Are guns really the problem?
To hear gun control activists tell it, not only are they the problem, there’s absolutely no reason anyone should ever question this. After all, they’ll tell you, look at places like England. They don’t have the same gun crime we have. Clearly, the issue is that we don’t have enough gun control.
However, I came across an interesting Twitter thread yesterday that tried to dispel much of that notion. The whole thread was good, but there was this little tidbit:
The UK's total homicide rate that year was 1.17 per 100,000.
Czech Republic was 0.7 per 100,000.
— Konstadinos Moros (@MorosKostas) May 28, 2022
but was it completely accurate? I decided to look up some data myself to see if this checks out. Let’s start with this study that found in 2015, the non-gun homicide rate was 1.5. For that same year, the UK’s total homicide rate was 0.99.
Now, it should be noted that the CDC doesn’t exactly make it easy to find data on non-firearm homicides. However, for 2020, they do support Moros’ numbers.
I also suggest you go and read the whole thread, because he makes some very valid points.
However, I want to focus on the UK’s homicide numbers versus our non-gun homicide rate.
See, this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s a look our homicide rate excluding an entire weapon type–the same type of weapon we’re told is the problem–to compare to their total homicide rate and we still have a higher rate.
Further, it would be idiotic to assume that without guns, the non-gun homicide rate would have been the exact same. At least some murderers would have used a different weapon and still been successful. That means the murder rate would have been higher than that 1.6 per 100,000 people.
And that is per capita, so you can’t claim the UK’s smaller population accounts for the difference.
The problem is that Americans, for some reason, really are just more prone toward violence. We’re more likely to kill one another than the British are.
And it’s not just the British. Our non-gun homicide rate outstrips most European nations’ total homicide rate. In fact, high-income nations have a total homicide rate of 0.8, compared to a non-gun homicide rate of twice that.
So let’s say the anti-gunner dream comes true and guns disappear from American homes. Only the military and police have them. Neither the average citizen nor the criminal class can obtain them. It’ll never happen in reality, but for the sake of argument, let’s pretend.
If that were to happen, we’d still have a homicide rate that’s higher than anywhere in Europe.
The problem is and has always been a people issue. It’s a cultural thing that we have for some reason, so it’s there that we must begin meaningful exploration. Otherwise, we’re just shifting the problem.
It doesn’t help that so many people seem to completely ignore non-gun homicides; as if they simply don’t count. I assure you, no one feels better because their loved one was stabbed to death rather than shot, but that’s how it goes.
Seriously, just do a quick search on Google for non-gun homicides and see what you find.
What’s more, numerous research organizations have pages looking at homicides involving guns, but without a single mention of non-firearm homicides.
Is it any wonder that so many people on this side of the debate are skeptical of research on this subject?
Look, this tells us something important. It’s something we all need to know and understand. Guns are a tool, but it’s the tool using it we need to focus on. Much as gun control proponent roll their eyes at the statement, it really is people who kill people.
If we were to focus more of our attention there, we might actually be able to do something about the problem.
Instead, we’re focused on restricting guns without considering the broader implications.