Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gun Deaths By Country... Is There a Direct Correlation to Number of Firearms in Circulation?

from: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

No matter how much we argue about the details of its meaning today, in the opinion of many, the Constitution signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 represents the greatest expression of statesmanship and compromise ever written. In just four hand-written pages, the Constitution gives us no less than the owners' manual to the greatest form of government the world has ever known.

We have no tribal council, nor can we vote anybody off the island. But, we do live in the land of the free, and as long as the Constitution stands, we always will.

Yes, the 2'nd amendment establishes the right of the nation's citizens to keep and bear arms, a right I personally agree with. When handled by responsible sensible individuals who keep there firearms and ammunition secure firearms in theory at least are as safe as knives, hatchets, axes and such.

In 1787 the framers of our Constitution recognized the need for a well armed militia to insure the security of or new republic. Today we have the world's most efficient, effective, and lethal military with the best hardware money can buy to protect our nation.

Things were different in those days, unless I am mistaken firearms were single shot and it took some time to prepare and load the next round for discharge. Today, with our modern firearms, semi auto assault riffles, GlockS, high cap magazines, and quickly interchanged clips, as well as the proliferation of high powered weapons across the nation, the landscape looks a bunch different than is did at the time of our founding. Not to mention the population was approximately 3.9 million, in 2010 our population was 308.74 5 million.

What does this all mean? I'm not sure, perhaps just idle musings of a concerned person. I think the following tells us something though..

Country                              Guns per 100                        Total Firearm-related Deaths per 100,000

United States                        88.8                                        10.2
Switzerland                           45.7                                        3.84
Finland                                 45.3                                         3.64
Sweden                                31.6                                         1.47
Norway                                31.3                                         1.78
France                                  31.                                           2 3
Canada                                 30.8                                         2.44
Austria                                  30.4                                         2.94
Iceland                                  30.3                                         1.25
Germany                               30.3                                         1.1
New Zealand                        22.6                                         2.66
Greece                                  22.5                                        1.5
Belgium                                 17.2                                        2.43
Luxembourg                          15.3                                        1.81
Australia c                             15                                           1.04
South Africa                          12.7                                        9.41
Turkey                                  12.5                                        0.72
Denmark                               12                                          1.45
Malta                                    11.9                                        2.16
Italy                                      11.9                                        1.28
Spain                                    10.4                                        0.63
Ireland                                   8.6                                         1.03
Portugal                                 8.5                                         1.77
Israel                                     7.3                                         1.86
United Kingdom                    6.2                                         0.25
Netherlands                           3.9                                         0.46
Japan                                     0.6                                        0.06


Given our nation's apparent lack of responsibility it just might be a good idea to start looking for solutions rather than keeping our heads buried in the sands of time.


  1. The NRA likes Switzerland (me too, we just hosted the Mrs'. Swiss cousins for a week). Surely, then
    the NRA would embrace:
    " An applicant for a weapons license must be at least eighteen years of age, may not have been placed under guardianship, may not give cause for suspicion that he would endanger himself or others with the weapon, and may not have a criminal record with a conviction for a violent crime or of several convictions for nonviolent crimes. The license is issued by the canton of residence of the applicant but is valid throughout Switzerland. The license is valid for six months, maximally nine months. It is usually valid for the acquisition of one weapon only.

    1. A licensing policy that is common sense. Rights carry with them responsibilities. It looks like the Swiss have reasonable regulations.

      A for the NRA embracing such law and regulations? Cows will sooner fly.

  2. kudos. good post. I have no idea what the solution should/could be....but there must BE something.....and we need to aknowledge a problem before we can accept a fix.

    1. Thanks okjimm.

      There is a solution, there always is if we as a people with common interest look for it. It can be found without infringing the right to bear arms, reasonably.

  3. There are a minority of loud, annoying, spoiled-rotten Americans who want what they want and will accept no limitation on what they want and will scream and moan and hold their breath if they don't get what they want. This is not what the vast majority of them really need, but what they want. Spoiled rotten little children.


  4. The framing at the link is beautiful....a sample that includes those old enough to vote, join the military and join violent gangs....are "children".

    Sprinkle in some more undefinable terms by those who use them as cudgels......'high capacity', 'high powered', 'assault rifles'.....and the pop culture brands like Glock...and you have a rhetorical work of art. Instead of burying one's head said could grapple with reason first.

    1. Yes'm, the framing is beautiful. Most things of truth are beautiful.

      Indeed one could grapple with the reasons, so, start grappling.

      I have...

      BTW, one must face reality first.

    2. I didn't say reasons, I said in the lack of such used by the gun control lobby, and yourself. When proffering a cogent argument, you must first define the terms. The gun control lobby cannot as they have so laughably why are you using their playbook?

    3. Semantics and BS.

      But by all means carry on...

      You have offered NOTHING but recooked hash.

      C O M P R O M I S E - a word neither .extreme is willing to consider yet it is very necessary if an agreeable solution to this problem is to be found..

      I think I know where you stand.

    4. No, I don't think you do know. Why is it that you will not address the age set used in the linked study? Why is it that you will not define the gun control rhetoric that you're employing? Why is it that all you have proffered is tautological attacks against the NRA [of which I am not a member, BTW]?

      If you hope to convince any firearm owner of restrictions and regulations beyond the current've got to stop drafting off the the gun control lobby's playbook. You've got to stop demonizing the type of firearm used in an overwhelming minority of firearm related events, simply because it looks scary. That's the strategy used by the gun control lobby to create precedent, in puruit of their larger goal. This is exactly the strategy used by those who do not respect your 2nd Amendment rights...and who do want to remove the right for citizens to keep and bear arms.

      If you think you're presenting a rational, independent position, it's not coming off that way. And it will not appeal to those who place importance on the RKBA. If you want compromise, start with a foundation of reason.

    5. Nor do I think you know.

      You have presented no argument, reasoned or otherwise.

      I presented the truth, believe it or not. The choice is entirely yours and I respect your right to be wrong.

      As for playbook, you're right, I have my own playbook. That is because either of the other playbooks (the extremists on both side) are not workable.

    6. Fair enough...if you're not willing to recognize a need for a legitimate foundation based on definable terms and conditions, I'll leave you to it.

    7. What you want is a discussion in which the foundation and definable terms and conditions fit your paradigm.

      So, have at it. Now is your chance. Lay them out. PLEASE, we are all waiting.

    8. YOU brought the terms into play, within the parameters of YOUR argument. YOU used the terms, why don't YOU proffer the defintion you think they have...and I'll gladly respond. I'm not the one making the argument for a paradigm shift here, you are. I'll wait.

    9. Tactic won't work. you have nothing to offer and I'm not in the mood to be toyed with or toy with you.

      Good Day.

    10. Oh, for Christ's sake, CI, Florida is trying to pass a law now to make it illegal to consider gun ownership in insurance policies. Why the hell would you suppose that would be an issue? Just owning a gun increases your chance of getting shot by 400-friggin'%, man. Who the hell do you think you're kidding? You need to learn the difference between "reason" and "rationalization." You think Les comes to this position easily?! He's an Objectivist!!! Objectivists ONLY turn to regulation as the very LAST recourse!


  5. Cross sectional comparisons are inadequate in that they fail to take into consideration all of the intervening variables which could conceivably confound the data. What you have to do instead is look at specific countries/jurisdictions over time and see how they respond to specific policies.......One case in point is Washington D.C.. Prior to the gun band there the murder rate was actually going down and once the gun band went into effect it started going up again (yes, in some measure due to the crack cocaine epidemic) AND when the Heller decision came down and people were allowed not just to have guns but to to carry them the murder rates and violent crime in general started going back down. That is pretty powerful evidence to me that guns can in fact be a powerful deterrent to crime.

    1. Societal and economic factors certainly come into play. But I'm thinking we can micro analyze existing data, create more studies with more categories, refine the criteria even further, and in effect create further paralysis by analysis, thus insuring the status quo.

  6. And the category, "total firearms related deaths", is also somewhat misleading in that I believe that that also includes legitimate self defense homicides and criminals that have been killed by police officers in the line of duty.

    1. Interesting point Will. Further research would be required to determine what the percentage of TFRD actually is. It may be smaller than you suspect. But like I said, more research is needed. As time allows I'll delve further.

  7. No matter how many stats and facts you present, Les, the people who refuse to see what is in front of their noses will continue to believe there's nothing we can do. Of course, that's complete B.S. We can do something.

    Here is an indisputable fact: The US has the MOST guns in circulation and the MOST gun deaths than any other country on Earth. Is that just a coincidence with no meaning? The US has the highest number of deaths by firearms of children, a 60% increase over the last 10 years. If that were a 60% increase in a communicable disease, Americans would be screaming for the government to do something to address those deaths and save children's lives.

    But because that 60% increase is from firearms, Americans--and even people who comment here--prefer to pretend that is acceptable, because they haven't the will to do anything. It is a disgrace and, IMO, people who continue to accept the 30,000+ overall deaths from firearms per year, have something wrong with their thinking. No other modern civilization would do this to their populace.

    The NRA has co-opted the government, and that's the crux of the problem. When the NRA's own membership wanted a sensible background check legislation passed after Newtowne and it failed, we Americans should have understood how deeply destructive the NRA is to this country. And yes, I do hold the NRA's leadership and the craven politicians, Republicans and Democrats responsible for the carnage that continues.

    Years ago people accepted drunk driving as a condition that we just have to accept because there was nothing to do about it, until a group of mothers made it shameful to drive drunk and slaughter innocent people. There is now a group of mothers who are applying that same technique to irresponsible gun laws and irresponsible gun owners. It will be interesting to see if this will be the catalyst for change.

    Les, I blogged on this as well, but from a different perspective. I'm linking to your post.

    1. As I was putting this post together last night Shaw I took a break and skipped over to your site. What I found really made me stop and think. It only took a minute and I realized how nicely my post would dovetail yours and vice versa. So I linked it to mine.

      As an advocate of the 2'nd Amendment I initially was opposed to firearm regulations as I saw it as just another attempt to restrict our constitutionally guaranteed rights. As I grew older, and perhaps more responsible, I realized that we have a problem and that it could affect anyone of us or our families at any time. It was then I decided that current paradigms with respect to firearm proliferation and the ineffective often unenforced patchwork of state laws and regulations needs to be changed.

      Thinking that the 2'nd Amendment and reasonable, responsible, and uniform firearm regulations cannot co-exist is bunk and anyone who hasn't the intellectual honesty or capacity to understand this should have no right to own a firearm. I know I'll take a bunch of flak for my stance amongst the hard core extrmists like Nugent and Joe the Plumber but so be it. Truth is truth and ultimately truth WILL have its day with respect to this issue.

      I was at one time a proud NRA member and supporter, 30 years ago. That was back when they served what I believed was an honorable purpose. I'm glad I "opted out" and today would help fund an organization whose purpose would be to destroy them.

      Perhaps the extremists like Nugent and the NRA leadership fail to realize that over time their extremism will have the exact opposite they desire. We can keep the pressure on and someday America will be just a bit safer for our children and all of us.

      Bad actors sometimes die a slow death. But eventually they do die. The job of the rest of us is to hasten their ending.

      Thanks for your post, only willful idiots will chose to ignore the truth.

  8. It is interestting that, when faced with a truth some find uncomfortable, they rationalize and qualify to minimalize that truth.

  9. The data from 2010 (PEW, Law Enforcement studies) broke down as:
    suicides 19,392
    homicides 11,078 (incl 160 police killed in the line of duty)
    accidents 606
    homicide in self defense 230

    1. Thanks BB Idaho.

      Suicides - 61.9%
      Homicides - 35.3%
      Acc. - 0.19%
      HISD - .0073

      Looks like we needs a more effective way to identify emotional/psychological problems early and provide treatment, improved background checks and longer "cooling off periods" for firearm purchases, uniform minimum national regulatory guidelines with each state being able to legislate more stringent laws if they desire.

      But of course the NRA and the Nugents of the nation will have nothing to do with such infringements.

    2. Fact check - according to the F.B.I., there were 8,583 gun homicides in the U.S. (7,923 when you deduct the 660 justifiable homicides) and this is a 15.3% reduction from 2007. Still too much but the fact that the murder rate is coming down at the very same time that right to carry laws have been proliferating (over 40 states have right to carry now) is an an interesting turn of events and even though a correlation isn't causation you know that if the relationship were a positive one the gun control crowd would be going ballistic (no pun intended) about it -

    3. Another fact - 80% (again, according to the F.B.I.) of the violent crime in this country, including murder, is gang-related and 72.5% of that is perpetrated via handguns. This whole concept of significantly reducing crime by outlawing a spate of guns simply because they look scary (on the inside they're virtually the same as a hunting rifle) is idiotic....As for the universal background checks, sure, why not? But, again, don't expect very much in that the criminals don't buy their guns legally anyway.

  10. your reply to Shaw was spot on....
    "As an advocate of the 2'nd Amendment I initially was opposed to firearm regulations'

    well, I am an advocxate for 2'nd amendment rights, too. Absolutely. Though I do not hunt or own guns, I grew up in a family that did hunt. That cared very much for safety, evnvironmental and game preservation. I never found a fault with any of it. None. But the framers of the constituion did not ever envision the weapons of today nor did they anticipate the creation of a National Militia, which is what I construe the National Guard to be. Common sense rules, regulations and oversight does not mean banning weapons or confiscation. Those that use those arguments are foolish, short sighted, and tools of the gun manufactuing industry. Stay the course....this issue needs support of all sensible people....

  11. The Error of Mystification. There is an article of faith in science that everything is knowable, or at least potentially knowable. People who invoke The Error of Mystification may claim that some things are beyond the reach of human understanding and are therefore unknowable, that some phenomena occur at random, that certain lines of inquiry are off limits, that what we now know is all we need to know, and recursive studies will not improve our knowledge and therefore constitute a waste of taxpayer money. The Error of Mystification is merely another error of logical reasoning; and the people who invoke it often have a bias or special interest agenda. Often what they really want is a premature closure of inquiry to keep us in a permanent state of mystification ... and ignorance.

    The NRA trades on errors of mystification and wants to keep it this way by blocking serious research into gun violence. The NRA ...

    Punished the Centers for Disease Control for publishing data on major causes of death including death by firearms - stripping $2.6 million from the CDC budget (the amount spent on the death by firearm study);

    Successfully outlawed Federal research grants with this provision: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control;”

    Introduced bills in the state legislatures of Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina to ban doctors from asking their patients if they owned or kept a gun in the house (with no exemption for patients who are depressed, suicidal, or seriously disturbed).

    The NRA wants the American public to believe that the issue of gun violence is an intractable problem with no possible legislative solution, and that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” In other words, the NRA wants to keep us in a permanent state of mystification because ignorance breeds fear, and fear means more guns.


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