Time for some gun control

It has been two days since the latest mass shooting, killing 27 people including 26 at an elementary school. Is it now ok to demand better gun regulations? When talking about this, we should talk about the facts such as the US is a violent country compared to other well-off countries:

assault-deaths-oecd-ts-all

And yet, for children, there’s even a bigger disparity in terms of gun violence:

Of all firearm-related deaths, 55% were reported as homicides; 20%, as suicides; 22%, as unintentional; and 3%, as intention undetermined. The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was
nearly 12 times higher than among children in the other 25 countries combined (1.66 compared with 0.14). The firearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly 16 times higher than that in all of the other countries combined (0.94 compared with 0.06); the firearm-related suicide rate was nearly 11 times higher (0.32 compared with 0.03); and the unintentional firearm-related death rate was nine times higher (0.36 compared with 0.04). For all countries, males accounted for most of the firearm-related homicides (67%), firearm-related suicides (77%), and unintentional firearm-related deaths (89%). The nonfirearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly four times the rate in all of the other countries (1.63 compared with 0.45), and nonfirearm-related suicide rates were similar in the United States and in all of the other countries combined (0.23 compared with 0.24).

The rate for firearm-related deaths among children in the United States (1.66) was 2.7-fold greater than that in the country with the next highest rate (Finland, 0.62).

Here’s how the countries were chosen:

In the 1994 World Development Report (5), 208 nations were classified by gross national product; from that list, the United States and all 26 of the other countries in the high-income group and with populations of greater than or equal to 1 million were selected because of their economic comparability and the likelihood that those countries maintained vital records most accurately.

The numbers here are probably not all that accurate for today since this study looked at data in the mid 1990s, but they show that the US not only has a violence problem but a gun violence problem. For example the homicide rate in the US was 2.57 per 100,000 compared to an average of .51 for the other countries, a ratio of 5 to 1. For gun related homicides it was .94 to .06, which means the non-gun related homicide rates would be 1.63 and .45–reducing the ratio to 3.6. The difference in suicides is even bigger: for total suicides the US rate was .55 to an average of .27 in the other countries while it’s .23 to .24 if gun related suicides are excluded. It sure seems like access to guns in the US causes part of the disparity.

What makes this interesting is that the rates of bullying, fighting, and the carrying of weapons does not seem to be higher in the US (it is on the higher end). Could this perhaps be related to the fact that students in the US are much more likely to have guns (as opposed to knives or clubs or other weapons)?

Other democratic countries have much stricter gun regulations and also have much lower murder rates, we as a country should be talking about this.

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