Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Butiama Bed & Breakfast

Monday, 17 December 2012

America's gun culture

America's obsession with guns is in the news again with the recent fatal shooting of elementary school children by a gunman whose mother, also killed by the gunman, was a gun enthusiast who frequently took his son to the shooting range.

When a few days ago someone posted a statistical comparison on Facebook showing gun deaths for selected countries, I thought some analysis might reveal that, proportionally, American gun deaths may not be as serious as initial numbers would suggest if these countries' populations are applied.

I was wrong.

In terms of numbers the United States outstrips many countries in the world but the United States is not, historically, the leading country in the world for firearm related deaths per 100,000:

    No.
    Country
    Killed
    1
    United States
    10,728
    2
    Israel
    58
    3
    Canada
    52
    4
    Japan
    48
    5
    West Germany
    42
    6
    Switzerland
    34
    7
    Sweden
    21
    8
    Great Britain
    8

But at almost 11,000 deaths the United States does not only have the leading number of gun deaths, but even when population is factored in the comparison it still takes the lead for the selected countries.

Individuals killed by guns for selected countries (ranked by percent killed):
No.
Country
Killed
Population
Percent Killed
1
United States
10,728
314,947,000
0.00340629
2
Israel
58
7,956,000
0.00072901
3
Switzerland
34
8,000,001
0.00042500
4
Sweden
21
9,546,217
0.00021998
5
Canada
52
35,009,100
0.00014853
6
West Germany
42
81,874,000
0.00005130
7
Japan
48
127,547,000
0.00003763
8
Great Britain
8
63,100,000
0.00001268

On another Facebook update on the same subject someone defended the right of American citizens to bear arms and defend themselves and their families from all the bad elements in society that may want to cause harm to them. He suggested that people should not be swayed by the emotions of the time.

I am trying to imagine someone remaining "emotionless" by the killing of children. By the killing of anyone, period.

2 comments:

Julius Nyerere said...

This was a good article on the issue. I agree with you 100% that this country is pretty much obsessed with guns.

Madaraka said...

Thank you.