I was going to conclude my first attempt at flying story today but I have been sidetracked by a comment on Karmyn’s blog. The comment was in reference to a post Karmyn wrote about her son getting his first gun. Just a second, I’ll go get it for you… Ok, in part it said "Look at societies that have outlawed use or ownership of guns. They have greater problems with guns than we do."
Now I stress that this almost rant is not about the gun debate, for the simple reason that it’s your decision (not mention your right) as to whether you own a gun or not. I’m fine with that and I would never try to change anyone’s mind either way. We in Australia have a completely different mindset to the people in America (not better or worse, just different), and what works for us probably wouldn’t work for them. Bear in mind that we never had a war of independence or a civil war.
What I do have a problem with however, is the number of times I see the statement "Look at societies that have outlawed use or ownership of guns. They have greater problems with guns than we do." used as a justification for allowing unfettered access to guns. Not only is it factually incorrect, but there are plenty of valid arguments that could be put forward, all of which are better than "they have gun control and they’re worse than us". To make such a statement is not only ill informed, it is offensive to those of us who live in countries with strict gun controls, and are proud of our low gun death statistics.
So that you don’t have to go googling to see what the statistics are, below is a cut and paste of the Centre for Disease Control (bizarrely, this is the Gov. agency vested with responsibility) report on the matter:
Gun Deaths – United States Tops The
The United States leads the world’s richest nations in
gun deaths — murders, suicides, and accidental deaths due
to guns – according to a study published April 17, 1998 by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the
International Journal of Epidemiology.
The U.S. was first at 14.24 gun deaths per 100,000
people. Two other countries in the Americas came next.
Brazil was second with 12.95, followed by Mexico with
Japan had the lowest rate, at 0.05 gun deaths per
100,000 (1 per 2 million people). The police in Japan
actively raid homes of those suspected of having
The 36 countries in the study were the richest in the
World Bank’s 1994 World Development Report, having the
highest GNP per capita income.
The United States accounted for 45 percent of the 88,649
gun deaths reported in the study, the first comprehensive
international scrutiny of gun-related deaths.
The gun-related deaths per 100,000 people in 1994 by
country were as follows:
- U.S.A. 14.24
- Brazil 12.95
- Mexico 12.69
- Estonia 12.26
- Argentina 8.93
- Northern Ireland 6.63
- Finland 6.46
- Switzerland 5.31
- France 5.15
- Canada 4.31
- Norway 3.82
- Austria 3.70
- Portugal 3.20
- Israel 2.91
- Belgium 2.90
- Australia 2.65
- Slovenia 2.60
- Italy 2.44
- New Zealand 2.38
- Denmark 2.09
- Sweden 1.92
- Kuwait 1.84
- Greece 1.29
- Germany 1.24
- Hungary 1.11
- Ireland 0.97
- Spain 0.78
- Netherlands 0.70
- Scotland 0.54
- England and Wales 0.41
- Taiwan 0.37
- Singapore 0.21
- Mauritius 0.19
- Hong Kong 0.14
- South Korea 0.12
- Japan 0.05
I’m not asking that anyone change their views on gun ownership, as I said it’s your business, I’m just asking that you leave us out of the argument. Incidentally, I’m pretty sure all except the top 5 on that list have stricter gun controls than America, but I know the ones I’ve highlighted do.
Once again I stress I’m not putting forward an opinion one way or the other, it’s simply not my business. I also accept that there would be well written, valid articles out there that would be contra to the ones I linked to, it’s just that these links give insight into why I think the way I do. However I have no interest in trying to change the way you think.
Filed under: Rants |