Happy Lunar New Year to all concerned. I note that The Rabbit (oddly perhaps) is a dog-year person. He has indeed confirmed this in recent years, having become a greyhound rescuer and more…. So on the Dog Year see Chinese New Year 2018.
But my mind is exercised, as many must be, with that dreadful shooting in Florida. It isn’t enough to say it is an act of evil, because some lessons seem crystal clear to me at least.
See also John Barron on ABC News (Australia).
The facts about America and guns
- There are almost as many guns (300 million) in the US as people (population: 323 million). This is twice as many guns per capita as 50 years ago.
- Americans represent 4.5 per cent of the world’s population yet own 48 per cent of the world’s privately held guns.
- Not all Americans are gun-lovers. Fifty per cent of all guns are in the hands of just 3 per cent of the population.
- The average gun-owning household has 8 guns.
Now consider this:
Gun violence in the US reached record heights in 2017 — more than 60,000 incidents, killing more than 15,000 people, according to a nonprofit organization that tracks gun violence.
Afghanistan suffered more than 10,000 civilian casualties in 2017, as deadly suicide and complex attacks killed and injured more people than any previous year in the war-torn country, according to the UN.
In its annual report released on Thursday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office, documented 3,438 deaths and 7,015 injuries – a decline from the record-high figure in 2016.
Do you find that comparison shocking? Here’s another story: Australia’s murder rate falls to record low of one person per 100,000. Figures refer to 2013-14.
By comparison, the United States had a murder rate of 4.88 people per 100,000 in 2015, according to the United Nations office on drugs and crime. The office said in 2014 the UK’s rate was 0.92 and New Zealand’s was 0.91.
The report, by the Australian Institute of Criminology, shows knives were the most common murder weapons, responsible for 86 deaths while beatings accounting for 37 deaths.
Guns killed 32 people, marking a 63% decline since 1989-90.
And for those who may question Australia’s gun laws and their relevance, see Snopes.com: “Statistics do not demonstrate that crime rates in Australia have increased substantially since the government instituted a gun buy-back program in 1997. ”
Why the hell should any civilian in a western democracy have such unfettered access to military-style weaponry as appears to be the case in the USA? No-one seems to know. This is what yesterday’s shooter had: