Kordic27 wrote:Triples333 wrote:Have you looked these actual numbers up? I happened to delve into it last week (I can grab the links when I'm on my computer tomorrow, but they are extremely easy to find) and in fact if there was any trend in the relationship between guns per capita and a nations murder rate, it was inversely proportional. USA was an exception as having the most guns per capita, but a much higher murder rate than most 1st world nations. Particular Asian nations with both extremely low guns per capita and murder rates were another group of exceptions. But by and large, the nation's with the most guns per capita had extremely low murder rates, while a majority of those with the least guns per capita had extreme murder rates. I personally think there is an obsession with gun culture here that does feel unhealthy and is clearly unsafe when in the wrong hands, but I found the stats very interesting/telling. It was made abundantly clear that there was much more to it than this common mantra of simply more guns = more killing.
Also bears mentioning that in the USA gun deaths are caused (for the vast majority) by two factors:
#1) Suicide. And nearly all suicides by gun are via a handgun/revolver or shotgun. IE, guns that even under the strictest of firearm restrictions will not be removed. My solution to at least help remedy that issue (specifically for kids) is to impose significant fines + community service and possibly jail time if it was found out that the weapon was owned by somebody else and not properly secured. There needs to be more education in this area of gun management period.
#2) Gang violence. Gang murders are what drive up America's murder rate to be significantly higher than most 1st world nations (super easy to Google these numbers as well, but again I can grab them tomorrow). That, plain and simple, is the issue for everyone to attack head on if the goal is a lower murder rate.
The mass murders draw the big headlines and are a serious/scary issue of course, but they are a drop in the bucket when it comes to the reality of what needs to be addressed in the gun debate (IMO that starting with the education/increased penalties concerning proper/safe storage of your guns, thorough - non same day - background checks, and addressing the massive gang problems we still have). There are ~35-40 gun deaths (non suicide) every day in the US (that is 10,000 - 15,000 people every year for decades). And most of those are inner city killings. That's the state of the USA as it relates to gun violence.
I tried looking up - lots of numbers skewed one way or another to support the POV of whoever was writing whatever article. But the one thing that my brain won’t let me let go of is that the USA, while obviously distinct in a lot of ways, is culturally and value-wise very similar to a lot of countries (Canada, uk, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc etc - 1st world countries). They (seem to) have a lot more gun ownership, and (seem to) have a lot more gun violence, despite having a lot of the same factors in play that people blame for gun issues. So I can’t help but think there’s a strong correlation.
I personally think that guns are extremely detrimental (even in suicides, psychologists will tell you that access to means has a massive affect on suicide rate), but I also think that it’s an ingrained part of US culture. It’s bad for you, and I think deep down everyone knows society would be safer with super strict regulations, but just like butter to the French, or beer to the Irish, it’s just not going away because your be better off without them.
The guns per capita numbers were via the most recent Small Arms Survey (2017 I believe). They have been doing this on a large scale for decades via the Graduate Institute of International Relations and Development, based in Geneva Switzerland. It is impossible to be spot on of course, but they have proven the most successful in this field and it is not as if this is some partisan left/right group out there fudging numbers. And to be clear, none of the top nation's in guns per capita are top 25 in gun murder rate. And the USA is the only 1st world nation that is near the average gun murder rate (off the top of my head the USA is around ~5 people per 100K killed, with the world at ~6.5)
Again, why the murder rates in the USA are overboard is due to gangs. Outside of that, the rates would not be out of the norm. That is the issue to tackle.
Where I agree with you is that an excess of guns (specifically easily accessed) is clearly driving up the suicide rates (especially among young men). That's why it's so important to make firearm management/safety a talking point, and to impose the significant penalties on those who fail to do so (eventually, hopefully, people will become vigilant in locking their guns away where only they have access). I'm all for buy-back programs and other means to reduce as many guns as people are willing to give up as well.