By Nathan Barton
Are we really one of the most violent societies on earth? Are we a bloodsoaked culture? According to some, the Fifty States are. But lets look at the reality.
To me, one of the more interesting webzines today is Gun Culture 2.0, which has a recent article on understanding averages in gun culture statistics.
This article is particularly useful for defenders of our right self defense because it addresses the difference between “gun deaths” and “gun homicides” and “unintentional gun deaths” – the major being that suicide with guns results in twice as many deaths as homicides.
In that article, David Yamane returns to a frequent theme: there is no one who lives in the “United States.” Rather, we live in fifty different states and a few special territories. And even within those states, there is a never a homogeneous society and culture. And never has been. This is an important fact.
So, he points out from the Guardian, of the 13,000 gun homicides in 2015 in the Fifty States, almost HALF occured in just 127 cities, which include almost a quarter of the population of the Fifty States. So the established (and high, by First World standards) homicide rate of 3.3 per 100,000 for all Fifty States (and the territories such as DC), really (for those 127 cities) is more like 6.6 per hundred thousand, but for the other 230 million of us, it is just 1.5 per 100,000. Lower than many “peaceful” First World societies.
But I hasten to add (both to reinforce Mr. Yamane’s point and to argue with him over it), that the high-body-count zones are not limited just to these 127 urban areas, as pitiful and blood-soaked (by globalist standards and those of my own communities) as these are. There are some rural and a few suburban areas that are as much bloody battlegrounds as Chicago or St. Louis. Among them are AmerInd reservations and some other localities with very odd problems. Like “too few” people.
Consider a “notional” reservation with just 50,000 people in which just five people are killed with guns one year. That is a standard rate of 10 per 100,000. (Actually, in 2013, the homicide rate on the Big Rez (the Navajo Nation) was 18.8 per 100,000; assuming half were homicides committed with a gun, the 9.4 is nearly 3 times the national average.) Homicides, not “gun deaths” (which in many reservations is MUCH higher because of incredible suicide rates, though guns are not always involved in suicides, especially on the Rez). There are other anomalies, but American culture and society varies so widely from state to state and urban to rural, that honesty demands the Fifty States NOT be treated as a single nation on such matters as homicides with guns. Especially when we look at places like reservations and others (urban ghettos and barrios, for example) where the heavy hand of government has so damaged society, families and individuals.
Something else to be considered, usually ignored, is motive. This is not tracked, and may be difficult to interpret (one of the problems with the entire category of “hate crime”). Or to put it more bluntly, some people SHOULD be killed. The mother trying to drown her children. The rapist jumping on his would-be victim. The two-legged wolves (gangs? ML) Of this 3.3 per 100,000 killed, how many of them died at the hands of their intended victim? One in ten? One in twenty? We cannot tell. But justifiable homicide is just that: justified. I suspect that not nearly enough aggressors, perverts, and their ilk are killed as they attempt to carry out their awful deeds. (But of course, that would drive up the total number of “gun homicides,” and the do-gooders would scream, again, how evil and violent we are.)
But the facts show that while there are some parts of some states – cities and even rural areas, that are indeed (by modern “standards”) violent and even “bloodsoaked,” most of these Fifty States are anything but. And I think most of us like it that way.
Mama’s Note: Few of these “statistics” even attempt to honestly account for the millions of lives saved by ordinary people defending themselves. Guns aren’t the only tool used for this, of course, but they are the most effective. Why don’t statistics include these lives saved? Because it doesn’t promote the gun grabber’s (or media) agenda, and most of these incidents are never reported anyway. Most guns used in self defense are never fired, and nobody is injured or dies. Criminals want weak, helpless and unarmed victims. Most of the time, if the intended victim resists – especially showing a gun, the crime simply doesn’t happen and the criminal goes away to find an easier victim.
I also wonder how accurate these statistics are when including police and other government entities contribution to the “gun deaths.” Most statistics I’ve looked at were very unclear as to who is doing the killing, and who is doing the dying. Just as thugs as old as 26 are so often identified in the media as “children.” Oh yeah… statistics DO lie, and liars are happy to use statistics to lie.
Suicide is a totally separate thing, and should never be lumped into “gun” statistics.
Some resources to understand both statistics and the reality of self defense.
My own story of self defense. The Man I Might Have Killed
And The War On Guns, by John Lott Jr.