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Old January 9, 2013, 02:16 PM   #1
pnac
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Why US-UK crime rates is apples to oranges

Seems the UK crime rates may be fudged a little bit according to this article:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...1/205139.shtml

It sort of puts a different face on the murder and other violent crime stats in UK, doesn't it? I wonder what the "excuse" for this will be.

From the article:
Quote:
"American homicide rates are based on initial data, but British homicide rates are based on the final disposition." Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar. They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at all. "With such differences in reporting criteria, comparisons of U.S. homicide rates with British homicide rates is a sham," the report concludes
.
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Why the obsession with UK crime rates?
Time and time again...

I never see such attention devoted to Canadian, German, Namibian, Andorran Portuguese crime rates of any other nation, for that matter...
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:53 PM   #3
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That's a relatively old article, and current stats indicate that Britain has a high violent crime rate, comparable with the US, albiet with different means(less shooting, more other things). Not to mention the part you have quoted makes no sense either way. If you're tallying the number of homicides(not actors in said homicide) which is the relavant statistic, both sides are under or over reporting.
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
I never see such attention devoted to Canadian, German, Namibian, Andorran Portuguese crime rates of any other nation, for that matter.
Because the UK enacted near total gun control over the course of the 20th Century, and those who would do so here often point to the UK as an example of how lovely things would be if we did the same.

It's also worth mentioning that our very conception of the RKBA was originally inspired by English law.
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
That's a relatively old article, and current stats indicate that Britain has a high violent crime rate, comparable with the US, albiet with different means(less shooting, more other things).
So, you're saying that the UK is reporting crime differently now?
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
I never see such attention devoted to Canadian, German, Namibian, Andorran Portuguese crime rates of any other nation, for that matter.
I can assure you that noone talking about gun control stats puts a country like Namibia into the list. As a rule, countries are cherry picked based on having a very focused and specific demographic, and the numbers are presented in whole and not per-capita form for extra effect (leveraging the US' higher population multiplier on anything you'd care to talk about). Brazil would be a more instructive comparison.

Bit of a tangent; but putting gun deaths per capita and total suicides side by side makes a different story again - most US gun deaths are suicide, yet US suicide rate total is pretty middling amongst countries. Mexico's gun deaths are comparable; but none of them are suicides (guns banned for the everyman, cartel members not suffering much depression I guess).

Per-capita, US gun deaths *and* suicides combined are eclipsed by Japanese and South Korean suicide rates which are scary-high:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_rate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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I have no idea. I do seriously question the validity of anything said in that article though.

2000-2001 Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary

Granted, the article is pretty vague as to what report(ETA: or any of their sources) they're citing, however the above seems to be what they would be referring to, yet none of bits attributed to the report or implications attributed to information in the report, are actually in the report.

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Old January 9, 2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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Because the UK enacted near total gun control over the course of the 20th Century, and those who would do so here often point to the UK as an example of how lovely things would be if we did the same.
It seems to me to still be a case of self-reassurance: the social issues, culture, demographics, relative disposalable income, population density, etc are sufficiently different to make a direct comparison of crime rates, taking gun rights as the main variable, as being an exercise in futility.

I live in Estonia. We have some of the fewest gun restrictions in Europe. I would not be surprised to see us not far behind the likes of Switzerland. We are poles apart from the UK in that respect, yet have the highest per capita murder rate of Europe.

I feel there would be far more pertinent comparisons to be made and questions to be asked if the goal is to counter any proposed gun control in the US...

Still, if it amuses members....
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Because the UK enacted near total gun control over the course of the 20th Century, and those who would do so here often point to the UK as an example of how lovely things would be if we did the same.
What do you mean when you say near total gun control in the UK. ?

There are plenty of firearms here.

AS the Department of Justice consults on proposed changes to firearms licensing laws here, The Detail can reveal information about the owners of Northern Ireland’s 153,459 legally held guns.

Almost 60,000 members of the public own over 146,000 firearms with the remaining 7,018 legally held guns belonging to serving police and prison officers.

QUOTE. There are 59 authorised target clubs in Northern Ireland which are authorised to use 69 firearms ranges in Northern Ireland.


Quote. One 51-year-old male owns 109 firearms – including an ex-PSNI Personal Protection Weapon.
No one is saying that gun controls are not tight in the UK. But they are not as bad as some in America seem to think.

The gun controls are stricter in most of the world than in America. I am not saying that's a good thing but that's the way it is.

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Old January 9, 2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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There is a problem with applying statistics and turning a correlation into a causation without sanity checks.

Citing some crime rise after some gun ban in the UK is an attack strategy, fighting lies with lies. Going on the offensive.

Sanity-checking it though, while guns probably do have a deterrent factor in the US, in the UK they were not dispersed or culturally considered for their antipersonnel role. There was no "home defense" as the clichéd "shooting burglars" has been considered utterly unacceptable since far before any given gun ban in the 90s.

I forget the guy's name but he was in the news a lot, charged with murder for shooting a home invader. He was a total nut, no "normal" brit would do that.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:21 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Mr. Pond about comparisons between other countries being iffy. There are so many variables in culture, diversity, population, and other issues I don't think it is possible to isolate any single factor as the reason for something else. You can prove correlation, but I don't think its right to say there is causation. So yes, it is apples to oranges.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
I forget the guy's name but he was in the news a lot, charged with murder for shooting a home invader. He was a total nut, no "normal" brit would do that.
I'll bite because I don't know the details, what would a "normal" brit do if he was being robbed, as opposed to what this man did?
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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The case I mentioned was "Tony Martin" (remember now).

Quote:
Quote:
I forget the guy's name but he was in the news a lot, charged with murder for shooting a home invader. He was a total nut, no "normal" brit would do that.

I'll bite because I don't know the details, what would a "normal" brit do if he was being robbed, as opposed to what this man did?
The full range of actions available to someone who does not have a gun (this includes if said brit is amongst the minority who happens to have an unloaded shotgun in a safe). I was merely emphasizing the unacceptable.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:54 PM   #14
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I'll bite because I don't know the details, what would a "normal" brit do if he was being robbed, as opposed to what this man did?
The same as most in America or any other country. Protect themselves and their property using what ever force was necessary.

If its Tony" Martin we are talking about its a poor example of what to do if you are being burgled. And a good example of what not to do.

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Old January 9, 2013, 05:01 PM   #15
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Citing some crime rise after some gun ban in the UK is an attack strategy, fighting lies with lies.
It's not lies. There has been a measurable rise in violent crime and homicide in the UK since the 1997 Firearms Act. The conclusion can be made that stricter gun controls did nothing to help.

Now, it's hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison because there are many other factors. The flawed Seattle-Vancouver studies in the 1990's showed this.

However, the argument on the ground in 1997 was that gun control would reduce crime in the UK. In that, they were wrong.
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Old January 9, 2013, 05:09 PM   #16
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I should have been more specific. I'm attacking the idea of a 90s-era gun ban being responsible for a *rise* in violent crime of any form, in that guns had no deterrent role in British society. Pro-gun sides tend to imply or openly say that when referring to the UK. I meant this aspect for "lies with lies".

It's quite likely that the late-90s gun control had no effect either way as "criminals" were already off the grid.

It then is certainly within the realm of possibility for violent crime to rise (from the other, real factors) since the late 90s. So I am not disputing what you are saying (and backing up with numbers), as it's not failing the "sanity check" I was referring to.
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Old January 9, 2013, 05:10 PM   #17
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However, the argument on the ground in 1997 was that gun control would reduce crime in the UK. In that, they were wrong. _
The only ones buying that were the ones pushing for gun control and politicians trying to get votes. Most didn't think it would make any difference. I don't think it made any difference one way or another. Crime rates do go up and down for different reasons. One reason that i don't think it made any difference is that in most of the uk handguns were used for target shooting not self defence like in America.
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Old January 9, 2013, 05:34 PM   #18
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This is an interesting essay from the Harvard Law and Public Policy Journal, with a lot of data about overseas experiences with gun bans, and some key information from Joyce Lee Malcolm, about the most learned regarding the English experience with citizen disarmament.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf (532.4 KB, 9 views)
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Old January 9, 2013, 05:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
To conserve the resources of the inundated criminal justice
system, English police no longer investigate burglary and “minor
assaults.”23 As of 2006, if the police catch a mugger, robber,
or burglar, or other
I haven't got a chance to read it all yet. But the above is not correct to start with.

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Old January 9, 2013, 05:48 PM   #20
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However, the argument on the ground in 1997 was that gun control would reduce crime in the UK. In that, they were wrong.
Nope.
The gun ban in the UK was as a result of the Dunblane mass shooting. It was a move to reduce firearms deaths, not crime as a whole.

In that respect it appears to have worked... The only other mass shooting since, over a decade later was in Cumbria, 2010.

To say that crime has risen, because of gun control, one would have to ignore a whole range of other contributing factors. Pointless.
Yet, here we are going over the same old ground....

If anti-gun lobbyists do, as alleged, cite the UK as a working model for wanting gun control in the US, then I find it absurd for pro-gunners to jump on the same band-wagon but trying to show that it doesn't work...

Focus on US problems, not UK.
Rather than taking the bait and trying to show them that the situation in the UK is different to what they have claimed, try instead to show them that comparing to the UK is in fact baseless.
Work to remove it from the equation... show them that the UK is the UK and the US is the US and they are different...

Surely there is enough variation across the States, with some being gun friendly and some not to illustrate, on home ground, whether or not there is a correlation... Why cross the Atlantic for less nationally relevant data?

Either way I feel that a guns=less crime analysis will yield little fruit.
As I've mooted in other threads: the presence of firearms will probably not affect the incidence of crime, but may affect the outcome, if the crime is committed... If that were the case the US, with all its privately owned guns, should have the crime rates of Leichenstein...

Want an alternative theory on violence in society? US studies seem to have uncovered a strong correlation between air pollution and criminal behaviour rates... And I don't mean lead pollution in the firearms sense...
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Old January 9, 2013, 06:09 PM   #21
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In that respect it worked... The only other mass shooting since, over a decade later was in Cumbria, 2010.
I agree with most of what you have posted. But it is imposable to know that there would have being more or less mass shootings if the handgun ban did not happen.

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Old January 9, 2013, 06:34 PM   #22
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for those that are curious here is a peer reviewed paper by Dr Joyce Malcolm of Harvard and the effect of gun control laws in the UK.

Not surprisingly violent crime increased dramatically

http://www.saf.org/journal/16/guncontrolinengland.pdf

more disturbingly mass shootings of children at grade school grab headlines but the 200 or so young black men who are killed every single day will not even make page 4 let alone the national news
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:04 PM   #23
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Tom Servo posted a link a few months ago to an Italian study showing crime rates in a number of European countries, including the UK, and the United States. The rate of violent crimes and crimes in general was much higher in the UK than the U.S. Homicide rates were higher in the U.S. (not sure how they picked their numbers). The study tried to determine why rates generally rose in Europe while going down in the U.S. The study did not look at the possible effect of high gun ownership rates and/or concealed carry permits in the U.S. The most noticeable correlation seemed to be the incarceration rate. Europe generally let criminals out of prison earlier than in the U.S. With the economy the last few years, many states have resorted to "catch and release" programs for felons. I'm betting our crime rates will go up as a result.

Study at: http://www2.dse.unibo.it/zanella/papers/crime-EP.pdf
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:18 PM   #24
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For those discussing the Tony Martin case - that article is a bit disingenuous on that point. He shot two burglars, one on sight, maiming him for life (a load of birdshot square in the groin I believe - ouch), the other in the back as he fled, killing him.

The shooting in the back of the second burglar as the 16 year old (bit early to call him a career criminal, as the article does) climbed out of a window to escape was ruled to not be self defence. I believe quite reasonably. I am not sure if he was charged in relation to the first shooting, whether this was ruled self defence or not.

I would also point out that he only served three years in prison and has been out for some time, since that article is 11 years old now.

UK crime reporting may be different to in the US, but the drawing of a line of causation between the tightening of gun laws in the late 90s and any rise in crime (whether it exists or not) is seriously flawed. Self defence has not been a legal reason to own a firearm in Great Britain (Northern Ireland excluded) for many decades. Someone above pointed out that the concepts of home defence here are drastically different to in the US, a cultural thing, they are right. The guns that were banned were sporting pieces, generally not kept ready in homes in case of a bump in the night. Rather, they were locked away with ammunition stored separately.

If there has been a rise in crime/violent crime, it happened regardless of the gun legislation. The growth of gun crime (which stopped - it has now been on the decline for a number of years, as I understand it, will try to find source for that) was due to economic, demographic and cultural shifts in urban populations, not because criminals suddenly didn't fear being shot by the general public any more. That hasn't been a real fear for criminals here for a long time - except maybe people who burgle farmhouses, of course. The same goes for all sorts of crime, not just guns.

It really has minimal relevance to the debate in the USA. Just because the anti-2A crowd use these arguments, doesn't mean the pro-2A crowd has to lower themselves to using them too.
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Old January 10, 2013, 03:26 AM   #25
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It really has minimal relevance to the debate in the USA. Just because the anti-2A crowd use these arguments, doesn't mean the pro-2A crowd has to lower themselves to using them too.
Absolutely agree.

Quote:
I agree with most of what you have posted. But it is imposable to know that there would have being more or less mass shootings if the handgun ban did not happen.
Fair enough: edited accordingly.

Here is what I feel should be happening and why.
The present backlash against guns or at least one type of gun is not actually a rejection of the 2nd A' per se. At least not in the way that the pro-gun group feel. I don't believe that most Americans want the 2nd A' to cease, or be abolished but they simply, understandably, want the likes of Sandy Hook to stop.

So what is behind these mass shootings? That should be the goal of any action to try and preserve gun rights, if guns are not root cause as the anti front maintain.
However, it would hugely naive to think it is the result of a single factor. It is not just semi auto rifles and nor is it just mental illness, video games or any other single thing.
I say this because the anti-gun crowd have been crying "it's the guns!" and recently we have seen a lot of "It's the mental illness management policies!" from the pro crowd.

I asked this question in two other threads but never got any answer. Third time lucky, perhaps:
Why does this happen in the USA with such frequency?

Yes there are mass-killings elsewhere, yes some of those shootings elsewhere were more destructive (Norway), but overall the incidence is much higher in the States. Why?
Then we see that of these mass killings, guns tend to be used more than other implements and of those guns, semi-autos seem to be a favourite. In this sense, we cannot say semi-auto rifles aren't part of the problem, because they frequently seem to be chosen by the perpetrator.

In one of his more lucid moments, Alex Jones did say one thing in response to a question from Piers Morgan. He said something along the lines of "Yes, we (the US) are a violent society"
The crux is what can be done to make the US a less violent society.
Whether or not other societies are equally or more violent is irrelevant to the status quo in the US.
Neither the anti-gun, nor the pro-gun groups will find a solution to this problem by focusing on rifles alone. However, guns, being tools of destruction are an easy option for any government who needs to be seen as proactive on a complex issue, in a society (western societies as a whole) that has become accustomed to not having to wait and the "quick fix".

So we need to i.d. what makes people tip, and find ways to make it harder for them to access firearms.
The pro-gun front need to find answers to both these puzzles if they want to stand a chance of preventing extensive gun legislation, and in the present climate, simply citing the 2nd A' is not going to suffice, however valid that arguement may be.

May be stating the obvious, but sometimes it seems people lose sight of these simple points in all the rhetoric.

Just my 2p
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