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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Guns and Crime

American Rifleman:

The number of privately owned guns in the United States rises by about 5 million a year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The number of guns owned by Americans is at an all-time high, fast approaching 300 million. Meanwhile, the FBI reports that in 2003 the nation's violent crime rate declined for the 12th straight year, to a 27-year low. The FBI's figures are based upon crimes reported to the police. By comparison, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in September that, according to its annual national crime victim survey, violent crime reached a 30-year low in 2003. Consistent with its previous annual reports, the FBI noted that only 26.7 percent of violent crimes involved firearms in 2003. Most violent crimes are aggravated assaults or robberies, most of which are committed with knives or bare hands. Crime victims can benefit from using guns to defend themselves against such crimes, however. Criminologist Gary Kleck's review of survey data in the 1990s showed that 'robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all.'
I view the right to defend oneself as fundamental, so even if gun ownership didn't seem to parrallel a reduction in violent crime I would support gun ownership. It is nice to see though that their does seem to be a connection here. Robert Heinlein said:
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
(Thanks to my brother for sending this article to me)

3 Comments:

Blogger The probligo said...

"I view the right to defend oneself as fundamental, so even if gun ownership didn't seem to parrallel a reduction in violent crime I would support gun ownership."
Dave, you are welcome to it. I much prefer living in a country with a strong (if still only marginally effective) gun control law. At least down here the murder rate per 000 population is STILL several times LOWER than in the US. At least in NZ the armed robbery rate per 000 population is STILL several times LOWER than in the US.

Add to that the fact that we did away with the death penalty in 1955...

We seem to be doing everything wrong.

3/03/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Cubicle said...

yes, but you also have no immiagration and very little socail ills to speak up.

America is a country constantly in motion, and as a result crime has always been higher that our more stable counterparts.

Of course that is beginning to change as countries in Europe are battleing the influx of poor people (somthing that america has been doing for many years). Europe will also expericne what many americans cities have also been expericing for many years "urban decay", if they do not fix those problems.


The ones that are able to leave poorer parts of Euorpe will, and the ones left will be victims because they cannot defend theirselves

When you open up your doors to the poor and oppressed, your crime rate rise.

3/03/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

No one factor adequately explains why crime varies from one location to another.

I am certainly pleased that New Zealand has a low crime rate, although I doubt very much that gun control is a cause of that. One would have to be able to have all the other variables remain the same and simply alter gun control laws to determine the exact effect, and absent the ability to travel to parrallel universes, that will never be something we will be able to do.

Certainly America has a uniqueness in Violence patterns as in so much else. Why American patterns are so different in so many ways from the rest of the industrialized world is a mystery about which a lot of speculation exists, but no one seems to have found a definative cause.

3/04/2005 05:45:00 AM  

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