                          
37) Kyrgyzstan:                          20.1                                          
38) Cameroon:                           19.7                                          
39) Montserrat:                          19.7                                          
40) Greenland:                           19.2                                          
41) Angola:                                19.0                                          
42) Guyana:                               18.6                                          
43) Burkina Faso:                      18.0                                          
44) Eritrea:                                17.8                                          
45) Namibia:                             17.2                                         
46) Rwanda:                             17.1                                          
47) Mexico:                              16.9                                          
48) Chad:                                 15.8                                          
49) Ghana:                                15.7                                           
50) Ecuador:                             15.2                                        
51) North Korea:                      15.2                                           
52) Benin:                                 15.1                                           
53) Sierra Leone:                      14.9                                      
54) Mauritania:                         14.7
55) Botswana:                          14.5
56) Zimbabwe:                         14.3
57) Gabon:                               13.8
58) Nicaragua:                          13.6
59) French Guiana:                   13.3

60) Papua New Guinea:            13.0
61) Swaziland:                          12.9
62) Bermuda:                            12.3
63) Comoros:                            12.2
64) Nigeria:                               12.2
65) Cape Verde:                        11.6
66) Grenada:                             11.5
67) Paraguay:                            11.5
68) Barbados:                           11.3
69) Togo:                                  10.9
70) Gambia:                              10.8
71) Peru:                                   10.8
72) Myanmar:                           10.2
73) Russia:                                10.2
74) Liberia:                               10.1
75) Costa Rica:                         10.0
76) Nauru:                                  9.8
77) Bolivia:                                 8.9
78) Mozambique:                       8.8
79) Kazakhstan:                         8.8
80) Senegal:                               8.7
81) Turks and Caicos Islands:     8.7 
82) Mongolia:                            8.7
83) British Virgin Islands:           8.6
84) Cayman Islands:                  8.4
85) Seychelles:                          8.3
86) Madagascar:                       8.1
87) Indonesia:                           8.1
88) Mali:                                  8.0
89) Pakistan:                            7.8
90) Moldova:                           7.5
91) Kiribati:                              7.3
92) Guadaloupe:                       7.0
93) Haiti:                                  6.9
94) Timor-Leste:                      6.9
95) Anguilla:                             6.8
96) Antigua and Barbada:         6.8
97) Lithuania:                            6.6
98) Uruguay:                            5.9
99) Phillippines:                        5.4
100) Ukraine:                           5.2
101) Estonia:                            5.2
102) Cuba:                               5.0
103) Belarus:                            4.9
104) Thailand:                          4.8
105) Suriname:                         4.6
106) Laos:                                4.6
107) Georgya:                           4.3
108) Martinique:                        4.2
109) United States:                    4.2

Note that all the 108 countries ahead of the US have 100% bans on gun ownership by civilians.  Also, before you ask, the country that bottomed out the list by having NO murders last year was -- unsurprisingly -- Switzerland.  Note that Swiss law requires all its citizens to serve in the military, take combat training, possess a fully-automatic military battle-rifle (yes, with extended clips and combat ammunition), and maintain marksman qualifications twice a year.

Observe the facts, and think.

--Leslie <;)))><   )O( 


Prof. Godel Fishbreath, Otter said...

They do heavily regulate vehicles. Really. Can not legally drive w/o a license. Car can be taken away. The whole works. Just as people fear that will happen with guns. I do acknowledge that the incidents by gun are less than the incidents by car. Now, try that by aproximate ownership? How many incidents per 1000 cars owned? how many incidents per 1000 guns owned? That stat I would be interested in. And it might still prove, even deeper, your point. If so, good. If not, why not equal regulation?

I am less impressed these days by any homicide stats or any gun violence stats than by incidents of mass killing. The Chinese dude that attacked school kids -- all those kids are alive. The dudes that did not attack -- no guns?? in countries that have heavily restricted gun ownership to the point of prohibition?

Prof. Godel Fishbreath, Otter said...

Or what I mean is ownership by one person. So if a person owns two cars, that should count as one. And if a person has a private arsenal, that should count as one.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi,Otter. Actually, you *can* legally drive a car without a license -- but only on private land. There are far fewer regulations on cars -- licensed driver, license plate on car, required insurance and annual smogging and registration -- than there are on guns. For one thing, a driver's license issued in one state will allow you to drive in another; 'taint so with guns. Etc.

As for multiple ownership of vehicles and guns, most American car owners own one or two cars, while most gun owners have an average of three or four (rifle, shotgun, heavy pistol, light pistol). This means that gun owners have at least twice as many chances to kill folk than car owners -- and they don't.

About mass killings: the worst of them are usually done with explosives or arson; guns, after all, can kill only one person at a time, no matter how fast you pull the trigger. The worst school mass-killing in American history happened in 1927 in Bath, Michigan; it was done with explosives, and killed 38 children and 6 adults. The worst mass killings in America were done in the Civil War, the Revolution, the Mexican War, two race riots, and the mysterious Mountain Meadows Massacre: one in 1780, one in 1921, and all the rest in the 19th century. Outside of America figures are harder to get, but the worst mass killings in the past half-century have generally been done with explosives and arson.

Paradoctor said...

Fewer gun crimes in recent decades; I credit lead removal. But more mass shootings in recent years, with no consistent profile of the shooter (beyond alienated teenage male). Some other factor? ADHD medications perhaps? But also criminal negligence in gun owners allowing lunatics and children to get their hands on weapons.

Fewer households have guns; but those fewer have more guns. Why?

Paradoctor said...

Fewer gun crimes in recent decades; I credit lead removal. But more mass shootings in recent years, with no consistent profile of the shooter (beyond alienated teenage male). Some other factor? ADHD medications perhaps? But also criminal negligence in gun owners allowing lunatics and children to get their hands on weapons.

Fewer households have guns; but those fewer have more guns. Why?

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Nat. What makes you think that fewer households have guns? 'Tis pretty obvious that gangbangers in Depression-flattened cities (like Detroit and Chicago) have plenty of guns and no difficulty getting them, and certainly don't report said ownership to the police. Seeing how the media has been demonizing them lately, people who buy guns through private sales aren't reporting them either. For that matter, anyone who buys a gun at a licensed shop or show doesn't report their purchase either; the licensed dealer, at least here in AZ, doesn't include the buyer's name or address in the report of the sale. The only time the dealer mentions the buyer's name is when he asks for legal ID, dials up the dedicated police phone line, and asks if so-and-so has a criminal record -- and if not, the sale goes through and no more is said. So, really, how can anyone tell if there really are fewer gun *owners*?

Yes, it is noticeable that every one of the mass-shooters in recent decades were on psychotropic medications -- for ADHD or depression, usually.

--Leslie <;)))><

windmills said...

Prof. Fishbreath, the government doesn't regulate my use of my car, they regulate my use of their roads. (Our roads, actually, but that's beside the point.)

The reality is, the only way you can make the argument that more guns equals more crime is if you argue that most people wish to be criminals and lack only the means. How well would four guys with box cutters do taking over an airplane if every person aboard also had a knife? If you believe, as I do, that the vast majority of people are good, then arming them can only level the playing field. Statistics bear this out. We see a sharp reduction in violent crime in every jurisdiction where gun laws, especially carry laws, are relaxed.

Mexico's near-total prohibition hasn't seemed particularly effective at reclaiming their country from the cartels. Britain's near-total prohibition never did seem to stop the IRA from having rocket-launchers and heavy machine-guns.

If I may presume to add an argument for Leslie... If your home has children, a handgun, and a swimming pool, your child is 100 times more likely to be killed by your pool than by your gun. At least with cars you can argue that people need them to get to work. Nobody NEEDS a swimming pool, nor are they constitutionally protected. If we're really concerned with saving children, why is there no effort whatever to ban these deadly swimming pools?

Humanity can be divided into two basic camps. Those who wish to be ruled, and those who have no such desire. Those who wish to be protected from violence by persons more powerful, and those who wish to be able to use violence, of necessary, to protect themselves.

Good day to you.