Sunday, December 16, 2012

Americans and Firearms

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The second amendment to the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights, adopted 1791)
The poster above and the information below are from the Brady Campaign's website. The numbers and statistics are from 2010.

Gun Murders by Country
In one year, guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States.

The United States has weak gun laws. The other countries have strong gun laws. 

Gun Murders by Country and Population SizeWhen the countries are compared on the basis of firearm homicides per 100,000 population, the United States remains an outlier.

In one year, the U.S. firearm homicide rate was:

  • 5 times that of Canada
  • 10 times that of Finland
  • 13 times that of Germany
  • 19 times that of Australia
  • 24 times that of Spain.
  • 44 times that of England and Wales
A 2010 study affirmed this pattern: U.S. homicide rates were 6.9 times higher than 22 other populous, high-income countries combined. For a summary of the study, see:

Guns Used in Crime = More Deaths

Research indicates that the overall rate of crime in the United States is comparable to the rates in other developed countries (see Crime Is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America). However, in part because of our weak gun laws, guns are used more often in crimes in the United States than in other countries, which means that more people die. This partly explains why, even when our homicide rates are low by historical U.S. standards, they still are far higher than comparable countries.

We Can Do Better 

The U.S. needs to do a better job of protecting its citizens from the dangers of guns by making it harder for dangerous people to get guns. We can start by requiring Brady criminal background checks for gun sales, including those at gun shows. Join us in this fight. Lives are at stake. Go to and sign up today!
Addendum 12/16/2012, 05:50 PM
My initial reaction to such tragedies as the Newtown killing spree is always an utter disbelief that such a thing can happen and a then a deep sadness for the fate of the victims, their families and yes -  often enough also - for the perpetrators and their families. The initial shock is then followed by a longer lasting anger and passion concerning how something like this can happen and how we must act to stop it from ever happening again.

It seems like an open and shut case that these killings occur with such regularity in the U.S.A. due to the lack of political will to regulate the owning and selling of firearms, handguns and semiautomatic weapons.

How the American judiciary and politicians (historically and to this day) could interpret the second amendment in such a way as it is implemented today is a complete mystery to me.

1 comment :

  1. Woot Woot! Most constitutional scholars know the 2nd amendment was about the right to form militias to defend ourselves against foreign or domestic threats - not about the right to individually own a gun. Sigh, hopes the bill passes.


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