Thursday, February 14, 2013

Homicide Rates


For John, BLUFWhen looking at statistics it isn't always "yes, no or I don't know".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At PJ Media, Mr Clayton E Cramer looks at differences in murder rates between the US and Canada.  To avoid any confusion, for 2011, the Canadian rate was 1.73 homicides per 100,000 people, while that for the United States was 4.8 murders and non-negligent homicides per 100,000 people.  And, as we all know, Canada has much stricter gun control laws than the United States.

The interesting part is the homicide rate in Canada is not uniform across that nation.  Mr Cramer points out that his state of Idaho has a homicide rate of 2.3 per 100,000.  Then he breaks down Canada by provinces and territories.

Surely with such lax gun-control laws, our murder rate must be much higher than our Canadian counterparts’ rate. But this is not the case: I was surprised to find that not only Nunavut (21.01) and the Northwest Territories (6.87) in Canada had much higher murder rates then Idaho, but even Nova Scotia (2.33), Manitoba (4.24), Saskatchewan (3.59), and Alberta (2.88) had higher murder rates. (Okay, Nova Scotia is just a teensy-weensy bit higher than Idaho for 2011.)
This doesn't address the wave of terrorism that engulfed parts of Canada between 1963 and 1970.

But, back to gun control, as Mr Cramer points out at the end of his article, there seems to be more to homicide rates than just the availability of firearms.  Put another way, if the Government was able to sweep up all the legal firearms in the United States, it might not have a proportionate impact on our homicide rates.

Yes, if you argue that a reduction of just one homicide would be worth moving heaven and earth, I would agree with you, in the abstract.  The truth is, however, that human life has value attached to it and we are willing to make tradeoffs around that value.  Look at how we deal with highway deaths and the death of pedestrians.  Look at aviation accidents.

We take steps big and small to avoid deaths, but we don't take all steps possible.  We find there are other factors to be balanced in the equation.  For example, in the case of fighter aircraft, nimbleness in the air can lead to more losses in training, but fewer losses in combat, where that nimbleness pays off in combat victories.  In the realm of politics the Second Amendment is one of those other factors, a factor which some argue pays off by reminding the government of the ultimate power of the People.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

Neal said...

I would add that the desire to deal with the 2nd Amendment in isolation is not only dangerous, but displays a total lack of appreciation for the whole of the Constitution which is the additive value of its parts. The reinforcement of one amendment for the others is pretty profound.....especially in those first 10.

Put another way, you can't dumb down one without subverting the rest.

One other, ongoing point. England has a lower gun violence rate than the US. It is because they have almost no guns. However, a number of sources report that England is one of the most violent societies in all of Europe. One wonders how much that violence would be reduced if the citizenry had the means to resist.

It is completely erroneous to believe that cops carry guns to protect us. They don't. It is to protect them. They are NOT on the streets to keep the community safe. That the community is to some degree is simply an ancillary outcome. Cops are there for one reason alone....their formal designation.....LAW ENFORCEMENT. They look for people breaking laws....and as many of those law breakers are also likely to be prepared to prevent their capture.....the cops need guns.

Joe Sixpack on the other hand is pretty much on his own when it comes to some intruder kicking in the front door....or pointing a gun at you (most likely an UNREGISTERED one).

Crooks will stop pointing guns at people when they are unsure just who and how many have their own guns. This is the case in VT....one of the loosest gun control states in the Union. Very few gun related robberies.