Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another Look at Gun Violence

In an earlier post on gun violence I graphed the incidence of gun related deaths against the percentage of gun owners in the population - but I made a clerical error.  The gun ownership rates were from 2001, and the death rates were from 2006.

Well, that's a bit of a screw up, and I like to do things right.   Unfortunately, I can't come up with more hard data on gun ownership for another year.   If you know where I can find it, please let me know.

Here is data from 2007, for gun related deaths.  The plot is data by state for 2007 vs 2006.  As you can see, for what it's worth, there's not much drift over the span of a year.  Gun ownership is a cultural phenomenon, and one of the indicators of how divided we are as a nation, and from the rest of the world.  I doubt if this number changed a great deal between 2001 and 2006.

Here is a look at how the U.S. stacks up against the civilized world on gun deaths.  The aggregate U.S number is 10.2. 

I've eyeballed a best-fit line through the other countries' data, and circled the U.S data point.

Doesn't look like we are on the same planet.


Jerry Critter said...

It makes sense to me that if you are in a country where more people have guns, more people are going to be killed with guns. But your second graph has me stumped. What is the explanation for gun deaths being about twice as high as the second highest country, and three or four times most of the other countries?

Are we, the American people, that much more agressive? I have always said that the culture of a corporation is set at the top. Corporate culture is a top-down phenomenon. We have a very aggressive foreign policy, much more aggressive than any other country. It seems like everything we fight is called a war -- we have a war on this and a war on that.

Has that aggression filtered down to the personal level? Maybe so. Too bad for us.

Jazzbumpa said...

Thom Hartman was relating it to economic inequality on his program today. I agree, and right-wing talk radio along with Palin's imagery also plays a part.

We have a very sick culture in our country, very actively promoted by the Koch brothers and Faux Noise.

I fear it will get much worse before it gets better.