Sunday, January 23, 2011


America's Problem with Violence

I have had an interest in race since Professor (and Nobel Laureate in Physics) William Shockley got into a lot of trouble talking about race and IQ. The name calling that followed publication of The Bell Curve taught me to shut up about race. There was indeed very few ways to talk about race and escape being called a racist. Truth was no defense. There was nothing good to come from talking about race and plenty of downside. But I love the Truth more than I fear criticism. Hardly anyone reads me anyway.

Here's Charles Blow talking about gun control and urging the President to get behind new gun control legislation. I hope the President takes his advice; it will hurt him at the polls in 2012.
We are a violent society whose intense fealty to firearms has deadly consequences.
What do you mean we, white man?

Here are World statistics regarding murder per 1,000.

We're 24th, not first, as Mr. Blow, using UN statistics, implies.

Let's look way down the list to our parent country the United Kingdom. It's 46th with 1.4 homicides per 100,000. Why can't we be more like England in this respect?

Who says we aren't? What is the rate of Anglo Saxon murder in America? What is the African American rate? What is the Hispanic rate? For that matter, what is the Jewish or Chinese rate?

Difficult to get these statistics, but here are FBI figures for murder and non-negligent homicide for 2009.

Of the 15,760 homicides that year, 5,286 were committed by white offenders (which includes Hispanics) and 5,890 were committed by black offenders. 245 were committed by other races. (Asian? Trobriand Islander?) and, for 4,339 homicide victims, the race of the killer was unknown. Let's assume that race has nothing whatever to do with being seen during, or caught after, a murder and ignore the last two statistics. There were, in 2009, 39,603,903 black Americans and 244,377,572 white (including Hispanic) Americans. Simple division gives these results:

Black American homicide rate--14.87 per 100,000
White American homicide rate--2.16 per 100,000

Thus, the world murder rate for Black Americans is between 5 and 6 on the World Chart, between Russia, 5, and Mexico, 6. That ain't so good. The White American rate on the World Chart is between 35 and 36, between Macedonia, 35, and Mauritius, 36. Not as low as the UK, but better.

Would the Anglo Saxon rate be better still? I can't get the statistics to say, but, if I were a betting man, I would say yes, but only because three of the top six are Hispanic countries-- Columbia, Venezuela and Mexico.

It's even worse on this chart, where the United States is 84th in the World. Black America on this chart would be 44th, just below Russia and White America would be 117th, just under Buddhist Nepal and 22 places above the UK. On this chart, a full half of the top ten most murderous countries are in South America.

So our diverse American population might be about halfway murderous compared to the rest of the World, but is our access to guns the real reason for the ranking? Mexico has very strict gun control, but its rate is 3 times higher than ours on the Wikichart. Same with Brazil, which has a rate more than 4 times ours. Almost everyone in Israel has a gun. Their rate is 2.4 per 100,000, less than half ours, and in Switzerland, nearly every young man has a full auto rifle and a semi-auto pistol in his closet. Their rate is 1.01 per 100,000, nearly a quarter less than the UK where all public ownership of full auto weapons and any form of pistols is banned.

Is it the access to guns or something else entirely, Mr. Blow?


As I say, we are not that violent since none of the Enron defendents were hurt.
There you go.
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