“America’s homicide rates, incarceration rates and gun ownership rates are all much higher than other wealthy countries. While the data associated with crime is imperfect, these facts all point to the idea that America is more violent than many other wealthy countries.” This is not the way in which we should seek to excel.
Charles Blow in the New York Times quoting Howard Steven Friedman in the Huffington Post.
Friedman goes on to explore reasons for the high homicide rate:
Why does the United States have a much higher homicide rate than most other wealthy countries? There are a multitude of explanations, from economic disparities, to inequalities in education and careers opportunities, to America's history of violence and racial issues. One important factor driving America's homicide rate is gun ownership since firearms are used in the majority of American homicides. America's gun ownership rates are vastly higher than that of other wealthy countries. In fact, only one OECD country has a rate that is even half as much of America's gun ownership rate. At the same time as America has such a high gun ownership rate and homicide rate, it also has an incarceration rate that is about seven times higher than the median rate for OECD countries and is one of the only wealthy countries in the world to conduct executions.Inequality seems to top the list. Economic inequality. Educational inequality. Occupational inequality.
But, Friedman also factors in gun ownership in America, "vastly higher than that of other wealthy countries".
Friedman derives his observations from the OECD Better Life Index, which factors in fear, the fear of assault, the fear of homicide.
Ironically, the United States' rate of assaults is lower than two percent, falling in line with other wealthier countries such as Canada, Japan, Poland, the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the U.S. soars far above these other nations in homicides, ranking fourth in the five nations with the highest homicide ranks, Mexico, highest; Chile, second highest; Estonia, third; Turkey, fifth.
It must be observed that Mexico reports an eleven percent assault rate, owing sadly to its proximity to the United States and the hunger of the United States populace for illicit drugs and the easily accessible weaponry of all sorts for Mexican drug plutocrats just across the border. The people of Mexico, looted and ruined by the depredations of NAFTA, seek to recoup their economic looses by feeding the U.S. hunger for illicit drugs, making use of U.S. closeness to gain the weaponry and ammo necessary to run such operations.
By so doing, ironically, Mexico adds to its incidence of assault and homicide, the second and third horsemen of illicit drug trade.
It would be very nice if the U.S. could do the decent thing and end its stupid War on Drugs, thus ending the cross border drug industry trade and counter illegal weaponry trade. We trade our guns and ammo which are illegal in Mexico, for their drugs of various sorts, which are illegal in the U.S., but too much of the U.S. is invested in this evil trade. Name just about any politician in the U.S. and you've got someone heavily invested in this evilness.
That would, of course, include the NRA, which must have as part of its political platform the continued support of the War on Drugs.
It would be honest, it would be meaningful, it could even lead to the U.S. dealing with the other issues fomenting violence in our nation but, given the preponderance of belief in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus and the non-existence of climate change in our nation, not to mention the simple notion of evolution and science, such things do not seem to be possible.
Rush Limbaugh, you can begin to breathe again. Hate radio is quite safe. Even Aurora can't bring you down.