The View From 1776

Obama Thumbs Nose At Congress On Gun Control

Who needs a Constitution when we are led by The One to the socialist promised land?

Read Edward Morrissey’s assessment on The Fiscal Times website.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 01/17 at 08:48 PM
  1. Let's see. We have 89 guns for every 100 Americans. In 2011 we had 12,664 murders in the USA, of which 8,583 were by firearms. That is equivalent to a Sandy Hook massacre every day of the year.

    In England there are 6 guns for every 100 people and about 550 murders for the year.

    Does this data suggest there may be a correlation between fire arms and fire arms murders?

    Whether the congress has the courage to defy the minions of the National Rifle Sales Association will be interesting to watch.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/18  at  01:32 PM
  2. Obama Thumbs Nose At Congress On Gun Control

    J. Jay,

    I believe we just had this same conversation (see ), and the sparse and contextually misleading argument you make here only differs in your choice of cherry-picked [dis]information.

    There, you staked your whole claim on a single outlier (Japan) without any consideration of policy or cultural influences, especially Japan’s strict anti-immigration policy’s positive effect on domestic disturbance versus our near open-borders. Now, you throw Britain into the ring with the misleading and isolated datum of its much lower gun-homicide rate while ignoring its growing homicide and violence rates and similar problems (ours, by comparison has been steadily falling since the mid-1990s). You also continue to ignore that while the U.S. has both high gun-ownership and gun-homicide rates, it is not the only country to have high gun-ownership but without the high gun-homicide; and that a study of the differences between us and those countries (Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, &c) would seem more relevant to this debate.

    Similarly, there are countries with low gun-ownership rates (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Columbia, Philippines, North Korea, Mongolia, &c), yet with high homicide rates; strongly undermining the argument more guns (alone) means more gun-deaths, and telling us it is the culture (plus any externalities destabilizing the culture) which matter most. In other words, it is the culture of violence, and not especially the means which ought to hold our attention if we are serious about reducing homicide; including Sandy Hook type incidents. The distraction over lawful gun-ownership has done little to nothing to curb violence, and further restrictions on ownership by law abiding citizens can do nothing to improve things further (law of diminishing returns). It is time we look at other, surer means of mitigation.

    Your raw UK-US data comparison, while not without some relevance, fails to correct for population differences. Most notable among these is that comparing 550 British murders as against 12,664 Americans does not account for the 5.14:1 population difference. To be comparable, you ought to have multiplied the raw British murder number by that ratio (2,827 UK versus 12,664 US), else presented each as a rate per 100,000 people (i.e., 0.86/100K UK versus 3.84/100K US) as is the usual way of presenting. While this says US homicide is 4.5 times higher than UK homicide, it is a far cry from the astounding 253-to-1 difference you inferred. Also, homicide is not gun-homicide, and you should have broken those numbers out from each country’s total (as well as providing the overall numbers) as your argument has to do with a specific relation that total homicide does not actually address. My sources tell me the UK has a homicide rate of 1.27 per 100K (4.1:1 ratio, see ) versus 5.22/100K US, or 812 total UK versus 17,226 total US. These would have been the better raw murder numbers to present if only because they are contextually consistent. We can’t be sure you are comparing apples to apples (i.e., don’t know where you got 550 v 12,662, unless you are perhaps citing gun deaths for each – really would help if you’d provide source links to back up your assertions).


    Sources and other interesting stuff - UK population 1/5 US - suicide rates in Japan, Hungary and Scandinavia 2-3 times higher than U.S.; also among European nations, higher gun rates do not correlate with higher homicide murder rates (opposite is true). Also note this suggests other European countries count gun-deaths differently than does the US, exaggerating their claims of lower rates of gun-deaths; - homicide does not even make the top 15 causes of death in U.S.;; Deaths_US_2009-a.pdf - homicide ranked #15 in 2007 and half suicide rate & 1/9th accidental death rate – no discernible correlation between gun-ownership and gun-death rates; less than rigorous but interesting study - suggests US assaults occur overwhelmingly in southern states; however, as relates to gun-homicides it is poor fodder as it a) does not break out gun-homicide from simple assaults (with or without a gun), b) does not take account of changes over time and c) says nothing of the lack of border controls impacting southern violence rates more than other parts of the country.;=&askid;=&l=dir&o=0&oo=0&sv=0a5ca9da&ip=86df74c9&id=F37AB6A05A9D26B9228378B6DCB9E7A7&q=uk+violent+death+rate&p=3&qs=1&ac=114&g=426dLUSk3E2gLq&cu;.wz=0&en=te&io=0&ep;=&eo;=&b=a008&bc;=&br;=&tp=d&ec=1&pt=JIA 73 (1947) 0213-0249 - The Actuarial Profession&ex=tsrc=tled&url;=&u= – you will need to cut-&-paste this link to your browser to make it work; demonstrates UK has long had significantly lower murder and violence rates than the US, even before differences in gun-ownership can have been a factor. Britain did not enact serious gun bans until after WWII.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/19  at  09:42 AM
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  7. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for your analysis. I would cite sources if the data to which I was making reference were not obvious and accessible to anyone with a phone or computer. By not citing a specific source, the case made is actually stronger because the reader can verify my argument at his own whim, without being prejudiced by my (possibly slanted) source.

    Incidentally, the numbers I threw out (8,535 vs 550) suggest a 15:1 difference (before correcting for population) not 253:1 as you note.

    Best wishes!
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/22  at  10:10 PM
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