UK Murder Rate higher than some US States

In the relentless propaganda war currently being waged against the 2nd Amendment, Americans are being led to believe, often by one of the British journalists who seem to infest US television, that things are so much better back in the Old Country, where the people have been almost totally disarmed. Not so, cry the gun advocates, who are not short of statistical arguments, although they sometimes struggle to be heard over the sound and fury of the interviewer.

The United States being so different than the UK, there are certainly ways to toss numbers around that support CNN etc’s unholy crusade to disarm America, and there are other ways to present the evidence which ought to make the average American stop and think very carefully, before throwing away his hard-won birthright, all other things aside.

Therefore, let us imagine that the United States gained a couple of extra states; England & Wales (as one) and Scotland. This is usually how statistics are gathered in the UK (Scotland has a separate legal system, amongst other things). For the year 2011, the murder rate per 100,000 people for England & Wales was 1.35 and for Scotland 2.34.

As the graph shows, there are four US states with a lower murder rate than England & Wales, namely Hawaii, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and an additional six which are lower than Scotland, those being Minnesota, Iowa, Utah, Maine, Oregan and Idaho, with Wisconsin, Washington and South Dakota not far behind.

So, it is certainly the case that the UK, taken as a whole, is less dangerous murder-wise, than the US, taken as a whole, but then this was always the case, including back in the days when guns were freely available and unrestricted (and, I might add, punishments for actual crimes, committed with or without a firearm were considerably more stringent than today). It is also noteworthy that some of the least dangerous US states are those with the least amount of gun control – but then y’all knew that, right?

The US statistics were taken from this source and this map. The UK figures were stated in this Guardian article. The UK figures are from a slightly earlier period, after which they increased marginally.

UPDATE: In response to various comments, please note: There are 50 states in the USA. The graph above does not show them all, it shows the lower end. I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently not …

  121 comments for “UK Murder Rate higher than some US States

  1. Dec 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Is this your graph Richard? What are the colours representing?

    I get purple represents the UK. What are those nice blue states?

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

      It is my graph. I used the same colours as were used in the map I linked to:

      http://i.imgur.com/mEDZk.png

      • Dec 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        It’s a good graph :-)

        • Andrew Shore
          Dec 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm

          No, it’s an appallingly distorted and misrepresentative graph. It suggests North Dakota has the highest murder rate at 3.5, yet 29 states have higher rates than North Dakota, including District of Columbia at 17.5 and Louisiana at 11.2. All these states are missing from this grotesque travesty of reality.

          The graph shows a very small number of predominantly rural states have a murder rate a little bit lower than densely populated Britain, but deliberately doesn’t show that most states have a murder rate much higher.

          Furthermore there is no distinction made between gun-related murder and other murder, taking account of which will show that the rate of gun-related murder is far higher in the USA than in the UK.

          Lies? Damned lies? Statistics? This article is surely too tendentious to be the third.

          • Richard Carey
            Dec 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

            ” It suggests North Dakota has the highest murder rate at 3.5, yet 29 states have higher rates than North Dakota”

            Only if you don’t know there are 50 states and you can’t be bothered to click on the link to the map.

            “Furthermore there is no distinction made between gun-related murder and other murder”

            So what? The crime of murder is the same, however it is committed.

            “Lies? Damned lies? Statistics? This article is surely too tendentious to be the third.”

            Right, but you haven’t found fault in the statistics, which come from government sources.

          • Michael Freeman
            Dec 24, 2012 at 1:18 am

            ‘Furthermore there is no distinction made between gun-related murder and other murder, taking account of which will show that the rate of gun-related murder is far higher in the USA than in the UK.’

            I’m not gonna’ lie, I burst out laughing.

            So, if all murders in the US were committed with a gun (which is actually only 68% according to that vast right wing think tank called the CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm) and in the UK all murders were committed with knives, blunt instruments, what have you, even if the UK’s homicide rate were equal, let alone more then the US, you would still argue for gun control? I mean, it’s utterly absurd! Who cares? The aim should be to bring down homicide, not gun related homicide, and whiles that isn’t mutually exclusive, aiming to achieve the first may bring down the latter, but not the other way around.

        • Tony I
          Jan 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm

          It’s utter rubbish! Why not represent the UK stats by county?

          • Jan 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm

            I appreciate that might be what your were googling for, is it relevent to this discussion? This is not a public service, it’s a conversation.

    • Thoughtful American
      Jan 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      The different colors mean a range like 2 to 3 inclusive is green, 1 to 2 inclusive is blue, etc etc. Nicely done! Although, I would’ve liked to have seen all 50 states because I know for a fact the murder rate is pretty high in Chicago, IL # Let’s face it, it’s easier to kill a larger number of people with firearms than a baseball bat, wrenches, knives, hammers, etc etc. So I don’t put much stock into research about “Oh, you’re more likely to die from a hammer” from the FBI. Fine, at least that’s me, not me + x people in a short amount of time – t.

    • Frakey
      Jan 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      When I read this I laughed so loud I nearly shat. I should ask how many densely populated cities Hawaii has as I am not sure? Shall we compare like for like for just one moment?

      2012 figures

      London pop 8.2m murders 89
      New York pop 8.2m murders c.400
      Los Angeles pop 3.5m murders c.300
      Chicago pop 3.5m murders c.500

      Oh and there is one other reason why the murder rate in Hawaii may be so low – there aren’t many guns there. Just 6.7 percent.

      • Richard Carey
        Jan 22, 2013 at 1:35 am

        All those US cities you mention have stringent gun control in place.

        Hawaii may have few guns, but the other states with low murder rates have high gun ownership.

        • Feb 10, 2013 at 6:52 am

          The last guys comment is correct though. London and new york have similar populations but new yorks murder rate is more than 4 times greater.

          The simple fact is you do not NEED guns you WANT them. You should stop equating you perverse obsession with weaponry as a right. The second amendment was introduced because the us government was paranoid that Britain would try to retake its former colony. We all know this isnt going to happen which makes the amemdment outdated. The amendment was brought in so that you could defend your country against foreign invaders not so that rednecks could have weapons of war for their own amusement.

          Finally, if you refuse to take advice on this issue from the civilised world then please leave my country out of it. I have lived in areas of the UK with some of the countrys highest murder rates all my life and have never even seen a real gun. Don’t drag a country that is sensible enough to properly control guns into your fake debate on this issue. Numbers do not lie and they clearly show the USA has obscenely high rates of gun violence which would not be possible if guns werent so readily available because of the demands of the NRA and other mindless fools who put their own obsession before the safety of others.

          • Richard Carey
            Feb 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

            What patronising rubbish. Just because you lack the responsibility necessary to own a firearm, does not mean everyone else does. There’s nothing civilised in disarming the public. There’s nothing civilised is considering the high levels of burglary and assault of essentially defenceless people as a price worth paying. I see stories in the British press every day of violent crimes, where victims cannot defend themselves and will get no justice from the courts. The disarming of the British public has not reduced either crime in general or gun crime. Neither has gun control in the USA worked (Chicago; capital of gun control, capital of murder). Indeed the correlation of crime and concealed carry permits clearly indicates that more guns in the hands of citizens equals less crime.

            Contrary to your pet theories, the intent of the 2nd Amendment is to safeguard a deterrent and means of defence to the people, against enemies foreign AND domestic. It is just as relevant today as when it was written.

  2. Dec 22, 2012 at 10:55 am

    And lets remember that Vermont and New Hampshire have high percentages of personal gun ownership.

  3. Paul Marks
    Dec 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Quite so Sir – and Vermont may be leftist today, but it is still one of the LEAST gun control places in the Union.

    As for Britain – before the First World War the British National Rifle Association (oh yes, there is one) was bigger than the American one (in spite of Britain having a smaller population) firearms were very common here – yet the British murder rate was still much lower than in the United States.

    Even in the 1950s it was legally much less difficult to get a shotgun in London and in New York (New York had gun control from 1911 onwards – in London you could just walk into a shop and buy a shotgun). Yet the murder rate in London was a fraction of what is was in New York.

    Al this (and much more) is forgotten – due to the iron grip the left have on history (via their control of the education system and the media).

    The date may be 2012 (soon 2013) – but it is really 1984.

    • Walt
      Dec 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

      ‘…in London you could just walk into a shop and buy a shotgun). Yet the murder rate in London was a fraction of what is was in New York.’

      So what you’re saying is that there is something in the American psyche that makes its people more prone to violence? In which case, surely it is best not to put temptation in their way by allowing easy access to weapons.

    • Jan 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      no-one said guns were the only cause of murders – i’m sure inequality/poverty/unemployment and culture and demand for drugs and borders with countries that can supply them all contribute. Easy availability of guns and ammo is just one of the factors that pushes up homicide rates – and maybe only when in combination with some or all of the others – but still a major one.

  4. Dec 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I find this whole gun control argument ridiculous. It’s a bit like a war via proxy with two sides using the gun control issue as a means to argue over a much bigger topic — namely the roles of the State and Constitution in America.

    It’s quite clear that the there is no issue with ‘guns’ in America or anywhere else. Both sides can pull out supporting statistics and examples, but ultimately no one says there is a gun problem in Mexico — they say there is a drugs problem.

    If they actually wanted to work out how to properly protect schools and other places from gun toting maniacs they’d test things. They’d let schools and other public places protect they’re property in the way they think is appropriate. I.e. Lefty schools might go with no guns and Righties might go with lots and others, like me, might go with a more balanced approach.

    However both sides seem to wish to impose their way on the other. It’s sad, it won’t lead to a solution and it’s what depresses me a lot about modern politics.

  5. Julie
    Dec 23, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Before deleting this because I am offering an alternative analysis, please remember the concept of free speech. Also please excuse my statistics, they are given in good faith, but this was done in the middle of the night (I can’t sleep) and I have not double checked my data or calculations. Also, it is sometimes difficult to separate out UK, Scottish and English/Welsh data, so I will jump about a bit, but with the focus on English/Welsh (E/W), since I am English.

    Yes E/W does have a higher murder rate than a few US states, but there are a lot of US states and with Louisiana going upto 11.2, your graph is highly misleading. A direct comparison E/W with those particular states is also contentious as they represent some of the most affluent parts of the US, with a far greater average income than the UK as a whole and I don’t think anyone can argue about the role of poverty in crime.

    Despite that, you may still argue that the UK murder rate is high considering the amount of ‘preaching’ done by UK journalist. What these figures do not highlight is the density of population. The population density of E/W is approximately 12 times greater than that of the US. You may argue that people are more vulnerable in isolated communities, but UK does have a rate of violent crime 4-5 times higher than the US – I would argue that this figure is indicative of a denser, more urbanised population.

    The question then becomes this – why does a more more violent society like E/W have a murder rate so much lower than the average US rate? Could it have anything to do with the availability of guns?

    • Dec 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Sorry for the moderation delay Julie. I was asleep.

      • Julie
        Dec 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        Thank you for posting my comment. I am going away for christmas now and will not be able to repond to any replys, but I hope my comments add to the debate.

        • Richard Carey
          Dec 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm

          … while I was responding. I should have given you shorter shrift!

    • Bill Quango MP
      Dec 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      The most obvious thing from those graphs is that Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Hawaii have a smaller combined population than Scotland. And England Wales has about 15 times more people, including one of the top 20 worlds largest cities.
      You would expect e/w to be roughly where California is. Probably a bit above as our population is still larger and denser, and on incomes we are comparable to California. Maybe even a bit below.

      • Michael Freeman
        Dec 24, 2012 at 2:06 am

        ‘The most obvious thing from those graphs is that Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Hawaii have a smaller combined population than Scotland.’

        The graph quite clearly states, murder rates per 100,000, which is a standard measure for per capita incididents, meaning population itself is irrelevant. But,

        Pop stats from: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html

        Vermont : 626,431
        Rhode Island : 1,051,302
        New Hampshire : 1,318,194
        Hawaii : 1,374,810
        Total population of these states : 4,370,737
        Population of Scotland : 5,254,800

        Difference : 884,063

        You forgot to mention, Minnesota, Iowa, Utah, Maine, Oregon, and Idaho as all also having a lower murder rate then Scotland. Minnesota alone hosts 5,344,861 people, which is more then Scotland.

        Let’s move on to the next thing you said.

        ‘And England Wales has about 15 times more people, including one of the top 20 worlds largest cities.’

        Again, this is per 100,000 people, so the statement is meaningless without discussing the issue of population density. Since you haven’t provided any source here though, or even brought up that claim, I’ll simply consider that Cenk Uygur in his video ADVOCATING gun control, the guy who runs TYT so he’s not some lone nut, firmly claimed based on the research of Richard Florida that population density was not relevant to homicide rate. You can see this video here, set to the time where he discusses the research, but he also attacks the idea it has anything to do with population.

        http://youtu.be/T5w4G9qVuek?t=4m50s

        After watching that, I suggest Lee Doren’s critique, although it must be pointed out, he does not challenge the population or population density arguments.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRjxEAWwagc

        Why have I written such a long response to your argument? Watch Cenk Uygur’s argument for gun control and then read yours. You are advocating the same thing and are in DIRECT CONTRADICTION with each other. I would say only one of you can be right, but you’re both wrong. Frankly, the two of you epitomize gun control advocates.

        ‘You would expect e/w to be roughly where California is. Probably a bit above as our population is still larger and denser, and on incomes we are comparable to California. Maybe even a bit below.’

        Again, this is a per capita chart as most are. I don’t know what you don’t get about that. But, wait.

        California is widely regarded as having some of the STRICTEST gun control laws in America, But according to the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf) California has a homicide rate of 5.7, which is higher then any state listed on the above graph which have WEAKER gun control laws.

    • eeore
      Dec 25, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Or it might be the absence of guns makes people more prone to engage in violent actions.

      • Lawrence
        Dec 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

        An armed society is a polite society.

    • George
      Feb 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      I think you’ll find that the USA and Britain have different definitions of what constitutes ‘violent crime’.. There’s no global standard for measuring it.

  6. BIll
    Dec 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Big gaping hole here I think. Where is the analysis of murder rates using firearms? In my experience most UK based homicides are not committed by the use of firearms. A graph that details a comparison of UK v USA States usage of firearms as the MO for committing the crime might be useful.

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Useful? To whom? For what?

      The data is as it is. It looks at murder rates. You are as free as I am to look at the statistics for murder by firearm and do your own graph on that subject.

      • Graham Barker
        Dec 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm

        So you’re saying that as a researcher, you’re pretty lazy and useless. As a UK citizen, may I point out that we don’t have the frequent mass killings of totally innocent people that you have. And on the rare occasions when we get close, we do something about it.

        • Richard Carey
          Dec 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

          “So you’re saying that as a researcher, you’re pretty lazy and useless.”

          Err, no, I guess I’m saying; if someone wants some other analysis, they can do it themselves.

          • John Tudor
            Dec 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm

            In order to balance the misleading graph above here’s a chart to show firearm ownership and homicides by firearms: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/jul/22/gun-ownership-homicides-map
            I will let you draw your own conclusions, but note that 60% of all US homicides were firearm related, compared to 6.6% in England and Wales.

            • Dec 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

              I haven’t done what Richard has, and looked in detail at stats, but I’m not keen on stats that do not look at overall violent crime rates. If you ignore the the effect of gun ownership on rape and assault then you are making a value judgement about how many rapes a murder is worth (infinite?), and in that way ignoring the value of guns for defence.

          • Richard Carey
            Dec 24, 2012 at 2:49 am

            @ John Tudor,

            “Misleading” indeed. What a cheek.

            “I will let you draw your own conclusions”

            How very gracious of you.

        • Dec 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

          Considering the huge difference in population between UK and US we do have similar rates of mass killings. See item #1 at this Spiked article. http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13183/

          And doing something about it means imposing stricter and stricter and even more strict gun controls. It’s like the first set of strict gun controls didn’t work and so politicians keep imposing more and more. Don’t they realise that no matter how many gun controls which affect everyone disproportionately it only needs the nutter to have one illegal weapon to cause their mayhem. And all these controls are effective at stopping illegal guns as laws banning smoking in cars will be or banning the use of mobile phones are. See this Reason article for how effective state gun controls are. http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian

  7. C O Jones
    Dec 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Presumably there’s nothing else to do in Wyoming and North Dakota?

  8. Dec 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    So if I read the data right, England & Wales are 5th from the left, on a graph where nearly 50 taller bars lay to the right of E&W. Including all the largest US populations. (and states more comparable to ther UK in terms of size and income diversity of population.)

    Honestly as someone who is in a tiny minority and opposes the excessive gun control we have in the UK, this graph does nothing for the cause…

    Still you are right about one fundamental. Murder rates around the world dont corrolate well to gun availability.

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      “Honestly as someone who is in a tiny minority and opposes the excessive gun control we have in the UK, this graph does nothing for the cause”

      It is not intended to further this cause. It is directly related to the current political dispute in the United States. If I am not serving the cause you mention, then perhaps you need to do more yourself?

      • Simon George
        Dec 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

        Not exactly what i was trying to say. I was already quite sure you were not campigning on UK gun law. I was wondering what your point actually was. A comparison of Rhode Island and theEnglands murder rates tells us absolutely nothing about the relative merits of each entities respective gun laws. In part I think you were saying that, but the graph which selectively cuts off the data set, giving the impression that Scotland (when in fact it is bottom quintile) is somehow mid table is obvioulsy misleading and I makes me doubt what you are intenting to say.

        • Richard Carey
          Dec 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm

          “giving the impression that Scotland (when in fact it is bottom quintile) is somehow mid table is obvioulsy misleading”

          It would be misleading only to someone unaware that there are 50 states in the USA i.e. pretty much no one.

          ” I was wondering what your point actually was.”

          The point was to compare the UK murder rate with the US murder rate, broken down by state, no more than this.

  9. Richard Carey
    Dec 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Julie, I don’t know why you expect your opinion to be deleted, although it’s not really a free speech issue, for reasons related to the property rights involved, but I won’t digress.

    “your graph is highly misleading”

    I dispute this. The data is accurate, and I have linked to the sources. I did not include all the US states, but only the ones at the low end of the murder stats, but everyone should know there are 50 states in total. You know this as well as I. I have not over-stated the case presented from the graph. In the text I state: “it is certainly the case that the UK, taken as a whole, is less dangerous murder-wise, than the US, taken as a whole”. The graph is merely one way of making a comparison between the US (big country) and UK (small country).

    There is a huge amount of variance across the US. If you take out a number of ‘hot-spots’ their overall figures drop considerably. Those hot-spots are often the most heavily gun-controlled (Chicago, DC etc)

    Guns are not merely instruments for committing violent crime. They are instruments for preventing crime when used by honest citizens. This latter is far, far more common, as the gun lobby will point out.

    • Lawrence
      Feb 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Guns are not merely instruments for committing violent crime. They are instruments for preventing crime when used by honest citizens. This latter is far, far more common, as the gun lobby will point out.

      Absolutely, but remember, “IF GUNS ARE OUTLAWED THEN ONLY OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS”. This is the case in the UK, only outlaws have guns, so the lawless know there is a very small chance of facing any resistance in the execution of their crime!

  10. Steve
    Dec 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Why not compare California to England ? They have roughly the same population density and total population. With one major large super city, LA vs. London.

    Oh surprise — its 4 times the England and Wales.

    Mark Twain had a saying …

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

      Like some other people above, you are complaining about what I haven’t done, rather than finding any fault in what I have done.

    • Dec 23, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      If population density causes murder, then it is as much an argument for telecommuting as it is for a gun ban.

  11. Paul Marks
    Dec 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    “Bill Quango” murder RATE – it takes acount of the fact that (for example) New Hampshire had a lower population than Scotland.

    And if we are talking about large cities – New York had gun control laws from 1911, London did not. And firearms were actually very common in London.

    Which of these two cities do you think had the lower murder rate?

    Graham Baker.

    “As a UK citizen” and what makes you think that we are not? If you were a “good researcher yourself you would notice that we are using Enlish spelling.

    As for your stuff about large scale mass murder.

    Oh yes – you would “do something about it” would you.

    What with?

    Someone is murdering people in front of you and you “do something about it”.

    What?

    With what?

    After all, according to you, only criminals should have firearms – the rest of us should sit around waiting for the police to turn up.

  12. Paul Marks
    Dec 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    “Compare California to Britain”

    California has the higher murder rate.

    But Britain had a even LOWER murder rate when “gun controi” was unknown and firearms were common here.

    Why not compare California to NEAR BY gun control places?

    Why not Mexico – which has strict gun control regulations?

    After all the demographics of LA are much the same as large Mexican cities. And the murder rate is actually (I believe) much LOWER.

  13. Paul Marks
    Dec 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    It should be remembered that the left (i.e. the media and so on) started this “let us compare murder rates” stuff. It is the basis of their “argument” – so they should not complain when people use the same tactic against them.

    • John Tudor
      Dec 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

      But the argument is not ‘let compare murder rates’ but ‘let’s compare gun crime rates’.

      • Richard Carey
        Dec 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

        Is there some advantage that I am overlooking in being bludgeoned or stabbed to death rather than being shot?

        • John Tudor
          Dec 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

          I guarantee fewer people would have died in Newtown/Viginia Tech/ Columbine if the killer/s attacked with knives.

          • calvin andrew
            Jan 10, 2013 at 3:04 am

            Well a hand full of hijakers with box cutters killed 3000!?

          • John Skookum
            Feb 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm

            There have been at least 20 other acts of mass murder in American history that killed more people than died at Newtown. None of them used firearms. They used box cutters, matches, Molotov cocktails, fertilizer bombs, etc.

  14. Ethan Edwards
    Dec 24, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Please don’t let any facts interere with the emotive bull shit that Farmer Barrack Hussein is spreading.

  15. Forlornehope
    Dec 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

    New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island are hardly comparable to “England and Wales”. A more suitable comparison would be, say, Devon & Cornwall where the murder rate is the square root of bugger all. This is just silly cherry picking that discredits everything else that you write!

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 24, 2012 at 10:25 am

      But the US crime figures routinely make state-by-state comparisons, and as the figures are per capita then they can be easily compared, so they are comparable QED.

      • Forlornehope
        Dec 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

        Of course it is the rate that is significant not the absolute numbers; only a moron would think otherwise but you’ve completely missed the point. It is the social structure of the area that is significant. Interestingly, gun ownership is very high in Devon and Cornwall as like Vermont and New Hampshire they are rural areas with lots of sport shooting.

        • Richard Carey
          Dec 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

          I think you’ve missed the point. The comparison was not between Vermont and New Hampshire versus England & Wales, but between the latter, Scotland and all the states of the USA. It just so happens the two you mention are down the bottom of the murder chart.

          It’s not a detailed statistical / sociological study. It’s a simple comparison at the state level. If you want to write a paper on the comparative social structures of Devon and Vermont, go right ahead. I’m sure it will be fascinating.

    • Anthony Harrison
      Dec 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      Murder rate low, correct. I believe it is still the case that Devon & Cornwall Police administer a larger number of Firearm Certificate holdres than any other UK police force – further evidence I’d have thought for a disconnect between numbers of guns/shooters, and gun crime.

  16. Al Somerville
    Dec 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Must be said rate of murder in Scotland is around 1.8 now (and has been lower) and it is mostly all (65% +) drunk men killing individuals they know with knives.

    The Scots (particularly Glasgow) have a strong history of knife violence. The Razor Gangs of 19th Century were vicious and only controlled through an arrest & capital punishment policy lasting decades.

  17. Robert Henry Eller
    Dec 25, 2012 at 11:15 am

    If we’re going to present statistics, we first have to remember that murder is a human activity. And individual humans seem to be influenced by their environment – density of population, and other demographics, including age, income, education, etc. If we’re going to compare murder statistics, with the variable being availability of guns, then we must control for as many other factors as possible. The comparisons made above are not statistically relevant. Please note that I am not saying one conclusion or another is not right. I am saying that one cannot come to a rational conclusion based on comparing apples to oranges. And what is presented here is simply such an argument.

  18. Ethan
    Dec 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    As another poster commented. Please explain the advantages of being murdered by a knife instead of a firearm. Similarly does the fact that the chap who killed you comes from a broken home and lives in a poor neighbourhood, actually matter to you the corpse?
    Surely the ONLY pertinant fact is that your dead. Everything else is just the perp trying to weasel out of taking responsibility for his actions. Why not leave the weasel stuff to the professional liars…lawyers.

  19. Craig King
    Dec 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    You can’t say “different than”. You can only say “different from”. “Closer than” or “faster than” etc. is fine but things are always “different from” because they are divergent. “Similar to” because they are convergent. “Faster than” because they are along the same continuum.

    Get a grip for Chrissakes man.

    In the meantime gun control is bullshit. Pure hot bubbling bullshit. I want a gun and I want to know that if I whack some little shit invading my home or attacking me or my family then the cops will duly note the fact and that will be the end of it.

    • Richard Carey
      Dec 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      You know, I recognised that, but I decided to leave it as I originally wrote it, and now I’m glad I did, because it would have denied you the opportunity to over-react.

  20. Diego Mendes
    Jan 2, 2013 at 12:11 am

    For all those who are talking about gun homicides as the relevant metric, the Guardian of all people published some interesting data in July last year from the latest UN Small Arms Survey. It shows quite clearly that there is no correlation between gun ownership rates (per 100 people) and per capita gun homicide rates in countries:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

  21. Richard Carey
    Jan 10, 2013 at 1:53 am

    This is quite interesting:

  22. Richard Carey
    Jan 10, 2013 at 4:38 am
  23. Jan 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

    In answer to your last point, yes is was obvious. Obvious to this reader that you were trying to give a very false impression by omitting most of the bad US data.

    • Richard Carey
      Jan 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      Only for people who don’t realise there are 50 states and can’t work out how to click on the link to the full data. It that’s the case, then they’ve got bigger problems to contend with. Still, thanks for your comment

  24. Melmouth
    Jan 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Total homicide, England & Wales, 2011-2012 = 550
    Population of England & Wales, 2012 = 56,100,000
    Population density England & Wales = 371
    Homicides per 100,000 England & Wales, 2011-2012 = 0.98

    Total homicides per 100,000, USA, 2011 = 12,664
    Population USA, 2011 = 311,800,000
    Population density, USA = 33.7/ square km (11 times lower than England and Wales)
    Total homicides per 100,000, USA, 2011 = 4.06 (4.1 times higher than England & Wales)

    Gun homicides per 100,000, 2011, UK= 0.04
    Gun homicides per 100,000, USA, 2011 = 2.75 (68.75 times higher than England & Wales)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18900384
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm
    http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/uspopulation.htm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18838540

  25. Melmouth
    Jan 16, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Summary:

    Americans and Britons kill: Americans tend to kill with guns; Britons tend to kill with other things.

    Americans kill significantly more often than Britons: both with and without guns.

    America is less densely populated than the UK: population density is variable; population density may cause stress; this stress is not showing up in this statistical comparison.

    Americans have the highest level of gun ownership in the world: this does not currently correlate with personal safety as a result of gun threat deterrent.

    The UK has one of the lowest levels of gun ownership in the world: this does correlates with the world’s lowest level of gun homicide, but only an average level of overall homicide by European standards.

    Conclusions:

    In the absence of guns people find other ways of killing but killing large numbers becomes harder. This use of other weapons can result in a rate of homicide no different from similar cultures with more guns.

    The US has a high level of homicide for a developed northern nation and this does not correlate to overall gun ownership (which is also high in Canada and Switzerland).

    Complex socio-economic factors mask any correlation between gun ownership and homicide but the USA, for a developed nation, clearly has a problem with the level of violence and mass/serial killing in particular.

    Mass killers often choose automatic weapons. Serial killers do not.

  26. PT
    Jan 21, 2013 at 11:27 am

    So comparing violent crime rates of England and wales (who have no guns) to every american state (all have guns), only 4 states have a lower violent crime rate? So the majority of american states (who have guns) have more violent crimes per 100’000 people than england and wales?

    So american states with guns generally have a higher violent crime rate than england and wales without guns? (according to this graph which takes the bottom section of american violent crime,(why not all states?) the highest on the graph has double the rate of england and wales) So america is a more violent country as a whole?

    • Richard Carey
      Jan 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      No. This does not look at violent crime rates. Read the title.The UK actually does worse on violent crime rates than the US, although no doubt there are differences in recording, and numerous manipulations of statistics.

      • Frakey
        Jan 21, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        This disproves your argument then. There are higher numbers of violent people in the UK yet the murder rate is but a fraction of the US. Why might this be? Perhaps because the vast majority of those violent Brits have never seen a gun let alone used one in anger.

        • Richard Carey
          Jan 22, 2013 at 1:41 am

          It doesn’t disprove anything, rather it shows that a society which has a disarmed population experiences a lot of crime and often mindless violence. Murder is a small proportion of violent crimes.

          • Frakey
            Jan 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

            Unlike murder rates violent crime rates are difficult to compare because you are not comparing like with like. However I would accept that the uk has a problem with violent crime. This is due to the Fact that the UK has a big problem with youth drinking which is incomparable to the US. If you want to argue that the uk should follow US laws on alcohol control I would be prepared to accept that you have a point but the notion that we would be better simply giving everyone a gun to prevent violent crime is crazy.

  27. John Tudor
    Jan 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Richard, your initial article talked about British journalists saying how wonderful it is in the UK because gun ownership is highly restricted. You then use an ambiguous graph showing all homicides to claim that the UK is no better than the US (if you had included all states on the graph it would show just how low England and Wales/ Scotland sits; why did you stop at North Dakota?) and now you refer to an 8 year-old report that compares not just homicides but all violent crimes. Aren’t you straying a little too far away from your original argument?

    • Richard Carey
      Jan 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      “Richard, your initial article talked about British journalists saying how wonderful it is in the UK because gun ownership is highly restricted.”

      The starting point was Piers Morgan’s campaign against the 2nd Amendment, in which he talked exclusively about gun murders. I was interested to compare overall murders between the UK and the US, and look at the difference between the various states, knowing as I do, that certain areas have very high murder rates, but that much of the rest of America doesn’t.

      “You then use an ambiguous graph showing all homicides to claim that the UK is no better than the US (if you had included all states on the graph it would show just how low England and Wales/ Scotland sits; why did you stop at North Dakota?)”

      There’s nothing ambiguous about the graph. I stopped at North Dakota, because I wanted the names of the states to be clear. As I have said a number of times, and as I amended the article to point out, I believe it is common knowledge that there are 50 states in the US. I also linked to the map of all the states where the data came from, so I do not accept that there is anything misleading about it, any more than when a newspaper shows the top five football teams in the league misleads people to think there are only five teams.

      “now you refer to an 8 year-old report that compares not just homicides but all violent crimes. Aren’t you straying a little too far away from your original argument?”

      I made it clear that the article was old. If I could have found a newer one I would have linked to that. I haven’t strayed one iota from my original argument, which included this statement:

      So, it is certainly the case that the UK, taken as a whole, is less dangerous murder-wise, than the US, taken as a whole, but then this was always the case, including back in the days when guns were freely available and unrestricted

      Neither has my opinion on the gun control debate in America changed at all. I hope that the patriotic Americans win the day to preserve and re-establish the liberties cited in the Bill of Rights.

  28. MrWhite
    Jan 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm
  29. Nate
    Jan 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    It’s interesting how there seems to be a slight trend where the murder rate tends to increase as you approach the equator. Perhaps climate plays a part.

  30. Feb 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    This is comparing a carload of apples to a basket of oranges. Comparing an average rate for a nation with average rates for some states doesn’t make a cogent argument. Comparing regions with regions would be more pertinent. Obviously there are areas in the UK that have murder rates as low as, or lower than, any state in the USA. If the average is X, then some components of that average will be < X, and some of those components will be markedly < X.

    • Feb 2, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      England isn’t a nation, nor is the UK. In fact, Europe is the nation.

      Regardless, the fact that the definition of various words might differ slightly is not a reason to assume that a comparison is invalid. All the words involved refer to geographic areas and also to populations of humans. For your argument to hold, you need to point to specific properties of the entities involved that make comparisons difficult (indeed, more difficult than comparing entities from any given category. For example, how is it harder than comparing Texas and Delaware which are both US states)

  31. John Tudor
    Feb 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Europe is not a nation, it’s a continent. Thank you.

    • Feb 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

      It’s not a geological continent, there’s no European tectonic plate. The European continent is an arbitrary demarcation based more on culture than anything else. Nation is a perfectly reasonable description of the EU, in the older more general sense even greater Europe can be called a nation.

      • Feb 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        How is England not a nation? A nation is largely based on language. I don’t see how Europe can be called a nation, unless y’all are redefining words.

        • Feb 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm

          It is not sovererign.Of course, that makes no difference to the analysis of gun crime and the impact of firearms, which is the point I was making.

        • Feb 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm

          England is a nation. Funny how you went for England there and not the UK (also a nation). Nations and languages do tend to go hand-in-hand, but the USA (EG) does not have an official language. Culture I would say is what makes a nation, but recently “nation states” are changing the definition from cultural group to governmental jurisdiction.

          If I were going to compare the whole USA to anything it would be the EU, not just the UK, but I reckon comparing cities of similar sizes would be the most meaningful comparison.

          • Feb 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

            Looking back at the above, if Simon is meaning to say that the EU is the sovereign nation state then frankly I agree with that too. Although technically a lot of people would disagree and claim that it’s still the UK.

  32. Paul Marks.
    Feb 3, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Europe is indeed a continent – and the centre of that continent is actually in Lithuania (European Russia is big).

    Non E.U. Switzerland (and Norway) mess up even claims that the E.U. is “western Europe” – it is not, it is part of Western Europe.

    As for North America – that includes Canada (where legal firearms are common) and Mexico (strict Gun Control).

  33. Doug
    Feb 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    The President was in Minnesota today discussing gun control. MN has a “shall issue” carry permit system and has a long hunting and shooting tradition. Lots of guns around. Our murder rate is not much higher than the U.K. If guns are not present, people will find another tool to do the job. The tactical rock, the assault baseball bat, the bare hand or booted foot can all be used. The gun is more efficient, but removing the gun does not remove the violence. Minneapolis,our major city, has a murder rate of 8.4/100,000 in 2011. This was an improvement over previous years. The mayor is quite proud, as is the police chief. Even though the rest of the state is much lower, and probably has more guns per capita than the city.

    This study indicates that removing guns may actually be counterproductive:
    INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SCIENCES
    VOL 1 ISSUE 2 JULY 2006
    Property Crimes and Violence in United States:
    An Analysis of the influence of Population density

    Keith Harries[1]
    University of Maryland
    Baltimore County, USA

    “By and large, the available evidence increasingly tends to suggest that most types of crime tend to increase in levels of occurrence with increasing population density. This relationship, however, is moderated by SES. A cluster of affluent high-rise apartments in Mumbai or New York may have high density, but will also have a high level of guardianship, thus inhibiting crime. On the other hand, a high density poverty area will incorporate in its lifestyle incentives for predatory behaviours and disincentives for guardianship, given the hazards associated with confronting criminals (on their turf) or witnessing criminal acts.”

    This indicates that the problem may be people, not guns, and that the ability to protect self and property may decrease violent crime. The fact remains that the ability to possess and bear arms is a fundamental right in the U.S. One of the triggering events in our history was a government gun grab. 700 Red Coats marched to Concord and Lexington to seize weapons. Worked out well.

    Please take Piers Morgan back. Every time he opens his mouth, our gun stored get cleaned out of guns and ammo. He has sold more guns than the President.

  34. Richard Carey
    Feb 5, 2013 at 12:02 am

    That’s interesting information … but we’re not taking him back!

  35. Paul Marks
    Feb 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Why does not Comrade Barack Obama go to the only State in the United States where concealed carry is strictly forbidden – what he calls his home State, Illinois?

    Perhaps he could go to the heart of Illinois – Gun Control USA – Chicago.

    Chicago where Comrade Barack spent so many happy years as a “Community Organiser” and general political hack,

    So why not have the speech in Chicago?

    Perhaps all the dead bodies in Chicago would be distracting.

    506 murders last year.

    Plus those over 50 year olds, whose deaths are “assumed” to be of natural causes.

  36. Andy
    Feb 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

    How anyone can say that chart isn’t misleading is beyond me.

    So if I were to produce a chart of the same set of statistics, but only showing the 20 states with the HIGHEST murder rate alongside England & Wales and Scotland, that wouldn’t be misleading either?! I beg to differ.

    Anyway, despite all of this, most intelligent people realilse that statistics are subjective at best and rarely tell a complete story, and can be easily manipulated one way or another (intentionally and otherwise) to support opposing cases.

    For a true comparison, it would be necessary to compare the effect of gun ownership to the two extremes where ALL other variables are equal. Ie, which would have a higher murder rate: Washington where EVERYONE owned a gun, or Washington where NO-ONE owned a gun? Or Chicago where EVERYONE owned a gun, or Chicago where NO-ONE owned a gun?

    Obviously this kind of data is impossible to come by, but all other things being equal, most of the civilised world can see the answer to those questions. Take a country/state which is inherintly violent for whatever underlying reasons, and more devastation will be undoubtedly be caused with unlimited guns than with no guns. Likewise with a country/state which is particularly non-violent. Gun ownership or lackof in itself will likely have very little or no effect on the number of individual events of violence/murder, however with complete absence of guns almost all cases would involve single-number casualties, whereas with unlimited guns many cases will involve many casualties.

    • Feb 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I think it could be clearer, but if it’s an attempt to deliberately mislead then it is an implausibly stupid one. I therefore trust it’s well intended.

      On comparisons, I’m looking at urban gun stats at the moment for publication, but be careful with your own biases. You appear to conclude that it’s a good thing that fewer people would be killed at once. If you have to take a statistical approach (rather than one based on individual rights) then it’s not valid to count multiple homicides separately, in effect giving them a numerical weighting. In other words, who gives a fig how quickly people die if fewer died overall?

      Also, you have to consider violent crime, rapes and burglaries – despite the complexity – because if you don’t then that implies that those crimes are somehow acceptable and they aren’t.

  37. Andrew S
    Feb 20, 2013 at 2:17 am

    There were 99 homicides in London in 2012, which has a population of 8.2 million. New York City, which has the same population as London, had a homicide rate more than double this.

    In England and Wales there were about 500 homicides, which is about the same number as the City of Chicago. England and Wales has a population of 56 million.

    • Richard Carey
      Feb 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      That would be Chicago, model city for gun control. So presumably you understand why gun owners do not want the Chicago gun control model extended over all of America?

      • Feb 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Please elucidate your rhetorical question.

    • Mar 1, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Andrew S – There were 414 recorded homicides so far in 2012, compared with 515 for the same period in 2011, city officials said. – source NY times online

      In London 2011 there were 117 murders – this is a drop of over 100 from 2003 when it was 222 – source – The Guardian online

      A significant proportion of murders in Britain are not committed by British nationals. I do not say this to incite xenophobia, but as a result of looking at the stats. In addition young black males are murdering one another about 4X as much as young white or Asian males – these are the stats for London, but it is unlikely to be that different nationwide.
      Guns are definitely a popular weapon amongst the abovementioned, but I do not see how arming the general population – who are rarely the victims of gun crime – would help any – that would simply increase the murder and wounding rates, quite likely in the domestic violence area, which currently represents about a quarter of British murders.

  38. Mar 1, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I should further explain my comment about murders committed by non British nationals – Lambeth, for example, has the highest murder rate of all the London Boroughs (about 10X that of Richmond for eg) and has a high Jamaican population, and has for a number of years, Just a glance at the murders in Lambeth show that the Jamaican population are significant contributors. The victims are generally from the same community.

  39. doug s.
    Mar 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    the murder rare in america is more than 4 times what is is in the uk; the murder rate by guns in america is almost 3 times the total murder rate in the uk. what, exactly, is your point, richard?

    • Richard Carey
      Mar 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      The point is clear. The murder rate is not uniform across the 50 states,and does not rise in correlation to lawful gun ownership. Some of the states have similar murder rates to the UK, where guns are very strictly controlled. If the gun-grabbers were right, the states with the strictest gun control measures would have the least murder, at least with guns. That is not the case. What, exactly, is your confusion, Doug?

      • doug s.
        Mar 13, 2013 at 3:36 am

        the murder rate in america is more than 4 times that of the uk. the murder rate w/guns is almost 3 times that of the uk’s total murder rate. so what if (a very few) places in america are as low as that of the uk? i am sure there are place in the uk that are even lower. i am not even a little bit confused, richard. i also have no agenda. ;~)

        btw, i am also not supportive of any law that takes assault rifles out of the hands of citizens… but facts is facts. america is a murderous place, guns or no…

  40. Paul Marks
    Mar 13, 2013 at 8:51 am

    The American murder rate was higher than the British murder rate when firearms were both LEGAL and COMMON in the United Kingdom. (For example “Gun control” in New York is much older than it is in London).

    The “Progressives” (on both sides of the Atlantic) know this, and have always known it.

    “Gun control” is NOT about reducing the murder rate – the Progressives are not interested in doing that (since when has the left been tough on crime? to them criminals are the “victims of society”).

    “Gun control” is about POWER.

    Power, power, power, power (how many times does it have to be pointed out?

    Progressives wish to disarm honest people (who they think of as “capitalists” or “squares” or whatever) and concentrate firearms in the hands of the govenrment – and “socially useful elements”.

    Who are “socially useful elements?”

    They are what we “capitalists” know as CRIMINALS.

    You know those “victims of society” (murderers, rapists, house breakers….) who Progressive “Community Organisers” (in the Saul Alkisky tradition) see as people to be “organised” in order to crush civil society- which they call “capitalism”,

    “But Paul some conservatives go along with this”.

    What Americans call “RINOs” (“Republicans In Name Only” rich “conservartives” who have gone to fancy universities and believe all the nonsense they have been taught – people like Cameron) are indeed a real problem.

    Witness all the leading (and open) socialists that the present “conservative” government has appointed to key positions.

    Viturally every quango (and so on) is packed with socialists – earning large incomes (from the taxpayer) and pushing the collectivist agenda. Whether on history, or the environment (“Agenda 21″ TOTALITARIANISM), or “gun control” (or whatever).

    Meanwhile the “conservative” Prime Minister sits there thinking that now the Guardian letters page people will vote for him – after all he has appointed so many of them to key positions and ……

    Mr David Cameron does not understand (as RINOs never understand) that Progressives will never vote for him this side of Hell freezing over. Indeed that they would like to turn him (and his family) into bars of soap.

    It is an old story.

    For example the Duke of Orleans was the main financial backer of the French Revolution – the other Revolutionaries (of course) murdered him.

    However, the Duke of Bedford (in England) also subsidised the left.

    Edmund Burke tried to explain to this man (see “Letter To A Noble Lord”) that he was paying people who were planning to MURDER him (and vast numbers of other people – mostly quite ordinary people).

    But the Duke of Bedford (Mr Russell) just laughed.

    After all the leftists were so charming at dinner parties…….

  41. Andrew S
    Mar 15, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I keep hearing that Americans need guns to protect themselves against government.

    There’s a big problem with this argument: the government has tanks, nuclear weapons, daisy cutters, missiles, etc.

    How exactly will owning guns protect individual Americans against these weapons?

    In other words, the argument that guns will protect you against government doesn’t make any sense.

    • Paul Marks
      Mar 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Andrew S. – explain your opinions to the Syrians fighting the forces of Assad (and the Iranians – and the Lebanese “Party of God”, both of whom are supporting the Assad regime). It is not so easy for even modern armed forces (with air power and so on) to defeat determined people as you seem to believe.

      If you insist on a specific American example – certainly.

      Athens Tennessee in the 1940s.

      The local government tried to steal an election – local private people used their privately owned firearms to take the local government H.Q. and retake the ballot boxes. There was a hail of gunfire (on both sides) till the doors of the Country seat were blown off with explosives and the police surrendered to the civilian (but armed) population.

      You have asked for examples of how “guns will protect you against government” – and I have given them to you.

      But you will not be satisfied.

      Also much of the American armed forces are made up of people very similar to those who own the legal (not illegal) firearms.

      You might well find that if it came to a fight – a lot of the armed forces (including a lot of the airforce) would switch sides.

      Which would rather bugger up your Progressive regime.

      • Andrew S
        Mar 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        The United States is a democracy and has been for more than 200 years. How can you compare the situation in the US to Syria which has never been a democracy? I’m amazed how little faith you have in American democracy.

        I can understand why ordinary people need weapons in a place like Syria where the government is a dictatorship but that isn’t true for western nations.

        • Mar 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

          American democracy has effectively replaced the republic that kept it stable for 200 years. The protection of individual and states rights has been eroded to almost nothing. Now* is the point, at the very beginning of it’s life as a democratic rather than republican nation where “reforming” or disposing of the constitution is being talked up, where it may start to see trouble. It was not possible before exactly because it was never a democracy until now.

          * I think there is time to save it.

        • Andrew
          Mar 16, 2013 at 2:49 am

          “How can you compare the situation in the US to Syria which has never been a democracy?”

          As I’m sure you’re perfectly aware, Paul was doing no such thing.

          Why bother initiating debate if you’re not interested in being honest?

  42. Paul Marks
    Mar 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Andrew S. – so you believe in “democracy”?

    O.K. let there be censorship by democratically elected people (as there was in Boston and so on).

    “No, No, No – that would violate the First Amendment”.

    So you do NOT believe in democracy after all – you believe in a Constitutional Republic (a very different thing indeed).

    Accept you only believe in the First Amendment – not the Second Amendment (or the Ninth, or the Tenth, or……). Still that is better than most “Western Nations” where there is not even freedom of speech (see the Andrew Bolt case in Australia and the treatment of Mark Steyn in Canada).

    In reality in both Classical civilization (at least before the Empire crushed the Res-Publica) and post Classical civilsation (including Britian – at least up to the First World War). The mark of a free person (as opposed to a serf or slave) was that a free person had the right to keep and bear arms.

    And in the modern world that means firearms.

    By the way “I am amazed how little faith you have in American democracy”.

    Have you ever heard of a place called Chicago?

    The “Chicago Way” is national now – Mr Obama (and his various associates) make no secret of the fact. And the “mainsteam” media (and academia) could not care less. Indeed both the media and the “Progressive” education system are part of the problem.

    As yet they are not breaking the legs of those who speak against the Machine – as they traditionally have with people who speak against the Chicago Machine (which both Barack and Michelle profted from – see “The Culture of Corruption” and other works), but then they do not have to.

    “You can not fool all of the people all of the time” – they do not have to.

    They only have to fool 51% of the people at election time – an easy task (for people with the media [the “School of Journalism” type media] and the education system on their side).

    That is why there is a need for Constitutional protections.

    In a perfect world firearms would not be needed.

    But it is not a perfect world.

  43. Paul Marks
    Mar 19, 2013 at 2:07 am

    The example of Athens Tenn has (of course) been ignored.

    Was it part of Syria?

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