Re: some U.S. observations and notes

From: Kai Becker (
Date: Tue Dec 25 2001 - 09:41:06 MST

Am Montag, 24. Dezember 2001 22:13 schrieb Patrick Wilken:
> 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
> changes.

>From the data in I would
say, that the USA are a rather violent country, compared to other western
countries as well as Japan.

I can't find any correlation between population, density of population and
the crime statistics. The law systems are almost similar, except the gun
laws. But since cities like Washington, DC and Chicago are comparable to
London, Frankfurt and Sydney, it's unclear to me why Washington has a
homicide rate 29 times higher than London and Chicago 8.5 time higher than
Berlin. In terms of violent crimes like homicide and robbery, I'd rather
expect such high numbers in countries without a stable, law enforcing

There are 334 citizens per square kilometer living in Japan, 229 in
Germany, but only 27 in the USA. That means that Japan and Germany are
almost as crowded as New York (ca. 250 c/sq km). Obviously this factor
alone doesn't make living in Japan or Germany more unsafe, even though guns
are outlawed in both countries.

Could it be more unsafe to live in rural areas? The density in Australia is
2.4 c/sq km (Canada: 3.4), but the homicide rate is only 1,8/100,000
persons, which is in the same range as Germany or Canada, and far away from
the US.

There must be other factors responsible for these differences. Gun laws and
population alone are not. I'd therefore say, that the pro and con
discussion about owning guns is far from being rational. But this isn't
really new, or is it?

>From my observations, including the style of discussion and the kinds of
arguments read here, I think it's a question of 1) mentality (including
social culture) and 2) fear.


== Kai M. Becker == == Bremen, Germany ==
"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced"

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