Friday, July 17, 2009


Gun control doesn’t work?

Today’s guest blogger, while I’m paying attention to presentations at CEAS, is frequent commenter Ray.

Oh, wait... lookee here (on page 51 of the associated report), where we find that for the year 2008/2009[1] the number of murders by gun in the U.K.[2] was a whopping 38, down from 53 in the previous year.

I expect it’s just a coincidence that the U.K. has strict laws concerning gun ownership.

Let’s see, since the population of the U.S. is around five times that of the UK, that number is equivalent to 190 gun-related murders in the U.S. Hmmm... that number doesn’t jibe too well with the typical reported annual U.S. rate of around 10,000.

I expect it’s just a coincidence that the U.K. has strict laws concerning gun ownership.

Ray, thanks for filling in with a topic so dear to my heart!

[1] According to the report, “estimates are derived from interviews carried out between April 2008 and March 2009 (BCS year ending March 2009).”

[2] It actually covers only part of the U.K., and doesn’t include Scotland and Northern Ireland. That doesn’t change Ray’s point very much, though: it changes the approximate factor from 5 to 5.6, which changes 190 to about 210. The order of magnitude is the same: we still have about 50 times the per-capita gun-murder rate here as there.


The Ridger, FCD said...

We love us our guns, don't we? Tennessee is currently grappling with whether towns and counties should enact exceptions to the new state law allowing people to carry concealed weapons into parks and (my favorite!) bars.

Thomas said...

I think what would be more interesting is the total murder rate (and whether gun control affects is). I guess it doesn't really matter whether you are shot to death or stabbed to death.

Barry Leiba said...

Thomas: Yes, that's true; it could be that it's not so much the relative gun culture as it is the relative murder culture in general, between the two countries.

Of course, that, itself would say something, wouldn't it?

Call me Paul said...

I believe Thomas' comment was suggesting that the murder rates would be similar, just that the methods would differ. So, he thinks the UK probably has a similar per capita murder rate, but that a higher percentage of the murders are committed by knife rather than guns. Of course, the numbers don't bear that out. Pretty sure we've had this discussion here before.

Call me Paul said...

Here it is: