Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

HOWEVER, apparently people in the US kill more people than in, say the UK. Some figures, just for interest of course, (All figures are per 100,000 people) : -

Gun ownership. US 89,000. UK 6,000 15 times as many.

Murder by gun. US 6.24 UK .13 48 times as many.

Accidental death by gun. US .58 UK .02 29 times as many.

Suicide by gun. US 7.23 UK .33 22 times as many.

Now maybe it is just coincidence, but I do notice that gun ownership seems to increase the number of deaths by gun! Also the number of suicides and accidents by gun. Now to a person like me who is fascinated by numbers and figures it is clear that guns kill people. The more guns people have, the more people die by the gun - ergo Guns Kill People.

What is further of interest is that in the US the numbers all show that although gun ownership is "only" 15 times higher than in the UK, murder by gun is 48 times higher, suicide by gun is 22 times higher and accidental death by gun is 29 times higher.

Common sense or the law of averages would say that all those figures should be 15 times higher - the same as the number of guns higher - but instead we see figures of 22X, 29X and 48X which is of interest to me. Does it mean that instruction in gun safety is better in the UK than in the US, or that the UK has safer guns than the US, or that people in the US are more angry or unstable or less civilized than in the UK? Surely not, but certainly there is something about either the guns or the people in the US that causes them to murder and commit suicide by gun at a much higher rate than almost any other country in the world.

Another figure that will almost certainly be brought up in any argument by gun proponents in the US will be gun ownership in Switzerland which is 47,000 per 100,000 of the population. US murder rate by gun is 11 times higher than the murder rate by gun in Switzerland, accidental death rate by gun - US is 5 times higher - and suicide by gun in US is only 1.3 times higher than in Switzerland!

All great fun - for someone who enjoys figures.

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