On 12/24/01 1:13 PM, "Patrick Wilken" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I have no doubt we are going over old ground here. However, its a
> truism that correlation does not imply causation. Lots of things have
> changed in the UK over the last hundred years. It would be a stretch
> to imply that guns, or their lack, are responsible for all these
Actually, this applies to the US historically as well. The era of mail
order machineguns had lower murder rates than today (which currently is
relatively low by historical standards).
With respect to correlations between guns, murder, and violent crime in
general, of all the myriads of studies of various populations around the
world there is only one correlation that seems to be universal. That
correlation is that there is an inverse relationship between the number of
guns and gun owners in the general population and the violent crime rates.
This is completely independent of the absolute crime levels and tracks very
closely both for societies that go from low gun penetration to many guns and
vice versa. Of all the various claims that people on both sides of the
debate make, this is the only correlation that seems to hold up pretty
conclusively under scrutiny across all populations.
What IS clear is that absolute murder levels are almost completely
independent of the level of gun ownership between populations.
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