More Content Less Haste!

Now, it seems I was a touch hasty with my last post on gun crime and statistics. If I had spent more time reading the comments on the Deltoid post even more comedy bad-statistical goodness would have come to light.

As someone living outside the US, I have no real concept of how this is an issue which creates such a furore. I am dimly aware of the constitutional issues, but as far as I can tell the right to bear arms was there because the founding fathers didn’t believe in a standing army. I don’t think they envisaged a future where both would happen, but who am I to know.

The main pro-gun comments seem to come from a guy called “ben” who proudly proclaims “I pack heat” and while superficially sound, they don’t seem to survive detailed analysis. For example, the numerous studies which have linked gun ownership to homicide are disproven by a the apparent fact that the homicide rate in gun-carrying Seattle is lower than in gun-banned Vancouver. Interesting. I think it is important to highlight that the debate is about “homicide” not “gun crime” which is a mistake I have made in the past.

While it is entirely possible that the apparently obvious more guns = more crime assumption is wrong, this leads to more questions which could have interesting conclusions. If more guns != more crime, then why does the nation with the highest incidence of gun ownership have more crimes per person than other nations? Are God-fearing Americans simply more criminally minded than (say) Canadians?