First, here are some interesting statistics about murders from a global perspective. Most people are aware that the United Kingdom has outlawed guns (for most citizens). What’s the correlation between that and murders? Well, in the USA, which proudly upholds its government’s Second Amendment, in one year there were 15,241 murders (2009) – that’s 5 murders per 1,000 people (RPT).
In the UK, 724 murders were calculated in one year with an RPT of 1.2. I’d say that’s a significant correlative difference. Did the difference in gun laws “cause” the problem – I’m not sure. Let’s look at more numbers…
The country that reported the highest number of murders in one year was Brazil at 43,909 with a RPT of 22.7. Falling just behind Brazil in number of murders is India with 40,752 reported but with a RPT of only 3.4 because of the incredibly dense population of the country.
Now, examining the significance or RPT, check out Honduras, reporting 6,239 murders in one year but with an RPT of 82.1!!! El Salvador reported 4.085 murders in a year with an RPT of 66!
Data comes from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDC). As you can imagine, the United Nations explains that it is somewhat difficult comparing these statistics accurately. Nations have different views on what constitutes murder, they report on different years, reporting methods differ, etc. However, this data does paint what I think is a fascinating picture.
It seems that developed nations have fewer murders (rate per thousand – RPT) than non-developed nations. And about those guns…
I still want to point out that there is strong correlative evidence that suggests having a loose gun law in a nation (e.g. USA) leads to increased murders as opposed to a nation with far stricter gun laws (United Kingdom). Still, there is more going on here. America is unique because of it dense and mostly developed sprawl. If you look at data maps, most murders occur in cities that are heavily populated with poverty, gangs and drug trafficking.
Therefore, if the US enacted heavier gun control laws or even outlawed guns for most citizens, the argument that many gun rights activists use, “only criminals will have guns,” could very well come to pass. I question if heavier gun laws would have a great impact on people who are career criminals–a sociological construct that already exists without much indication that we have a solution to curb this activity. If this is so, they won’t get rid of their guns, and they will continue obtaining guns from other criminals. These are groups that already, as a rule, operate outside of laws. The only regard they have for law is that it dictates to them that which they must keep hidden, as hidden as possible to try to not get caught.
How does all of this relate to the Colorado shooting? It doesn’t. When a society looks for solutions to reduce murders, by rule it has to eliminate anomalous causation. A psycho on a shooting spree in a movie theater is not a common profile for murders in America. Therefore, an act like this isn’t successfully addressed through policy or law. Most likely people around this individual ignored warning signs that he was a sociopath with homicidal tendencies that turned wrong — way wrong. But hey, what the hell do I know. I’m just a writer here, tapping out letters… What do YOU think?