T Nation

USA: Why So Much (Gun) Violence?

Hello. I am a danish 15-year old kiddo, who have to go to the english exam, the oral one, in two weeks. My subject is about gun-violence, the first part about Virginia Tech, the last part about general gun violence. I have seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and the way he shows it, America have alot more gun-violence than Canada or any other countries.

It was, as far as I can remember, 12.000 yearly gun-homicides in the States versus fx. 300 kills in Germany. USA has only 3.5 as many people as Germany, but the gun-kill-rate is 40 times as big. How come? Is it the media, that does it?

Is it because the guns are so easy to get (compared to Denmark, there’s no guns at all you can buy and it’s probably hard to get over the borders too, and there’s strict rules about hunting-rifles)? Or how come? Would it ‘stop’ if the NRA got closed? Probably some of you guys living in the States would know better.

Please come with all the input you guys have and keep a civil discussion, so I can get an A+ :slight_smile:

[quote]Misterhamper wrote:
Hello. I am a danish 15-year old kiddo, who have to go to the english exam, the oral one, in two weeks. My subject is about gun-violence, the first part about Virginia Tech, the last part about general gun violence. I have seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and the way he shows it, America have alot more gun-violence than Canada or any other countries.

It was, as far as I can remember, 12.000 yearly gun-homicides in the States versus fx. 300 kills in Germany. USA has only 3.5 as many people as Germany, but the gun-kill-rate is 40 times as big. How come? Is it the media, that does it?

Is it because the guns are so easy to get (compared to Denmark, there’s no guns at all you can buy and it’s probably hard to get over the borders too, and there’s strict rules about hunting-rifles)? Or how come? Would it ‘stop’ if the NRA got closed? Probably some of you guys living in the States would know better. [/quote]

Of course, the availability of guns plays an important role in the staggering figures of homocides in the US. I personally don’t believe it has little to do with violence on TV or culture. I think most of the blame is on savage capitalism that leaves a huge gap between the haves and have-nots. When a kid can’t afford to go to school, and sees someone driving a half-million dollars car, chances are that he’ll get pissed and shoot himself out of poverty.

It’s a contemporary version of the wild west.

For a detailed account of the homocide numbers by country, check out the Wiki:

A piece of advice, when asking for help on the web, NEVER say that it’s for your school work. A better way to get what you want, would be to show that you have a genuine interest in the topic.

Best of luck,

[quote]Misterhamper wrote:
Hello. I am a danish 15-year old kiddo, who have to go to the english exam, the oral one, in two weeks. My subject is about gun-violence, the first part about Virginia Tech, the last part about general gun violence. I have seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and the way he shows it, America have alot more gun-violence than Canada or any other countries.
[/quote]

That “documentary” was garbage.

Read this link:

http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

Compare German to Swiss gun crime. Switzerland is loaded with guns.

It is not the guns in America that cause the problems it is many other factors. Varied population, the deterioration of American cities, drug crime etc.

It would not stop at all. The most murders already happen in places with the most restrictive gun laws.

[quote]

Please come with all the input you guys have and keep a civil discussion, so I can get an A+ :)[/quote]

Will your teacher give you an A+ if your paper is pro-gun rights?

#1. availability

you can buy these toys just about anywhere even if you have a ‘record’ in your background

#2. culture

broadly, our Wild West history, the US constitution, the NRA, Hollywood, lack of good education and social/emotional support for people, societal acceptance of rage and anger (road rage for example), acceptance of physical and verbal violence as an alternative instead of it being the last resort (to one another and at the foreign policy level) and the drug war. i am just scratching the surface here–there is much more to this.

I think, historically, that you’ll find there has always been violent crime associated with poverty. Add availability to the mix and there you have it.

The more people you can educate and give a good job making them relatively well off, creating a larger middle class, the less people will turn to crime.

And no, for the pinheads, I’m not suggesting that richer people do not also commit crimes, but it can often be of a different type.

http://www.reason.com/topics/topic/163.html?pg=3

[quote]lixy wrote:
Of course, the availability of guns plays an important role in the staggering figures of homocides in the US. [b]I personally don’t believe it has little to do with violence on TV or culture. I think most of the blame is on savage capitalism that leaves a huge gap between the haves and have-nots. When a kid can’t afford to go to school, and sees someone driving a half-million dollars car, chances are that he’ll get pissed and shoot himself out of poverty.

It’s a contemporary version of the wild west.[/b]

[/quote]

Lixy did well at first, but then fell apart miserably with this post.

lixy is right in that the homicide numbers are cultural in their origin rather than rising just from availability of guns. And no, removing guns wouldn’t reduce the crime rate at all. It would increase it drastically, judging from data gathered from American cities.

However, lixy then went off on his pet ‘money divide’ theory that is laughably stupid to anybody who lives here in America. Seriously, that part I bolded is priceless in its idiocy.

MisterHamper, I suggest you do two things:

1.) Disregard Michael Moore. The guy is a pure liar. He doesn’t make propaganda, he makes straight lies. Do not rely on his material. Don’t even use his material.

2.) Research Miami, FL, Washington D.C., and Kennesaw, GA gun laws and crime rates.

DC has restrictive gun laws and one of the highest crime rates in America. Miami had one of the highest crime rates in America, loosened their gun laws, and have seen their violent crime rates plummet. Kennesaw enacted mandatory gun ownership laws, and have seen their violent crime rate drop near to zero.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
DC has restrictive gun laws and one of the highest crime rates in America. [/quote]

Along with one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.

The top 20 percent of households in D.C. have an average yearly income of $186,830, 31 times that of the bottom 20 percent, which earns only $6,126 per year.

http://www.washingtonobserver.org/en/document.cfm?documentid=4&charid=3

I’m no sociologist, but when I see the even distribution of wealth in the city where I am, and the non-existing crime, I can draw the appropriate conclusions.

The Price of Freedom:

If a citizenry has no weapons, then a government can abuse the citizens with impunity. Democracy came into full flower when cheap and readily available guns came about. Let’s face it: humans love to exert power over defenseless others. Hard to abuse your people though, if they can shoot the abusers in the face.

The gun, especially the handgun, is the greatest liberator in the history of the world.

Many thanks for the answers. Please keep them coming.
I have done some research on the last subject, but I really didn’t know what to research on, but now I have something more solid to look into. :slight_smile:

But please, still let the discussion roll.

I would be interested to know how the US would fair with other nations if the statistics(%)were based just on violent crimes against others. I doubt you could find believable stats.

Why differentiate between a shooting, stabbing, or clubbing?

If I’m not mistaken, most of the Tustis’ weren’t shot.

[quote]lixy wrote:
tGunslinger wrote:
DC has restrictive gun laws and one of the highest crime rates in America.

Along with one of the biggest gaps between rich and poor.

The top 20 percent of households in D.C. have an average yearly income of $186,830, 31 times that of the bottom 20 percent, which earns only $6,126 per year.

http://www.washingtonobserver.org/en/document.cfm?documentid=4&charid=3

I’m no sociologist, but when I see the even distribution of wealth in the city where I am, and the non-existing crime, I can draw the appropriate conclusions.[/quote]

Even if that were true, you basically argue that people no longer need to steal for themselves if the government does it for them.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Misterhamper wrote:
Hello. I am a danish 15-year old kiddo, who have to go to the english exam, the oral one, in two weeks. My subject is about gun-violence, the first part about Virginia Tech, the last part about general gun violence. I have seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and the way he shows it, America have alot more gun-violence than Canada or any other countries.

That “documentary” was garbage.

Read this link:

http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

It was, as far as I can remember, 12.000 yearly gun-homicides in the States versus fx. 300 kills in Germany. USA has only 3.5 as many people as Germany, but the gun-kill-rate is 40 times as big. How come? Is it the media, that does it?

Compare German to Swiss gun crime. Switzerland is loaded with guns.

It is not the guns in America that cause the problems it is many other factors. Varied population, the deterioration of American cities, drug crime etc.

Is it because the guns are so easy to get (compared to Denmark, there’s no guns at all you can buy and it’s probably hard to get over the borders too, and there’s strict rules about hunting-rifles)? Or how come? Would it ‘stop’ if the NRA got closed? Probably some of you guys living in the States would know better.

It would not stop at all. The most murders already happen in places with the most restrictive gun laws.

Please come with all the input you guys have and keep a civil discussion, so I can get an A+ :slight_smile:

Will your teacher give you an A+ if your paper is pro-gun rights?[/quote]

[edit]
Good post. And thanks for the link on Moore. I regrettably lost respect for Heston after Moore’s movie. That now has been restored. The fact that the public, (myself included), gets sucked in by this clown is sad.[/quote]

Serious funding for policing and schooling might be appropriate for problem areas… but that would require taxation.

I would look towards young black males, and hispanics. Especially black on black crime. The numbers are staggering. I really hope I don’t get lectured for bringing it up. It’s not something that can be overlooked, and it would be tragic to do so.

Our drug laws are a big factor, in my opinion. They create a violent criminal element, where the only “crime” would have been against one’s self. And no, I don’t use any recreational drugs.

Furthermore, I’m a believer in the right to ownership. However, I think a nation has to have a solid moral backbone for freedoms like that. I think the US has slipped in that regard, and we’ve seen gun violence skyrocket in the last couple decades.

While I’m not a believer in government enforced morality, it would be nice to see “shame” reintroduced in the private sector.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
The Price of Freedom:

If a citizenry has no weapons, then a government can abuse the citizens with impunity. Democracy came into full flower when cheap and readily available guns came about. Let’s face it: humans love to exert power over defenseless others. Hard to abuse your people though, if they can shoot the abusers in the face.

The gun, especially the handgun, is the greatest liberator in the history of the world.[/quote]

I really don’t feel like getting into the gun-rights fight today, but HH I want to know why you think it is the handgun and not the military pattern rifle that carries your distinction as the liberator? If the cops come over to violate my liberty my handgun isn’t going to stop them, my AK is.

mike

[quote]Misterhamper wrote:
Hello. I am a danish 15-year old kiddo, who have to go to the english exam, the oral one, in two weeks. My subject is about gun-violence, the first part about Virginia Tech, the last part about general gun violence. I have seen Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” and the way he shows it, America have alot more gun-violence than Canada or any other countries.

It was, as far as I can remember, 12.000 yearly gun-homicides in the States versus fx. 300 kills in Germany. USA has only 3.5 as many people as Germany, but the gun-kill-rate is 40 times as big. How come? Is it the media, that does it?

Is it because the guns are so easy to get (compared to Denmark, there’s no guns at all you can buy and it’s probably hard to get over the borders too, and there’s strict rules about hunting-rifles)? Or how come? Would it ‘stop’ if the NRA got closed? Probably some of you guys living in the States would know better.

Please come with all the input you guys have and keep a civil discussion, so I can get an A+ :)[/quote]

Here’s a solid compilation of stats for you:

mike

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I would look towards young black males, and hispanics. Especially black on black crime. The numbers are staggering. I really hope I don’t get lectured for bringing it up. It’s not something that can be overlooked, and it would be tragic to do so.[/quote]

You may be surprised to learn that underneath their skin color, blacks and hispanics are actually people like you and I.

I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true.

Maybe you should look a little deeper to find out where the problems arise from, instead of ceasing your investigation here.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I would look towards young black males, and hispanics. Especially black on black crime. The numbers are staggering. I really hope I don’t get lectured for bringing it up. It’s not something that can be overlooked, and it would be tragic to do so.

You may be surprised to learn that underneath their skin color, blacks and hispanics are actually people like you and I.

I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true.

Maybe you should look a little deeper to find out where the problems arise from, instead of ceasing your investigation here.[/quote]

Woah! I made no conclusions as to why hispancis and blacks are grossly overrepresented. Sorry man, but you jumped the gun (pardon the pun) on this one. These minorities are not only over represented as perps in gun violence, but also as victims to gun violence.

Even when compared against other minority groups. As for the reasons why? That alone is an ongoing debate. It’s something he, as the student, should research and report. I’m not doing his homework for him.

And, it wasn’t the only angle I gave him. I suggested looking at the possibility that drugs laws create more violence.

Or, for him to explore a general decline in morality.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Sloth wrote:
I would look towards young black males, and hispanics. Especially black on black crime. The numbers are staggering. I really hope I don’t get lectured for bringing it up. It’s not something that can be overlooked, and it would be tragic to do so.

You may be surprised to learn that underneath their skin color, blacks and hispanics are actually people like you and I.

I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true.

Maybe you should look a little deeper to find out where the problems arise from, instead of ceasing your investigation here.[/quote]

Got to make one other reply to this. What exactly prompted your reply? I’m not able to identify any statements in my post devaluing the humanity or equality of minority groups. And, I certainly didn’t claim race itself was the reason for the over-representation.

I had a feeling that someone was going to read way too much into what I wrote. Even if it was a valid sub-topic for his paper.