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Old 12-28-2006, 08:09 PM   #31
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that was the next thing someone had to say
Now where's someone to point out that Asia's record is even worse than Europe's?

Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
I think a big problem is social security.
If you are facing social problems, like unemployment or some expensive operation, and you can't rely on the help of your state, and your future prospects are bad, you're more likely to become a criminal than if you get some support from your state or society.
Interesting statistics there! With regards to the comment I quoted, I think that factor definitely plays a role. The countries we're currently comparing to the US have a much stronger and supportive state apparatus. I've perceived the US system to be very cold, not lending people a hand when they could really use one and when it would be better for society if they did. But I am a social democrat, so of course I'm going to think that!
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:25 PM   #32
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
1/70,000 people are murdered in Australia.
Netherlands is roughly 1/83,000.
Oakland is a shade under 1/3000.
The US overall clocks in at 1/18,000.

I don't know about the Netherlands, but Australia has tough gun laws and no death penalty.
Hmm. This interested me, so I did a bit of googling and came up with this:
http://www.spf.gov.sg/stats/stats2005_index.htm

Apparently 21 people were murdered in 2005 in Singapore, from a population of about 4 million. Very strict gun laws, death penalty very much in force. Still 21 too many, to paraphrase Popmartijn.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:58 PM   #33
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I know it's Wikipedia, but this page seems satisfactorily referenced and makes for interesting reading. Especially note the map, which is the number of murders per 100,000 people. It is worth noting that the US is doing worse than the entire West, and it is also interesting to see which third world countries are doing better - though, of course, some of those countries may be doing better simply due to a lack of reporting of murders rather than actually having a lower murder rate.

I see a lot of people pinning the blame for the US's comparatively alarmingly high murder rate on societal conditions in inner city ghettos. While this may be the case, it begs the question: why is this a much worse problem in the US than elsewhere? Every large city has its poor and impoverished areas with high crime rates, but they don't distort the overall statistics in other countries as severely as they do in the US. Why?

Also, does anyone have a breakdown of the US murder rates to substantiate this? When impoverished inner city regions are excluded from the equation, how does the US compare? Is this high rate just an inner city problem or are other areas being overlooked?
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Old 12-28-2006, 11:27 PM   #34
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I think there are a lot of factors contributing to the USA's out of control murders. I also think that like a lot of countires with higher murders per capita (Brazil, Russia etc) the gap between the rick and poor is widening, and the poor are getting poorer. When you can use a gun to get money, or when you can use a gun to get back some power you've lost by not having anything, I understand why. I think it would be awful to live in a country where temptation is EVERYWHERE and you can't have anything of it.

I don't excuse murder, I ABBHOR the us gun laws and definately believe that plays a major part in the high murder rates.
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:58 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Axver
I know it's Wikipedia, but this page seems satisfactorily referenced and makes for interesting reading. Especially note the map, which is the number of murders per 100,000 people. It is worth noting that the US is doing worse than the entire West, and it is also interesting to see which third world countries are doing better - though, of course, some of those countries may be doing better simply due to a lack of reporting of murders rather than actually having a lower murder rate.

I see a lot of people pinning the blame for the US's comparatively alarmingly high murder rate on societal conditions in inner city ghettos. While this may be the case, it begs the question: why is this a much worse problem in the US than elsewhere? Every large city has its poor and impoverished areas with high crime rates, but they don't distort the overall statistics in other countries as severely as they do in the US. Why?

Also, does anyone have a breakdown of the US murder rates to substantiate this? When impoverished inner city regions are excluded from the equation, how does the US compare? Is this high rate just an inner city problem or are other areas being overlooked?
You'd probably need someone with a solid background in US criminology to answer the last question--I can't think of any relevant database that would allow you to break down the data in precisely that way without a lot of agonizingly slow piecemeal work. I'm inclined to *guess* that gang-/drug-related violence is crucial to explaining the murder rate in "impoverished inner city regions"--the high concentration of guns that tends to go along with gang activity obviously also factors in (close to 100% of gang-related murders involve guns; for most other motives, it's about 60-75%), but unfortunately, gun control laws alone wouldn't do much to change that. Urban gang violence is also a serious issue in several Latin American countries (though I take it you don't consider those part of "the West") so the US is not wholly alone in that problem. But I really couldn't tell you to what extent precisely the murder rate in urban ghettos impacts our rate overall, only that they tend to be centers of gang activity. *I think* something like 1 in every 18 murders in the US are thought to be gang-related, but I can't find a source right now to verify that--I'm sure it's buried in the byzantine US Bureau of Justice Stats site someplace. That's not really all that high a proportion in the big picture, but I'm sure if you live in a gang-afflicted area it feels like it is.

As far as other regions go, I do think stricter gun control laws would help. To back up for a second to what I said earlier about the murder rate where I grew up in MS, while it was certainly low by overall US standards, I doubt very much that it would've been low by your country's standards. (And I apologize for not being able to provide hard data here, I did look around a bit, but I just can't find online info for the region I lived in going back that far.) I do remember for sure that most murders involved guns. While I don't doubt that *some* of them would certainly have occurred whether guns were around or not, I don't buy that *most* of them would have. There is such a thing as responsible gun ownership and certainly most gun owners I knew practiced it, but on the other hand, enforcement was pretty loose and there's no two ways about the fact that having a gun just makes it so much easier to turn a moment of rage into murder. You don't have that window of 90 seconds or so of sustained assault while your victim screams, bleeds, writhes and tries to get away, in order to come to your senses and rethink what you're doing, that you would have if you were doing the job with a knife or a fist. Now as to whether the problem there was more the sheer prevalence of guns or the failure of too many to follow the laws concerning storage, handling, when you could carry them around loaded and not and so forth, that I couldn't really tell you.

It may very well be the case that even if we could eliminate gang activity, sharply scale back gun availability and more strictly enforce gun handling laws, we would still have a much higher murder rate. But I can't think of any other "remedies" whose underlying diagnosis really convinces me. The economic inequality issue is always one that comes up but it's so hard to build a consistent case for that from the data, especially if you're talking international comparisons. It's a somewhat stronger case though if you limit your data to major metropolitan areas within the same country.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:01 AM   #36
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Originally posted by Axver

So I was really shocked when I went to Tennessee and saw guns for sale at regular sporting goods stores! When I walk into a shop like that, I expect to be able to buy rugby balls, treadmills, running shoes, and stuff like that, not guns too! It struck me as reckless and dangerous.
Ahhhh, those guns are WAY different than the guns people kill others with. The only time you'll hear of people using those types of weapons to kills is when a hunter shoots another hunter by accident b/c he wasn't wearing his orange, or maybe in some domestic cases where a drunk husband reaches for his rifle and blows his wife's head off. Those guns are NOT what are used on the streets and they are NOT the types of guns people buy b/c they're afraid and want to carry a concealed weapon (hand gun). Some of them may be altered into killing machines, but altering weapons is illegal. Certain people will alter anything into a killing machine. Also, before you use hunting rifles, you have to have the right permits and take safety classes. It probably depends on the state, but my brother had to pass a series of safety classes before he could fire his weapon. The hunting community takes this VERY seriously. But like I said, the amount of intentional murders committed with those types of weapons are so few it's barely worth mentioning.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:09 AM   #37
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I dont think the US is a particularly violent nation. I certainly dont see how it can be attributed to the high murder rates. It does not add up.

As for Aus, we have a definite gang problem. I'm not familiar with the US and gang psychology, but we have gangs. Few shootings. They do happen, with triads and bikie gangs, etc., but they're unique and not common.

Our police are not required to ever draw their guns unless there is a clear and present threat. Watching police on shows where the cameras follow them and seeing the police pull their guns out because someone is beating his wife is frightening. I suspect the US is agitated. I dont think the people of the US are violent. In many ways they are less so than the rest of the world. I do think that it's an uptight and tense nation, though. From outside appearances, living there seems like living in a pressure cooker. I attribute that more to the death tolls than violence. Combine this with ease of owning a gun, and you have a nation which is it's own worst enemy.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:27 AM   #38
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absolutely! You hit the nail on the head (well for me!)

usa does seem like a nevous nation, shaking fingers on triggers, to quick to jump and act rather then wait and see it out a bit more...
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:16 PM   #39
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usa does seem like a nevous nation, shaking fingers on triggers, to quick to jump and act rather then wait and see it out a bit more...
What exactly does this mean? I guess I'm not sure what this is referring to.... Americans are trigger-happy?



Those cop shows are a joke. My uncle has been the second highest in command in his PD for years and years and can probably count on a single hand how many times he's drawn a weapon. I've witnessed plenty of chases and arrests (in front of me, not on a TV show) and I've never seen a cop with a weapon drawn. You draw them if one is drawn on you.

Most of these Oakland deaths are due to gang violence (mostly about drugs). I would guess that the murder rate among the average citizen, regardless of how "nervous" they are, is marginal compared to gang or drug related murders.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:55 PM   #40
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I live in the Bay Area (maybe 25 mi from Oakland) and it is constantly on the news for shootings or homicides. They are mostly gang and drug related. Those numbers are insane though, I had no idea there were THAT many deaths. What's weird is the surrounding cities dont seem to have that many problems. Take Palo Alto and East Palo Alto for instance. Palo Alto is filled with huge mansions, rich folk and suburb type housing. Cross one over small ramp to East Palo Alto and you're all of a sudden in the ghetto.
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Old 12-29-2006, 02:16 PM   #41
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Violent crime is violent crime, and I doubt that gangbangers are out getting licences and concealed weapon permits.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:21 PM   #42
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Violent crime is violent crime, and I doubt that gangbangers are out getting licences and concealed weapon permits.
Exactly. It's senseless to blame things like sporting goods stores carrying hunting rifles b/c 1) these aren't the types of weapons used in violent crimes and 2) the people who DO use these weapons are licensed and trained while the people who commit violent crimes usually carry illegal weapons and don't have permits. They make their own weapons by stealing, altering, or importing.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:29 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
people who commit violent crimes usually carry illegal weapons and don't have permits.
Do you have data to support this? I realize this is generally the case in areas where gang violence is a major problem, but as I mentioned earlier only about 1 in 18 US murders, if not fewer, are in fact gang-related. Presumably some of the rest which involve firearms, maybe even most, involve illegally acquired ones, but I haven't personally found any data showing that.

Some miscellaneous stuff I did find in checking FBI and BATF data:

--The FBI estimates that only about 60-70% of firearms in the US were acquired through legal means. A BATF study done under Clinton estimated that there were more than 4 million fully automatic firearms in the US illegally. In addition, some 500,000 guns are stolen every year.

--According to the FBI, one-third of all firearm homicide victims are aged 17-24, even though that group comprises only about 11.5% of the population overall. This age group is also overrepresented among firearm homicide offenders at roughly similar rates.

--The majority of gun-related deaths in the US are actually suicides. In 2004 there were almost 17,000 suicides by gun, a little over half of all suicides. (Our suicide rate, however, is lower than that of several industrialized/Westernized countries, France, Germany and Japan for example.)

--A little over 4% of all firearm homicides are, in fact, committed with hunting rifles, according to the FBI. While that is certainly low (especially considering that this is the single most widely *legally* owned gun type), it's still higher than I would've thought.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:44 PM   #44
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Do you have data to support this?
Nope. I was responding specifically to A_wanderer's post re. gangbangers, not gun deaths in general. I should've been more clear. I'll go ahead and wager that the gang members and drug traffickers aren't too concerned about how their weapons are obtained and whether they have permits to own them.

Thanks for the FBI and ATF data!
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:04 PM   #45
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Now where's someone to point out that Asia's record is even worse than Europe's?



Interesting statistics there! With regards to the comment I quoted, I think that factor definitely plays a role. The countries we're currently comparing to the US have a much stronger and supportive state apparatus. I've perceived the US system to be very cold, not lending people a hand when they could really use one and when it would be better for society if they did. But I am a social democrat, so of course I'm going to think that!
That's right. It's because of the Republicans/conservatives in power. Of course, they also want to make sure everybody can have a semi-automatic if they want to...dangerous combination. Poor folks with nothing to lose + easy access to guns = a crapload of murders.
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