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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Murderous Trend Lines

The UK (Times Online):
Professor Danny Dorling of Sheffield University, in a study published by the Crime And Society Foundation, found that the number and rate of murder had doubled since 1967 — just after hanging was abolished.
The US (Washington Times):
There were 391 fewer murders nationwide in 2004 than the year before. The total of 16,137 worked out to 5.5 murders for every 100,000 people, a decline of 3.3 percent from 2003 and the lowest rate since 1965, when it was 5.1 for every 100,000 people.
Scotland (Scotsman.com News - latest story):
Scotland has the second highest murder rate in western Europe, according to research by the World Health Organisation.
Research from the United Nations last week suggested more than 2,000 people a week are attacked in Scotland - 10 times the official police figures.

Scots were three times more likely to be the victims of violent assault than in America, according to the UN report.
Another study from the University of California, which will be published later this year, will claim Scotland has a higher homicide rate than America, Israel, Uzbekistan, Chile and Uruguay.
So what happened? Crime rates dropping to 1960 levels in the US, and double the 1960 levels in the UK? The situation does appear to be getting worse. Here are two recent articles I found. The first reports a rise in street crime of 18% last year (Berkshire), and the second reports a 23% increase in violent crime in Scarborough in the last 3 years.


US has responded to rise in violent crime by arming victims. 38 states now allow handgun carry as a right. Perps that are shot do not commit additional crimes.

UK has a much more "fluffy" and optimistic view of man. The responded by banning self defense, even in a Man's own castle. Result...more violent crime.

Also related to the rise in numbers of third world folks in England who do not have the inherent English calm and reserve. Of course that is a no-no to talk about, so a comparison of violence rates between different "groups" will not be included.

Welfare state has a lot to do with it as well. US is still a society of can do folks (at all levels), compared with the welfare state of mind that inhabits a large segement of the underclass (no ethnic basis here). Welfare calsses tend to lead to a gang based society for males, as they do not have stable family ties. End result is gangs in US, soccer hooligans in UK. Difference is here in US we shoot them if they get out of hand....

while I applaud your enthusiasim, think about what you said for a minute.

"US has responded to rise in violent crime by arming victims. 38 states now allow handgun carry as a right."

In General, the states that have legalized this are the most dangerous states. The states where it is illegal are the safest states.

on an even more local level. In New York city, you are not even allowed to own a hand gun, but yet the crime rate is lower than Huston and Dallas where you have a right to carry.

Your arguement doesn't carry weight. It is about crime enforcement, not hidden hand guns.
It is about crime enforcement

I do think that is the real answer, but deterrence is a part of that. Some of that deterrence can come from gun ownership but the majority of it, and the part that makes the difference really is law enforcement and the punishment that goes with being caught and convicted.

The problem with the gun ownership argument (I am in complete support of handgun ownership and concealed carry permits) is that I think most criminals would be willing to accept shooting it out with homeowners. It's the law enforcement part they are trying to avoid.
Anon - I also noticed that a bill is in Parliament to allow use of self-defense if someone breaks in your house or shop. They say it won't pass, but they are passing further laws to disarm the public. I think part of the problem is lax sentencing, but the appalling rise in burglaries in the UK probably is related to the legal situation. If a person can't bash a burglar with a baseball bat in their own home, the balance of power has shifted

I think the statistics showing home invasions are far less likely in areas in which the householders are armed and are able to use deadly force hold up.

Dingo, crime started falling in NY when they started stiffer sentencing and zero tolerance policies, according to what I have read. The UK is not ready to do that. You might want to consider that the states that have legalized self-defense and have right-to-carry laws probably did so because crime was becoming more common. I have read study after study that seem to show that such laws do lower crime rates.

Tommy, I think both policies work as deterrents. I'd rather not have my home robbed at all, but being robbed while I'm in the house is much more threatening. What I find particularly unnerving is that very young people are committing a lot of the mugging and home invasions in the UK. It doesn't bode well for the future.
Congratz on the WaPo mention MoM. You deserve the nod.
Dingo, it was more like a slap in the face!
Well I think they intended it as a slap anyway.

The problem is the same thing its been a long along, they can't get over the feeling that they know better and that anyone that disagrees should be required to shut up.

Getting noticed is good. So congrats. You must be doing a good job because you seem to have annoyed some people that needed to be annoyed.
Hi Mates,

I'm the first poster and I thought I might respond to Dingo. Sorry Mate, but I have been in UK, Down under (NZ and AU), Canada and US of A (great country)and you are wrong. I know of what I speak. Talk to any of the Blokes in Ozzieland. Most violent crime does not occur in English stock, except where the welfare state has taken hold. Ahhh, but your Paki and Jordian youth gangs, now there is a problem. The are violent and the fact that the disarmed folks (now they are baning swords don't you know)cannot fight them. It has made these disreputable elements bold. If decent folks fight back they stand to lose everything, while the Perp stands to gain. Why? Soft minds who would have the world to be one big fluffy-happy-place have set up rules that hammer the decent folk's defense because of past injustice (supposed). Minority youth gangs are victims, don't you know. Of course the folks in charge have a few police men assigned to them, even have submachineguns armed guards for themselves and don't live in working class areas. Doesn't affect them and lets them feel they have done something for the poor.

Come to the US of A. Now I live in the Commonwealth still, though it is Penn's Grant (from King Charles 1680). Live next door to New York and New Jersey. You are wrong again. Here in PA folks carry guns,lots of them. Place I work has a few girls that have them in their bags. No crime here, no one I know has been burglered. Not so if you cross the river in Trenton (NJ) or NY. Folks there do not go out at night and more than a few have been victims of muggings and other such nonsense.

Fact is decent folks here have a right to defend themselves and their castle. The Perps know it and clear off. They go to where the pickings are better. Trenton and NY. Neither are safe places for a women who does not have a large man to protect her. Not safe for a small man either.

That is just the way it is. I know in your ideal world the liberal ideas of the past 40 years would have made the world a great place to live, but it is not so. The Liberal welfare state is mucking up folks that come under it's shadow. You can yak all you want to about how gun free zones are better and how you will fix the poor by government largesse, but all this has done is made the wolves in society bold, and the decent folks afraid to go out at night. This is true across the English speaking world (exept Singapore where I have also spent some time, but it would take to long to cover in this thread)
Anon - a small woman can look pretty intimidating when holding a .357 or greeting a burglar at the door with a shotgun.

It's all about the balance of power in a society.
Anon - a lot of what you are talking about goes back to crime enforcement, not self defense. I am not saying people should not be "allowed" to defend them selves. There is a difference between not allowing people to carry hand guns on there hip, and a law that says you cannot harm an attacker.

And there is a difference in self defense in the home and carrying a gun on the street.

But, statistically, you are more likely to get killed or seriously hurt if you try to use self defense than if you just hand over your wallet.

Statistically, you are more likely to get killed by your own gun than to use it in self defense to kill someone else.

Statistically, gun violence tends to go up, not down, in states that allow concealed weapons.

Law enforcement is the best defense.

And MoM - about WaPo. I was reiterating what I said before. I would prefer to read you than them any day.
Dingo, I think you seriously underestimate the deterrent factor of guns. Liberals often argue for banning guns on the basis of the notion that a gun's purpose is to kill people. But I would argue that it has a second and more useful purpose, that of a deterrent. This second purpose requires that it also be able to perform the first purpose. The best way I know to illustrate the second purpose is with this nifty thought experiment I read on a blog post somewhere:

Suppose that it was possible to make a gun that would be completely effective but also invisible, such that you could kill someone by pointing your index finger at them and going "Bang" like the way kids play cops and robbers. In such a situation we can imagine all kinds of interesting bluffs and power games that might go on, but one prediction we could make for certain is that uniformed police officers would continue to carry the visible kind. They may carry them in ADDITION to the invisible kind, but they would be unlikely to carry the invisible kind alone.

The reason for this is because a cop needs to be able to project his power. He has to be able to convince suspects in no uncertain terms that he will win in any situation that comes down to employing violence.

Once it becomes clear that the purpose and interest that an average citizen has in owning a gun is deterrance then we no longer need to talk about whether you actually have to kill someone with it for it to contribute to your safety.

Another thing that I find odd is the notion that a criminal would be more afraid of being caught by government appointed authorities and made to sit in a jail cell for a few years of their life than they would be of shooting it out with a home-owner, thus risking serious injury and loss of life. If we assume that criminals are deterred by anything I suggest that they are going to be deterred by any risk of punishment or negative outcome, and more deterred the more immediate the threat.

Since police cannot be omnipresent they are only useful after the fact.
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