Arguing over gun control

I put it to you that arguing over gun control is stupid. All you need to do is listen to Bill Hicks (and maybe read some statistics).

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Some statistics

Number of gun deaths in the UK

In 2009 the total number of gun deaths in the UK was 138 people, or 0.22 per 100,000.

Number of gun deaths in US

Type Year Total Total per 100,000
Gun Homicides 2009 9,146 2.98
Gun Suicides 2005 17,002 5.75
Unintentional shootings 2005 789 0.27
Gun deaths from undetermined cause 2005 54 0.18
Totals 26,991 9.18

Scared yet

I am. What is really sobering is that unintentional shootings in the US account for more deaths per 100,000 people than all gun deaths in the UK.

Now of course numbers don’t tell the whole story, but I think they give a pretty good indication as to the differences between a country with pretty strict gun control and one with loose gun control.

Usually I’d use Ireland as a comparison but it seemed to make sense to use our neighbour as the population is much closer to the US. That said there is quite a gap between the two. The UK has about 60 million estimated in 2009, versus about 305 million in the US, so the absolute deaths are not as relevant as the “per 100,00” deaths.

All information gleaned from www.gunpolicy.org which appears to gather information from a variety of reputable sources including the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. I’ve been forced to mix 2005 and 2009 statistics because that was all that was available to me. I would guess that there probably isn’t a massive variation between years.

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