Arguments Needed Please


March 12, 2011, 04:26 PM

Recently, on another website devoted to motorcycles, in the open forum section, an Australian posted a list. The list "proved" that a country with more firearms inevitably had a higher incidence of murder by firearm. In response, I went looking on-line for such lists, and found them. It appears that whether the criteria is murder by percentage of the population, or violent crime by percentage of the population, the USA is ranked much higher than countries such as Australia, Canada, and the U.K.

I made the point that until and unless you know how the data was aquired and how it was processed such lists are junk, which didn't faze most of the members. It was pointed out that regardless of what list you came up with, the US ranks as a more dangerous enviroment than countries with tighter gun laws. The point he made was that international organizations looking to either move to, or establish themselves in, different countries will look at the violence index and tend, if possible, to avoid the more dangerous enviroments.

I'm sure that the rate of violent crime in the U.K. has risen dramatically since they imposed their draconian anti-gun laws some years ago. I would not be surprised to learn that the same is true of Australia either. However, I cannot find any data on past twenty years rate of change of violence in reported countries. Or an effective argument against the data that's been presented. Can anybody point me in the right direction?

Thanks, 900F

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March 12, 2011, 04:52 PM
Well, there's no real escaping the fact that guns will be used more often in crimes if there's more guns floating around. If no one owned a car, auto accidents and crimes involving cars would be a lot lower.

That said, I think it's worth looking at the rate of gun crimes in the UK even with all their laws. I think a couple years ago ('08, '09 maybe) there were something like 3000 gun crimes in the London metro area despite generations of restrictive gun laws that preceded their total ban on handguns in the 90s.

Shadow 7D
March 12, 2011, 05:03 PM
Um, wait, did you find the list that listed 'violent crime'
Not murders, and did you compare the numbers of murders NOT with firearms (I believe the US in much in line with overall totals that way/per capita)

I, personally would just laugh at them, and tell them that you were going to enjoy your rights, and they could suck an egg, for all you care, about them giving theirs away

Oh, and Aussie, ask him how he likes his plastic beer mug....

March 12, 2011, 05:09 PM
It's tough to compare different countries, given different cultures. If you just look at the US however, you'll see that the places with the strictest gun laws (fewer guns) typically have the highest murder rates per capita and those with the most relaxed laws (more guns) are lowest.

Shadow 7D
March 12, 2011, 05:17 PM

I really like the last one, it's worth reading the whole thing

March 12, 2011, 05:25 PM
You're quite correct; international comparisons have little value, because data collection methods differ, crime definitions differ, and what government agencies choose to publish is politically motivated.

And in this case, figuring out how many firearms are around, such that one might infer some kind of causal relationship between firearm 'density' and firearm homicide, is also questionable.

Statistics will never convince anyone to change positions.

However, if you're sure you want to try, use WISQARS (

WISQARS shows a 2007 firearms homicide rate of 4.19/100,000 - split by race, it was 2.21/100,000 white victims, 17.40/100,000 black victims.

The non-firearm homicide rate was 1.90/100,000, split 1.45/100K white, 4.78/100K black.

You might also point out that the gun stock in the United States has been uniformly increasing, while the firearms homicide rate goes up and down. If one 'caused' the other, the trends would be uniformly up for both, and they're not.

1981 - 1998, United States
Homicide Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000
All Races,
Both Sexes,
ICD-9 Codes: E965.0-.4

Number of Crude Age-Adjusted
Year Deaths Population*** Rate Rate**

1981 15,089 229,465,316 6.58 6.34
1982 13,830 231,664,211 5.97 5.74
1983 12,040 233,792,237 5.15 4.92
1984 11,815 235,825,040 5.01 4.76
1985 11,836 237,924,038 4.97 4.71
1986 13,029 240,133,048 5.43 5.05
1987 12,657 242,289,046 5.22 4.87
1988 13,645 244,499,040 5.58 5.18
1989 14,464 246,819,195 5.86 5.48
1990 16,218 249,464,396 6.50 6.11
1991 17,746 252,980,942 7.01 6.64
1992 17,488 256,514,231 6.82 6.50
1993 18,253 259,918,595 7.02 6.75
1994 17,527 263,125,826 6.66 6.45
1995 15,551 266,278,403 5.84 5.69
1996 14,037 269,394,291 5.21 5.10
1997 13,252 272,646,932 4.86 4.77
1998 11,798 275,854,116 4.28 4.21

1999 10,828 279,040,181 3.88 3.82
2000 10,801 281,421,906 3.84 3.79
2001 11,348 285,081,556 3.98 3.93
2002 11,829 287,803,914 4.11 4.06
2003 11,920 290,326,418 4.11 4.06
2004 11,624 293,045,739 3.97 3.93
2005 12,352 295,753,151 4.18 4.16
2006 12,791 298,593,212 4.28 4.27
2007 12,632 301,579,895 4.19 4.19

See also guncite

March 12, 2011, 05:34 PM
There are far too many variables than to generalize such a complicated question.

Finland has a high proportion of firearms ownership compared to population and the murder rate is quite low as does Switzerland.

Indonesia has a small proportion of firearms in private circulation compared to population yet the murder rate is quite high.

It does appear that when a people develop a taste for indiscriminate murder, they find a way to perpetrate the action regardless of the availability of firearms.

March 12, 2011, 05:41 PM
Norway has the highest rate of firearms owner ship in the world. How is there homicide rate doing? Also, the violent crime rate of the UK is remarkably higher than the US. Also, in the US if you factor OUT high crime areas where there are very strict gun control laws like DC, Baltimore, Chicago, LA, etc.........You will find the overall murder rate in the rest of the country is much lower, you know, where there is MORE legal gun ownership.

Owen Sparks
March 12, 2011, 06:22 PM
You will find that countries with lower violent crime rates also have lower rates of rape but it is not because the men there are not "armed". I could give you some statistics proving why crime is very low in countries like Japan, Norway and Sweeden Vs. Detroit and Chicago but that might get this thread locked.

March 12, 2011, 09:33 PM
As a motorcyclist for 43 years I have always been dumbfounded by the amount of other motorcyclists on motorcycle related forums who come across as anti gun even to the point of belittling someone who would even think of riding with and carrying a firearm or even riding many states away from home armed.
And strangely enough I have gotten into some pretty good arguments with riders posting on predominately American motorcycle forums that were from the U.K.,Canada,New Zealand,and of course Australia.
And those on forums the American riders that have the anti bent come a lot of the times from the Pacific Northwest and eastern seaborn states.
Doubtful you can get the utterly brainwashed lemmings to ever see the light CB900F

General Geoff
March 12, 2011, 09:36 PM
Remember to differentiate between murders and deaths. About half of all firearm-related deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

Old Guy
March 12, 2011, 10:30 PM
As a 75 year old, who shoots IDPA, and does OK, normally in the top 10%.

No illnesses, do not take pills (81% Aspirin, have a mate who is a Dr.)

A little chubby, left Brit Royal Signals in 1956 at 210lbs, this morning, 209! lost a lb in 55 years? Not much of a diet Aye?

On me now (dressing Gown) I Phone and a Glock 19, 16 rounds of Ranger T 127g +P+. When I leave the house tomorrow, same I phone, with a blue tooth ear piece, drive a lot, and of course, same Pistol, plus a spare G17 Magazine, and a sure fire flash light, very sharp folder.

I lived in the UK till 1965, Aussy for three years, Canada for 35 years, here in Florida, 2003 till now, I know where I would sooner be, the ability to be armed all the time, in my estimation, is a good thing.

Being aware of your surroundings, being ready to defend me and mine, at all times? Is a real good quality.

March 12, 2011, 11:41 PM
A while back I was looking at some violent crime statistics courtesy of the FBI. In the statistics was state to state stats, and also stats that showed violent crime rates in states that restrcit guns, and those that don't. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I believe there was something like 33% lower violent crime per cap in non restrictive state's. I don't know if that helps you any, but it does show how violent crime trends are effected by gun laws. I thought this was a pretty good representation of how restrictive gun laws don't have a positive effect.

March 13, 2011, 12:04 AM
In discussions like this, I have found that it is important to remove the focus from guns and draw a comparison between violent crime rates in general.

March 13, 2011, 12:13 AM
Consider this...If you would do the necessary research I bet that you would find that countries that have more per capita rates of motorcycle ownership have more per capita rates of motorcycle deaths.

Why is it that people want to treat "gun deaths" as if such deaths are more serious and tragic than deaths caused by other means? That is what that stupid list the OP's friend in Australia is trying to say. Deaths by stabbings, poisoning or being beaten up are just not near as serious or tragic as shooting deaths, right?

Horsehocky!!! :cuss:

There are many countries that have much higher homicide rates than the US. Check out Venezuela and Columbia.

What is most important is whether or not firearms are useful for self preservation. And the answer to that question is YES!

The OP should tell his friend in Australia to do a Google search for Kleck, Gertz and guns. He would probably be surprised that several studies by these two gentlemen and others show that firearms are used in lawful self defense and lawful defense of others up to 2 million times a year in this country.

Edit: I just found this:

Australia and UK plus other "industrialised" countries have higher violent crime rates than US.

Shadow 7D
March 13, 2011, 01:26 AM
Ask him How he likes his beer
in a Sippy cup or out of the can with a nipple on it

Then remind him that you can relax at the bar with a tall frosty in a Glass Glass or mug...
got to love those 'free' societies....

March 13, 2011, 11:29 AM

Thank you very much for the replies. I do believe that I now have the basis to refute the argument.


March 13, 2011, 02:26 PM
I did not see Israel cited regarding guns. Check demographics as stated in one of the posts. Consider how many lives have been saved because we can carry guns.

March 13, 2011, 06:46 PM
Try this from Australia


March 13, 2011, 06:51 PM
This is one of these "statistics that say a lot without saying anything" and they are commonly used by antis as "proof" that guns are the problem.

What you need to do is look at the OVERALL stats vs those with a gun.

Great example that demonstrates this:

When Brady was put in place originally there was a waiting period for handguns. The GUN suicide rate dropped dramatically during that time, leading anti's to jump for joy claiming things were fixed. However, during that same time period the OVERALL suicide rate stayed exactly the same, other methods were used.

Guns are tools. For some things they are the handiest tool but lacking the availability of that tool humans are pretty good at finding other tools to use.

March 13, 2011, 06:59 PM
Yep normal people can't own a gun in Mexico; really has worked for them.

March 13, 2011, 08:32 PM
It could also be stated that of all the thousands of murders that occur in Africa between tribal groups that are in power and are killing all the defenseless villagers with their assault rifles was due to those warring factions having guns. Genocide is occurring as we discuss this, and I guess it is because of poor gun control.

March 13, 2011, 08:40 PM
Just tell him you refuse to get in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

March 14, 2011, 01:35 AM
Seems to me that since quite a few European 'countries' are pretty close in size to our 'states', it might be interesting to compare each state to each country rather than the whole United States to each country.

General Geoff
March 14, 2011, 02:28 AM
One need only look at history to see a place where guns did not exist. I'm fair certain the dark ages had their share of violence and death.

March 16, 2011, 12:27 PM
Back when I lived in NYC, 3/4 of my friends were born somewhere other than here in the US and lots were from countries that totally restricted private firearm ownership. Quite a few of 'em told me that machetes were often the weapon of choice for armed robberies (banks, jewelry stores, etc.)

Mozart 2
March 16, 2011, 02:14 PM
Vermont has CCW or OC with NO PERMIT REQUIRED. Vermont is the only state in the U.S. that TRULY understands the second ammendment. Gun ownership is passionately defended in Vermont.

Oh yeh...Vermont has the second lowest violent crime rate in the country...hmmm.

Even though I'm quoting a statistic here, this entire argument is a falacy. Statistics rarely (if ever) prove anything. Correlation is NOT cause. There was a T.V. commercial airing a few years ago with a claim that teenagers of families that regularly eat dinner together have a lower rate of drug use. Therefore, eating meals together prevents drug use. What??? As rediculous as this claim sounds, they actually made it! The relationship between these two events is one of correlation, not causation. It's more probable that both events share a common cause or link. A family that eats dinner together does so in part because they value each other and their time together. These values usually align closely with anti-drug use. So a similar value system causes one event and prevents the other.

Statistics alone are worthless. It's the interpretation of those statistics that gives them meaning. Keep in mind that the interpretation and subsequent explanation are subject to human error...and two people can "say" two very different things using the same stats.

March 16, 2011, 03:03 PM
One factor to be considered is this: the ethnic and cultural diversity of a country. The US has more ethnicities and folks from different cultures than anywhere else. Countries with more homogeneous populations do not exhibit the crime. England's rise in crime has been tied to immigration of many cultures and the subsequent clashes such minglings bring. Like it or not, most folks like to associate with "their own kind" - it is not meant to be racist or condescending, just a fact, and they have issues with other groups when they feel encroached upon. Add to this this country's endless love for super rich models, athletes, etc. and folks who are not as fortunate tend to feel deprived and want some of it. Then add in the amount of illicit drug use and you can see why crime is higher. When you couple all of that with the readily available amount of guns, guns will be used more. However, if the guns aren't there, the crime doesn't drop - in England, crimes with knives, etc. soared to the point they want to register kitchen knives.

When any group thinks banning an inanimate object will cure the societal ill, they find nothing works. The old adage - "Blaming guns as the cause of crime is like blaming erasers on pencils for spelling errors"

March 16, 2011, 09:02 PM
The US is actually #49 by murder rate in the world. Ask him why Brazil has a higher murder rate than the US when hand gun sells are restricted to police.

Ask him why England still has over 7,000 firearm offenses per year if gun bans work. Ask why Scotland was deemed the most violent "developed" country in the world in 2005 (according to the UN). You are more than twice as likely to be violently atacked in Scotland than America. Getting rid of guns does not make people safer. It makes criminals braver.

Why is it that despite relaxing gun control laws the nation as a whole has seen a two decade drop in crime? Should we follow the lead of England and OZ? After enacting radical restrictions on guns they saw increases in sexual assault, robbery, domestic abuse, and violent assault.

March 16, 2011, 09:18 PM
When Brady was put in place originally there was a waiting period for handguns. The GUN suicide rate dropped dramatically during that time, leading anti's to jump for joy claiming things were fixed. However, during that same time period the OVERALL suicide rate stayed exactly the same, other methods were used.

Guns are tools. For some things they are the handiest tool but lacking the availability of that tool humans are pretty good at finding other tools to use.

This reminds me of an article I read praising Bloomberg. It seems that in 2008 there was a significant decrease in the number of murders involving guns, in NYC. However, more than 80% of the decrease was offset by murders using knives. The complete murder rate for NYC actually went up.

People that wanted to murder did. Those that were scared too, became braver.

March 16, 2011, 09:46 PM
In countries with restrictive private firearms possession laws the number of crimes commited with guns will decease after a given number of years under such laws, given that neighboring countries follow suit with their gun laws.

It is simple: guns become scarce and the pentalties for possesion become greater.

However, the violent crimes stats and murder stats per capita do NOT decrease. The criminal offenders simply choose another means to commit violent crimes as guns become scarce.

This is why many EU and Latin countries are now enacting ever more restrictive knife laws. Next it will be pipes, clubs, hammers, etc.

I count personal defense against crimes as one very important reason for personal firearm ownership, but it is not, by far, the top of my list. Australian, British, Mexican, German and French citizens now have no viable means for defense against their loss of freedoms as free citizens.

The second ammendment was not about hunting or personal defense.

Owen Sparks
March 16, 2011, 10:28 PM
There has been no looting reported in Japan after the recent disaster and almost none in New Zeland after the horrific earthquake there. Contrast this with what happened in Hati after the earthquake or New Orleans after Katrina. Crime has more to do with the quality of people than the avalibility of weapons. My sister in law worked in an inner city school and they had to stop the kids from using protractors (the thing with a short pencil and a metal spike used to draw circles with) because the little nippers were stabbing each other with them.

March 17, 2011, 10:38 PM
You will find that countries with lower violent crime rates also have lower rates of rape but it is not because the men there are not "armed". I could give you some statistics proving why crime is very low in countries like Japan, Norway and Sweeden Vs. Detroit and Chicago but that might get this thread locked.

Crime has more to do with the quality of people than the avalibility of weapons.

You seem to be implying that certain "people" (read ethnicities) are at issue when it comes to crime. I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say that argument has no merit. Its like Michael Moore saying that white people in the midwest just want guns because we are all racists who think minorities are going to break in to our homes. He then argues that white people in the midwest all have guns but there is no crime to defend from. Well, no kidding. Could it be there is no crime BECAUSE we all have guns??
Also, cities like Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, all have stringent gun control laws. This, to me, is the largest factor in their high crime rates. For instance, if you compare Detroit to Atlanta Georgia both are a majority of black people. In 2009 Detroit had a murder rate of 40.2 per 100,000 while Atlanta had a rate of 14.5 per 100,000 and Birmingham, AL had 28.6. And while you may hail the Asians for not looting you must not have lived in the Anaheim, Garden Grove CA area in the 90s like I did when asian gangs committed hundreds of violent home invasion robberies in those towns. The fact is if you try to break down US cities by ethnicity to correlate to crime rates you will have a hard time making the case. There are too many factors involved that anyone can take just about any statistic they want and make what sounds like a case for why crime is high in one area and low in another. The bottom line to me is that historically more gun laws do nothing but disarm good people and embolden criminals. Guns have less to do with CAUSING crime than gun laws have in making people criminals.

March 17, 2011, 11:05 PM
The latest FBI report stated that crimes involving firearms is at it's lowest in 30 years. They contribute it to the fact that more states have passed CCW laws for it's law abiding citizens. The Brady Bunch was not happy with the FBI report. I think they would be happy that crimes involving firearms went down.
Just proves you can't argue with the village idiot.
Also, those countries with the ultra low crime rate have VERY strict immigration laws. Yeah. England may have less crime involving firearms, but they are beating the pants off use when it comes to public bombings.
I'd rather dodge bullets then IED's any day of the week.

March 17, 2011, 11:19 PM
When crime statistics for cities are compared I cannot follow the line of reasoning that would follow that some 'types' of people are inherently more violent or prone to crime... and you know what I mean.

I think that most often a variety of common factors play into the higher crime stats, with the highest on my list being the lack of in-home fathers and a PERCEPTION of almost zero opportunities.

Guns or race are not, in my opinion, the cause of violent crime.
Kids who are dirt poor in shi**y towns don't always turn to crime. The fathers, uncles, or whomever, who care that live with them simply will not allow it.

Young males without strong guidance will always struggle to do the right thing since doing the wrong things are so easy and are perceived to be 'cool' with their equally unguided friends.

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