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We all know that the rate of gun deaths in the United States is very high: nearly 11,000 this year. In the last study done by the Centers For Disease Control, a total of 25,423 firearm homicides and 34,235 firearm suicides occurred among U.S. residents. That included over four thousand homicides among those aged 10-19, whose statistics was slightly higher than that of victims of all ages.

To further study the numbers, the U.S. was divided into regions (Midwest, Northeast, South, and West) as defined by the Census Bureau and further divided into metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The homicide rate for guns in the 50 largest MSAs collectively was a little more than 5 per 100,000 persons per year. Sixty-six of the MSAs had rates that exceeded the national rate of 4.2 (33 out of 50).

Topping the list of deadliest metro areas for gun deaths were New York (including northern New Jersey, all 5 boroughs of NYC and Newark, NJ), the Los Angeles area (including Long Beach, Santa Ana and Anaheim), the Chicago area (including Naperville and Joliet), Dallas/Fort Worth (including Arlington) and Philadelphia (including Camden and Wilmington). Together, those five MSAs totalled 6, 726 gun homicides in a one-year period. 2,250 of which involved victims aged 10-19. When the top 50 MSA’s rates are added together, they come to an astounding 17, 077.

Let’s compare that with the UK, where private firearms are strictly controlled. The rate of civilian firearm possession in the UK is 6.7 per 100 population. Annual deaths resulting from firearms in the UK in 2009 was 138: the UK is ranked 29th in that category while the U.S. is ranked number one with 688 times more murders! Yes, that’s right — we’re number one! The number of handgun homicides in the UK currently averages 2.5 per year. Think about that for a minute: in the UK an average of 2-3 people are murdered by handguns every year. We surpass that every day.

Yes, firearm possession in the UK, and Europe in general, is strictly regulated, guided by the  Firearms Act 1968, the Council Directive of 18 June 1991 on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons, and the Convention of 1 July 1969 on Reciprocal Recognition of Proofmarks on Small Arms. The private sale of and transfer of firearms is prohibited and a unique identifying mark is required on every firearm. The penalty for breaking gun laws is 6 months in prison. But for that kind of low mortality statistic, we can surely look to them for some guidance.

Do we have to be as strict as the UK to bring gun deaths under control in our country? No, of course not. That would be impossible for several reasons, not least of which is that it would be unconstitutional. But we can apply sensible, reasonable laws to enable the tracing of guns and ammunition. We can ban assault rifles (please don’t get semantic here, I think everyone understands what is meant by that) and high-capacity magazines. We can make gun shows require background checks — this is the 21st century and everyone has a computer now. It’s not difficult to do a quick check. We can ban anyone on the no-fly list from buying firearms. We can agree that something must be done and do it. Before more children pay with their lives.

Crossposted at Addicting Info

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (23+ / 0-)

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:15:05 PM PST

  •  But... but... FREEDOM!!!!!! (6+ / 0-)


    You tell your British King... that he may take our loives... but he'll never take, our Firearms!!!!


    Seriously though, the UK's got a National Health Service too, and the odds of that happening here...


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:19:37 PM PST

    •  Yup you hear the apologists say that suicide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Purple Priestess, sagesource

      deaths don't count, that way the death rate drops by 2/3.  As we say in my field, numbers don't lie but liars do figure.

      In any case, even if we exclude homicides and "justifiable" killings, we still have 3 to 4 times the death toll of 9/11 EVERY YEAR.  How many times the death toll of 9/11 is acceptable to the domestic terrorists at the NRA?  Will getting us to the firearm homicide rate of Mexico satisfy them? (It is ironic and very sad that 80% of the guns wreaking havoc in Mexico come from the US courtesy of those same terrorists at the NRA, but hey, anything for a buck!)

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:47:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ironic too.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ....that Mexico is one of the very few countries outside the US to have a right to keep and bear arms written into their constitution. How's that working out for them?

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:26:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is very misleading (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Mexico has one of the strictest gun control laws out there. For example, take a look at this article.

          I'm sure you know that the violence in Mexico is fueled by the drug demand in the US and until that root cause is addressed, cartels will remain powerful. Also, not saying that you don't know this, but the main source of weapons of the cartels is the US and an arms trafficking concept known as "the parade of ants" - numerous seemingly everyday American individuals buying semi-automatics and other guns and then smuggling them across the border.

    •  makes one wonder (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Purple Priestess, Renee

      sometimes who got the better deal in 1776...

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:04:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. It's refreshing to see something (4+ / 0-)

    other than distorted, cherry picked, NRA approved statistics suggesting that gun safety laws lead to more deaths.  The bottom line numbers simply don't lie.  And it's true in country after country.

  •  Just to clarify the numbers (5+ / 0-)

    in that first paragraph, for other readers who found it a bit confusing. The 11,000 (more like 10,500 according to the linked document) is not the total number of gun-cased deaths this year, just gun homicides. The number of gun suicides would be higher, as your CDC figures indicate. Those ones (gun homicides 25,423, gun suicides 34,235) were for a two-year period (2006-7).

  •  What woke me up (4+ / 0-)

    I was visiting the UK a few years ago and while I was there there was a random gun murder in London and it was headline news for days. What really woke me up was this was the same sort of thing that back in Alaska would have gotten a brief mention on the news maybe once....

  •  The way you're citing the figures is confusing... (9+ / 0-)

    ...matters. The first link only takes us through firearm deaths through April, so the actual number this year so far is much higher than 11,000.

    The second link is for a two-year period to get those 60,000 firearms deaths. The annual total runs around 30,000.

    The number of firearms deaths in 2009 in Britain was 138. But the number of firearm murders there was 14. The number of firearms murders in the U.S. in 2009 was 9,146.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:43:23 PM PST

    •  The second batch (0+ / 0-)

      from the CDC study are one year's number spanning 2006-07 as I understood it.

      As for the deaths, I wanted to have that entire number, including the homicide stats.

      Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

      by Purple Priestess on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:29:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No; take a look at the blue box on the second page (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Purple Priestess

        of the CDC report. They state there:

        Firearm-related suicides and homicides were the fourth and fifth leading causes of death in the U.S. during 2006-2007, together accounting for approximately 30,000 deaths each year.
        In the second sentence of the report, it's noted that the deaths from firearm suicides total 34,235 and the deaths ruled firearm homicides total 25,423 for this period--or nearly 60,000 added together--which shows how this time period is drawn.

        As I understand it, this number of 30,000 deaths from firearms per year in the U.S. has remained pretty consistent for a while now.

        Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

        by peregrine kate on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:39:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  unconstitutional? The Constitution is not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess, Habitat Vic

    written in stone, it can be amended. It may be an impossibility with this court but some time in the future.

    Just the way this issue is being shelved until 2013 is not a good sign for gun regulation. In Australia it took them 12 days from their last gun massacre to coordinate all levels of government for gun regulation. The regulations have worked.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:58:21 PM PST

  •  Our own assault weapons ban worked (3+ / 0-)

    until it went away:

    Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

    by jan4insight on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:56:15 PM PST

    •  At the time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I thought it was incredibly stupid to just let the assault weapons ban expire.

      Then, we had the village idiot in the White House, and now we have the Teabaggers in Congress.

      Incredibly stupid.

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:26:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only was Bush president, but didn't we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        also have a Repub congress at the time it expired? If so, of course it expired. Jesus himself couldn't have kept it under those conditions!

        Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

        by jan4insight on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:31:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ja. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We didn't get a Democratic congress until two years later, in 2006.

          But one would have hoped (without much real hope, to be honest) that even the GOP would recognize that letting assholes run around with military rifles was A Bad Thing For The Nation.

          Maybe we need more people assholes with military rifles gunning down GOPers to reinstate the assault weapons ban.../snark.

          To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

          by Youffraita on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 01:57:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  UK Law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Illegal possession of a firearm also does NOT incur a 6 month sentence.

    The mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years imprisonment.That mandatory minimum applies even when the offender pleads guilty. The maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment.

    Under UK law even replica guns and deactivated weapons are classed as real working guns for the purposes of prosecution. No difference is allowed for whether the weapon works, or whether it is loaded or not.

    Also note that those tariffs exclude any other additional charges involving "resisting" "aggravation" or "intent". Those additional offenses would increase the sentence.

    As the page at the link then indicates, the offender will, on release, then be prohibited for life from handling any type of firearm, including air rifles. Any further weapons related offenses, even ones involving improvised weapons, take in the previous guns related offense and increase the tariff for the latter offense.

    The sentences for gun crimes, as they are 5 years or more, are never "rehabilitated" and stay on your public record for life.

    We don't like criminals who play with bang bangs in the UK.

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