Odds and Ends
No pets allowed
6 10, 5:01am
Actually, that's only true if you use each country's definition of "violent crime," which includes FAR more crimes in the UK than in the US. If you compare the individual violent crimes, the US has WAY more murders, and all others are relatively close, but the US has slightly more on most. For example, burglary and rape are both more common in the US than in the UK (not the only ones, but considering you specifically called them out for Australia, I singled them out here). But a few others go the other way, and overall, if you exclude murders, it's so close that it could easily be considered a wash. It's clear, though, that there isn't a "much higher violent crime rate" in the UK, if you make any reasonable comparison. And while the number of assaults, robberies, rapes, etc is nearly the same, far more are killed in the US, so guns do have some impact.
And while it is difficult to compare across countries, especially if you try to go for all violent crimes, where gun ownership plays a negligible role either direction, there are a few patterns that one can see. Murders are the easiest to compare, and the are where gun ownership would certainly have the largest impact. And on that, the US has significantly higher rates than any country in Western Europe, by a factor of more than two. In fact, if you look at some charts, Norway is next behind the US (of countries in Western Europe, plus the US, Canada, and Japan, which are the fairest comparison nations), and that's only because the year used was the one with the terrorist attack that killed 77 people, which drove up the murder rate by a factor of nearly 4x. And yet it was still under half the US. No matter what year you use, more people are killed in the US than any other nation that is even close to our level of wealth and political freedoms. That much one can easily compare, and it is a fair comparison, when it's as overwhelming as that is. We are not necessarily a country that has more crime, but we are a country that kills more people than any country that is at all similar. We're not a "very peaceful nation."
What are the top 10 cities for strictest gun control? I don't know which cities you'd even be talking about, although I would guess that it would include cities like Chicago, New York, Washington DC, etc. They have large absolute numbers, because they are huge cities, but none of those three show up in the top 30 for per capita murders. So, while they might decrease the rate a bit, I don't know how much they would. Detroit, though, did make the list, although surprisingly not top five, given the utter economic collapse, and population drain, both of which tend to make per capita murder rates much higher. Yes, I will certainly agree that the economic problems in major urban areas is a FAR bigger cause of violence than gun ownership, and dealing with them would far outweigh any gun restrictions. But it's hardly true that the restrictions are completely misconceived, there are reasons to believe they have some positive impact, although city-level restrictions have less impact, given how thoroughly porous a city or state border is. It still has some impact, since for the type of spree killings that we've become famous for, it can make it a bit more difficult. However, on hardened, repeat criminals, which is where national regulations have more impact (as straw buyers can be prosecuted, and background checks actually work, unlike on many of our recent spree killers), city regulations would logically have almost no impact, since for them, traveling a little ways to buy isn't the hurdle it would be for someone who is just angry and lashing out.