27 April 2008

crime and guns and stuff

The writer of this article from the BBC (via instapundit) seems to find it paradoxical that that the US - with it's legal guns and high rate of homicide - feels safer than the UK where guns are banned. Statistics showing the burglary rate for various countries might be relevant. The US sits at No. 17 on the list with a rate of 7 per 1000 people - well below the UK at No. 7 (13/1000) or No. 1 Australia with a staggering  21 burglaries per 1000. (Let me add now that I haven't vetted the site providing the stats, so consider the source)

It's true that our murder rate is higher than the UK's - 4 per 100,000 people (3.6 using guns) vs. the UK's 1 per 100,000. Hey that's 4 times the UK rate, it's 400% higher. That's what you'd see in the headlines, but look at the numbers 1/100,000 vs. 4/100,000. That's not much real difference, certainly not compared to the burglary rates.

Guns are dangerous - no question about it. And tragic accidents happen with guns all too often. And they always make the headlines.

Unfortunately, it's also true that there are bad people in the world. Guns provide a way for 'regular' people to defend themselves and their loved ones regardless of age or physical condition. They are equalizers. Criminals in the US have to consider the real possibility that anyone they might decide to rob may have a gun.

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