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Posted: 9/12/2002 8:01:40 AM EDT
My brother-in-law is having a discussion with some British guy who says that the 2nd Amendment is causing crime to increase. He cites statistics that say the US has the highest murder rate of civilized countries, and the most lax restrictions on firearms. [b] INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS The United States has the unenviable position of having the highest homicide rate of the G7 countries (7) (Table 4) TABLE 4 Homocide Rates (per 100,000 Population), G7 Countries, 1990* United States 9.4 Italy 2.6 Canada 2.1 France 1.1 Germany 1.0 United Kingdom 0.7 Japan 0.6 *Source: World Health Organization, 1990 [/b] What is the deal with these stats? What is missing? How do you argue with a guy that sees stats, and thinks they are a proof? I would submit that probably 90% of the homocides are gang related. Anybody have access to more illuminating stats? I'd like to help him out, but I am uncomfortable with arguing against some 'stats' when I don't have any myself.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:27:48 AM EDT
BTT Anyone? KBaker? Experts?
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:30:16 AM EDT
The US is a diverse country, unlike many European nations where there is pretty much only one ethnicity. I don't have specific numbers, but I have read that the rates in European nations are increasing while the rates in the US have been declining. Plus, the murder rate is only one measure of crime. Murder is still quite a rare event in the US. Europeans suffer from more robberies, assaults, home invasions, and so on. Again, I don't have hard numbers, but these the stats I would look up. I would also suggest that most of the murders in the US happen in the five largest cities, the point being that there is little uniformity, there are dangerous places to live, most of them due to the fact that private gun ownership is prohibited (D.C., NYC, Baltimore and LA for example). If you cut out just a few of those "problem cities", the US murder rate is probably infintesimal.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:39:39 AM EDT
Those are very good points. Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:46:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2002 8:50:03 AM EDT by racer934]
Correlation does not equal Causation. Simple way of saying that the comparative lax restrictions on firearms in the US does not have a direct effect on homocide rate. I don't have the statistics right here in front of me, but I would hazard a guess that the homocide rate for areas with the highest concentration of legal firearms ownership is considerably lower than the national average. Counter the arguement that our lax firearms laws are a direct cause of our high homocide rate by showing areas in the US with the highest homocide rates (Chi, LA, NYC, Detroit) also have the most restrictive gun laws pertaining to the legal ownership of firearms. Most of the gun laws in these locations have laws very similar to those in Europe. Also show that the populace in the US is not nearly as heterogeneous as it is in Europe. If you take the rural parts of this country where there is a heterogeeous population similar to other G7 countires, I am certain that the homocide rate is similar. As another poster stated, a homocide rate per 100K is not an accurate measure of overall violent crime. Show the stats of countries that have recently adopted very strict fireams laws and the effect it had on violent crime. Also, use GB's own statistic where homocide rates increased after restricting the private ownership of firearms. Granted, the rate has not approached the US rate of homocide/100k, but has increased quite substatially over the past century. Editted to add: That statistic is over 12 yrs old and should be used to examine the difference in the rate today. Since then, the US has added a number of states that allows CCW and GB has further restricted the ownership of firearms. It should be of interest to see how the numbers reflect those changes. -934
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 8:47:54 AM EDT
Tell him to take a look at murder rates in countries like Israel and Switzerland, where there are even more guns then here in the US. Then take a look at murder rates in Mexico, where posession of even a spent case is a felony.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:03:36 AM EDT
"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." -- Mark Twain (1835-1910) Tell him to eat your shorts. --LS
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:09:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:20:51 AM EDT
Also, even if you take the firearm-related homicides out, and just count killings by other means (knifes, blunt object, etc), the U.S. still has the highest murder rate. It's not the guns; it's the society.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:21:42 AM EDT
If they are using 1990 stats, then US homicide rates are about 1/3 or 1/4 of that because of the drop in crime. Likewise, European homicide rates are significantly higher now than they were in 1990. Also, legal killings (self-defense, no-billed incidents and 'good' police shootings) are also part of the US homicide stats, and we have a lot more of those than our buddies across the pond do. You also might want to look at a comparison between more current (say about 2000) stats for Part 1 offenses (Murder, Agg Assault, Rape, Burglary, Robbery, Arson, Felony Theft). Many European countries now have a higher level of these offenses than the US does. What about reporting criteria? Under reporting of crime is common in the states (cops never get the report, never take a report or a crime is classed lower for stats). Do the Europeans have that problem as well? Remember, numbers are lies but statistics are damned lies.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:25:05 AM EDT
First, while the data is ten years old, it is still relatively valid. The U.S. has the highest homicide rate of all of the "industrialized" nations, but far from the highest homicide rate worldwide. Is that [i]because[/i] of the 2nd Amendment? That's what's called [i]post hoc, ergo propter hoc[/i] logic, or "after this, therefore [i]because[/i] of this." And it's fallacious logic. Look at this graph from 1989 WHO data: [img]www.cely.com/firearms/graph10.gif[/img] (Available here: [url]www.cely.com/firearms/graph10.html[/url] and several other places on the Web.) East Germany didn't have strict gun control? Overall, U.S. crime statistics fell (including homicide) for the last 9 years - despite the fact that in each and every one of those years the total number of firearms in private hands increased by 3-4 million. See [url]www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cv00.pdf[/url] During that same period, violent crime in the UK went [b]UP[/b], and to levels [i]higher[/i] than in the U.S. A Bureau of Justice Statistics report comparing crime in England & Wales (available here [url]www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cjusew96.pdf[/url]) illustrates the trends graphically. And remember, this is before the 1996 handgun ban. Things have gotten worse since. You are now more likely to be mugged in London than in New York City. And your mugger is likely to be armed with a banned handgun. I encourage your brother-in-law to forward this report to his counterpart: [url]www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs/hosb601.pdf[/url] entitled: [i]International comparisons of criminal justice statistics 1999[/i], produced by the British Home Office. Very enlightening. In short - Americans do and always have killed each other at a greater rate than other free "industrialized" nations. [i]Why[/i] that is cannot be attributed to our gun laws. From a statistical analysis, that explanation fails.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:25:57 AM EDT
The 2000 UCR states that the US homicide rate was 5.5 per 100,000 in 2000 (and I bet at lest two of those per 100K were killed by cops or self-defense).
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:29:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Torf: My brother-in-law is having a discussion with some British guy who says that the 2nd Amendment is causing crime to increase. He cites statistics that say the US has the highest murder rate of civilized countries, and the most lax restrictions on firearms. [b] INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS The United States has the unenviable position of having the highest homicide rate of the G7 countries (7) (Table 4) TABLE 4 Homocide Rates (per 100,000 Population), G7 Countries, 1990* United States 9.4 Italy 2.6 Canada 2.1 France 1.1 Germany 1.0 United Kingdom 0.7 Japan 0.6 *Source: World Health Organization, 1990 [/b] What is the deal with these stats? What is missing? How do you argue with a guy that sees stats, and thinks they are a proof? I would submit that probably 90% of the homocides are gang related. Anybody have access to more illuminating stats? I'd like to help him out, but I am uncomfortable with arguing against some 'stats' when I don't have any myself.
View Quote
What is the source of his statistics? There have been about 10 other studies that show the US to be anywhere from seventh to sixteenth, depending on the study, among the industrialized nations of the world, using anywhere from 10 to 20 nations as basis for the study. None were based solely on G7. In every one of the other studies, the UK and Australia were 1 and 2, achieving that perch since they effectively outlawed guns in the latter half of the 1990s. All the studies were per capita, as is what you quote. You must also remember, this guy is British and, most likely, an anti-gun nut. They are famous for just making up 'facts' and 'studies' that further their cause. Oh, nevermind. I see the source is World Health Organization. That says it all right there. Another UN agency. You know how the UN wants to take our guns. Tell him to read this article about Italy. It seems that their defense minister gets it: [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel050702.asp[/url] Tell him to read this report which DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS the WHO. Gee, it's from the British Home Office. In this particular study, they survey all violent crime. You will note that even in the homicide rate, the UK, Australia, and even Canada have more per capita murders than we do. Russia and South Africa, both countries were guns are forbidden are way up there, with South Africa having 10 times more than we do. Gee, I wonder why. The Uk is at least 1 more per 100,000, Australia is almost double us and Canada is almost triple. These are countries where gun control is very strict. Tell him to go to this website, which shows the fallacy of all the Australian gun control over the last few years. [url]http://members.ozemail.com.au/~confiles/[/url] If all that fails, tell to kiss your ass and go back to England.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 9:47:10 AM EDT
Perfect reply [b]KBaker[/b]. In short: * logical fallacy (Since "A" and "B", therefore "A" causes "B" - [b]WRONG[/B]) * hasty generalization (selective "pick-and-choose" data, aka "junkscience" - [b]WRONG[/B]) * false analogy (USA = Britian = Italy = Japan = France in ALL matters of culture and societal behavior - [b]WRONG[/B]) If he doesn't understand logic, stop arguing with him. He's a fool. Oh, by the way, ask this "British guy" how come the 2nd Amendment has been around for 200 years but the high murder rate hasn't? Or how come the rate of gun-ownership at its peak is not correlated with the peak of the murder rate in America?
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 10:04:41 AM EDT
Thank you for all the helpful replies. This is [b]EXACTLY[/b] what I was looking for. I'll forward him a link to this page. I'll also foward him this link: [url]www.a-human-right.com/[/url] Thanks to all of you who posted here! Sorry to see you off the DU forums KBaker!
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 10:15:53 AM EDT
I'm a Quality Engineer by profession, so statistical trends are part and parcel of my life. With that having been said, I would invite you to look up the [b]trend[/b] of the data, rather than relying on a single snapshot in time. Sure, our numbers were high in 1990 (12 years ago!), but where are they [b]NOW[/b]? Sure, England had almost zero in 1990, but how about [b]NOW[/b]? It is common knowledge that ours is going DOWN while theirs is going up, RAPIDLY. Another trend you can refer to is the number of crimes committed compared to the number of guns allegedly in circulation. Again, our trend is going down fast (both due to a reduction in crime, but also due to a dramatic increase in gun ownership), while the exact opposite is occurring in England. Notice that I've not mentioned the 2nd Amendment. That's because refering to it in this context is like claiming that the murder rate is high because the Ten Commandments exist. Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 10:21:15 AM EDT
You might also pass along a quote from Benjamin Disraeli - "There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." It is very easy to make a convincing but fallacious argument by quoting numbers.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 11:32:09 AM EDT
We have a higher murder rate than Britian that has tight gun control, but a much lower murder rate than Russia, which has tight gun control. What are the British assualt rates? What about burglary?? I believe that Britain has a burglary rate appx 10 times are rate. Many of those are committed while the dwelling is occupied. I believe that has a greater impact on a person's feeling of security. I wonder if the British had guns if they would have all those burglaries? Crime in the US is going down, we are at or lowest rates since 1976, and it seems to be on the way further down. What is Britian's crime rate doing? EXPLODING. Maybe he should compare Britian's TOTAL crime rate to Switzerland's, and point out that most Swiss households have access to full auto weapons.
Link Posted: 9/12/2002 11:37:31 AM EDT
This guy won't be convinced of anything - until he is mugged. Then he'll become pro gun.
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