58 Murders by firearms a year in Britain, 8,775 in US (Oak Creek Reprint Edn.)

Updated

Number of Murders, United States, 2010: 12,996

Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2010: 8,775

Number of Murders, Britain, 2011*: 638
(Since Britain’s population is 1/5 that of US, this is equivalent to 3,095 US murders)

Number of Murders by firearms, Britain, 2011*: 58
(equivalent to 290 US murders)

Number of Murders by crossbow in Britain, 2011*: 2 (equivalent to 10 US murders).

For more on murder by firearms in Britain, see the BBC.

The international comparisons show conclusively that fewer gun owners per capita produce not only fewer murders by firearm, but fewer murders per capita over all. In the case of Britain, firearms murders are 30 times fewer than in the US per capita.

Do hunters really need semi-automatic AR-15 assault weapons? Is that how they roll in deer season? The US public doesn’t think so.

*British crime statistics are September to September, so 2011 is actually 2010-2011.

14 Responses

  1. Does anyone have a rough idea how many deer have fallen to hunters armed with AR-15s or AK-47s in recent years?

    • For better or worse, the assault rifle is becoming the deer-hunting rifle of the 21st century, due to the AK’s 7.62 mm cartidge being ballistically similar to the traditional 30-30 Winchester, and due to new AR-15 rounds like the 6.8 SPC, designed by Special Forces personnel to deal with AK-armed opponents more effectively than the 5.56 mm round that the Army has used since 1966.

      In fact, more traditional-looking wood semi-auto rifles have been available to hunters for years. But the qualities that make the modern AR and AK useful on the battlefield are also conveniences to hunters: physical toughness, a vast array of modular accessories, the removable box magazine available in all sorts of capacities, and a vast global market for military-surplus ammo.

      Of course, deer hunting can feed into certain agendas and alarming cultural subgroups. Rifles are expensive, and thinking that you might “need” to use your sporting gun against a man adds to your willingness to drop $1000 on it. The militaristic glamor of using a combat gun looms large, but it always has, from the Colt 1873 and 1911 to the .30-06 Springfield.

      I think the semi-auto is overkill on a deer, but the deer probably think the bolt actions are too. It’s hard to construct the argument to hold the line at bolt actions without a painful confrontation over Americans’ lurking belief that other Americans are no better than animals who might need to be mass-slaughtered to preserve one’s “freedoms”.

  2. The gun nuts know no limits. They managed to get a law passed in Arizona that allows one to carry hand guns into bars. Can you imagine a couple of guys with guns getting into an argument after a couple of beers? Sheer lunacy.

  3. And you cannot argue that Great Britain’s low homicide is due to cultural and racial homogeneity. It is at least as diverse as we are.

  4. Britain has become a Big Brother-CCTV police state where despite omnipresent surveillance, predatory immigrants have free rein to rob, murder and rape the native population.

    • Just like here, eh, Grumpy? And the Predatory Natives (of various eras, all of whom were, in their turn, Immigrants) have free rein to rob, murder and rape too. And of course the government can spy on the contents of your toilet, grope your privates in pub(l)ic, all that stuff. What you gonna do about all that stuff?

      And do you get at all exercised ang grumpy about our Financial Industry Overlords, who have bled 80 or more percent of all the wealth of the nation, counterfeited hundreds of trillions of dollars, stung people like you and me by indexing our mortgages and credit card interest to “LIBOR” and then diddled that number as they pleased? Or paid themselves billions in “bonuses?” Or created fake transactions where you, and I, are losers in bets we never even got the thrill of placing? Or how about Mittens and the others who have apparently stripped between $21 and $32 TRILLION in Real Wealth off the planet and squirreled it away, safe from taxation or seizure for violation of various laws, in “foreign banks” including our own US of A “Goldman Sachs” and others?

      Now there’s a freakin’ rape and robbery and murder for you to get peeved at, hey?

    • I’d feel statistically safer there than here, Grumpy. However, I stay in America precisely because I want to be here for the civil war between your kind and those you seem to want ethnically cleansed. Guess which side I’m gonna be on?

    • most of the murders are by firearm. That is because killing people with guns is easy. Britain has a lot of attempted murders by knife.

  5. Keep in mind that I now support gung control. But I am a defector from the cause. Therefore I have insight in to how gun lovers think that those who have always been on the side of gun control may lack.
    It goes like this, 9,000 gun mureders in the USA, 10,000 or 20,000 or even 30,000 no big deal. We do not drop the speed limit on the highways even though the more we drop the speed limits the more lives that we would save. Guns are for more important than cars in the minds of gun lovers. In fact guns might even be more important than women in the minds of some gun lovers. It would not surprise me if some Marines on a cold night have actally tried to see if a gun could be a proper replacement for a woman. That is after all the kind of training that they get. It has been reported that Marine Drill Sergeants say, If the government wanted you to have a woman it would have issued you one.
    Such Frankness about the facts of life may cause the Inspector General to insist that this post be removed from the thread. Well I do not outrank an Inpector General but if I could I would take this thread and needle and stick it in the IGs eye.

    • “This is your rifle, this is your gun.
      One is for fighting, one is for fun.”

      Do the DIs still teach that one?

  6. My perception is that a comparison of two (outlier) data points can show conclusive proof only to someone who had the conclusion decided before looking for facts to support it. The assertion that “fewer gun owners per capita produce not only fewer murders by firearm, but fewer murders per capita over all” seems to me to be cast in doubt by the data in the chart at ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence#Homicide’ . Can you please give me a pointer to “The international comparisons” you allude to?

    Please note that I am _not_ asserting either that reducing the availability of weapons would not have desirable consequences or that you have no right to strongly support opinions without giving countervailing arguments. But I do feel a need to differentiate between opinion and verifiable data.

  7. The U.S. still has far more non-gun murders per capita than Britain, which isn’t to say that strict gun control in Britain and Japan doesn’t reduce homicide (although Mexico’s nominally strict gun control laws have had little effect there).

    Part of what makes the link between gun policy and homicide rate so elusive is that if you look at more detailed statistics, for example, state by state homicide and gun homicide rates per capita, there is dramatic variation, often between, for example, different rural areas with high levels of gun ownership and similar firearms control laws.

    Also, if you look at shifts in homicide and gun homicide rates over time, you can pretty much break the trend into two components – a “core” homicide rate involving intimate acquaintance murders, impulsive drunks, in isolated instances that includes most non-gun murders, and a “variable” component of the homicide rate which is very gun murder heavy and involves mostly gang related crimes (far more often unsolved) often by members of one gang directed at people in a similar demographic (or people in proximity to people in a similar demographic) to the gang members themselves. Oak Creek and Aurora Movie Theater and Columbine class multiple shootings by individuals who die in the act or are almost immediately apprehended afterwards, are such a vanishingly small percentage of the total that this subset of murders is almost entirely irrelevant to the overall murder rate, and are far less predictable than many other classes of murderers.

    Also, the focus in assault rifles v. other firearms pretty much misses the point. All guns are perfectly adequate to kill much more certainly than almost any non-gun in the situations where murders are typically committed.

    Exceedingly few murders in the United States are committed by premediated snipers at long range with long arms, where a semi-automatic assault rifle is much more deadly than an ordinary .35 caliber pistol that any cop or security guard or homeowner might often have on hand.

    Instead, murders with firearms take place overwhelmingly at short range, involving a number of victims in which the difference between a pistol’s ammunition capacity and an assault rifle’s are immaterial. We don’t care more about a powerful gunshot that kills an unprotected citizen than a weak gunshot that kills an unprotected citizen. Unless you are on a SWAT team, it really doesn’t matter. The ability of a pistol to be concealed is a bigger threat enhancer than any perceived increase in deadliness from an assault rifle, which is one of the reasons that pistols are used so much more often to commit murders than assault rifles.

    On the other hand, the notion that armed self-defense by people who aren’t law enforcement officers in the general public plays a very substantial role in stopping gun crime isn’t well supported. Justified homicides by private citizens with firearms are exceedingly rare, and there is no solid evidence to suggest that private citizens who brandish firearms without firing them are making much of a dent in the crime rate either. The attitudes that cause an individual to see self-help via armed self-defense as a good option is generally part and parcel of the same set of attitudes that drive up murder rates, a large share of which (particuarly the variable part) involved armed self-help to secured what the shoot sees as justified retaliation in a world where there is no legitimate authority to resolve disputes otherwise that is credible to all involved.

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