Odds and Ends
Armed to immobilize
6 9, 3:57pm
' "And France is a relatively small country but I bet it can get much worse in the US or in Russia."
In early sixties USSR had very little personal car ownership and that translated into mere ten thousand or so car-related fatalities. That number increased threefold by 1986. Certain remote places were effectively self-contained, some villages or rural towns had bus come in two or three times a day and/or car or two in public use.
"I don't know why we do nothing about cars, but it probably has more to do with the fact that it would have a strong negative impact on economy (Germany especially has a very strong car industry) than the population's lack of desire to change. And I suspect it is the same for guns in the USA."
Economic impact from ban on guns will be minimal, it will mostly put out of work small-ish firms that produce custom parts for sporting rifles. H&K, FN or Glock will never be out of work with military and law enforcement, while Colt and Smith and Wesson look the opposite of "vast military industrial complex" that anti-gun activists like to imagine. The real difference is that more people are familiar with cars and media wasn't hysterical about them since early 20th century.
"In particular, you seem to have less shooting in Russia more because the population is poorer than because the policies applied are good."
Best point of comparison is the fact that most of the guns that are legal for civilians are those which anti-gun activists in US want to ban the most. It's true that there are only about 6 million guns in personal use, but it leads to the fact that in 2015 out of 6900 total gun-related crimes (not just murders) only 594 were committed with licensed firearm, and of those 147 are pistols and revolvers. One of the major pro-gun arguments (law disarms honest people, lawbreakers will have guns anyway) holds up.
Another important point is while handguns are virtually unavailable for civilian use, number of murders in general is higher. That means that incidents of road rage or drunk fights still happen, only someone is getting stabbed with a kitchen knife or beaten to death with a baseball bat. While police response time in Russia is certainly longer than in US ("call us when he'll break the door and we'll be there in 30 minutes or so") I'm confident that most of 1v1 violence (main source of murders that are not gang-related) concludes within several minutes.
"And I don't think the US government is failing that much to maintain public order. "
I personally know a guy who says he will not go to Chicago without his gun, another one got Taurus Judge just to work in Detroit.
Failures of law enforcement in US are localized.
"But it is interesting to see that violence is positively correlated to democracy (precisely it is negatively correlated to dictatorship) and youth which seems logical but somehow wrong..."
While I'll stay away from speculations about political system, correlation between youth and violence doesn't feel wrong. As in an old joke, when God tells Adam that he has good and bad news: good is that God gave him penis and brain, bad is that they don't work at the same time. By the age of 25 hormones calm down and people (particularly men) become much more risk averse.
"Christianity (particularly catholics and protestants) seem to be positively correlated to violence too. And here we thought islamists were violent."
Not surprising, really. Christianity is on the decline and it's role in organization of community has decreased, I'd expect it to be more likely to find a Christian who feels socially isolated, as such less moderated and directed by others.
I would also say that Muslim countries had a steam release valve of quasi-religious local conflicts like Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya or Syria, which absorbed some particularly dysfunctional individuals, but I have no idea if it has any measurable effect.