• Down The Rabbit Hole
    406
    What is the primary reason the murder rate in the United States is almost 5 times that of the United Kingdom?

    Source: https://www.statista.com/chart/3848/the-us-murder-rate-compared-to-other-countries/
    1. What is the prime reason? (33 votes)
        Difference in gun laws
        52%
        Difference in distribution of wealth
        15%
        Other
        33%
  • bert1
    1.2k
    This sounds like an inverted quora question. :)

    I have no idea of the answer
  • RolandTyme
    47
    Is the murder rate in Canada still much lower than the US? I remember it was from that Michael Moore documentary back in the day (Bowling for Columbine). Admittedly, I don't know how many guns per head of the population comparing the two.

    Also, is the murder rate uniform over the US? It's a humongous country.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    Is the murder rate in Canada still much lower than the US? I remember it was from that Michael Moore documentary back in the day (Bowling for Columbine). Admittedly, I don't know how many guns per head of the population comparing the two.RolandTyme

    The murder rate in Canada is only slightly higher than in the United Kingdom.

    Also, is the murder rate uniform over the US? It's a humongous country.RolandTyme

    San Diego, El Paso, San Jose, Austin, Virginia Beach, and New York City don't have a significantly higher murder rate than London (the highest of these, New York, has almost double that of London). But Detroit, and New Orleans, have about 22 times the murder rate of London, and Baltimore 31.

    Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/london-murder-rate_uk_5d05f0b8e4b0dc17ef0b1f25
  • Judaka
    1.3k

    Gang activity and access to guns, it's not just the US, all high countries with high homicide rates have these two problems. Unless there's civil unrest like in Iraq or South Africa.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    Add to gun "laws." Culture, ignorance, failure of education, and racism.
  • InvoluntaryDecorum
    37
    I wonder what it could be
  • Hanover
    8.5k
    Believe it or not, but I live in the US among many gun fanatics, and I have never known a person who was murdered. We can divide cultures and societies in many arbitrary ways. One of those are by political systems, which the OP does, by asking why things are the way they are in the US as a whole. If you divided it in other ways , as in those who I associate with, the murder rate is zero.

    The question then is why is the murder rate where I reside is as low as Sweden's, but not too far from me, it's very different, despite the fact that we live in the same country under the same laws? I'm not the first to point out that there are two Americas, but it's probably like 5 or 6 or maybe more.

    Don't misread anything I've said here to be some fucked up comment about violence being caused by race. It's not. My comments relate to class and the causes of the classist system.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    Add to gun "laws." Culture, ignorance, failure of education, and racism.tim wood

    You don't think the difference in distribution of wealth significantly contributes to the difference in murder rates?
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    Believe it or not, but I live in the US among many gun fanatics, and I have never known a person who was murdered. We can divide cultures and societies in many arbitrary ways. One of those are by political systems, which the OP does, by asking why things are the way they are in the US as a whole. If you divided it in other ways , as in those who I associate with, the murder rate is zero.

    The question then is why is the murder rate where I reside is as low as Sweden's, but not too far from me, it's very different, despite the fact that we live in the same country under the same laws? I'm not the first to point out that there are two Americas, but it's probably like 5 or 6 or maybe more.

    Don't misread anything I've said here to be some fucked up comment about violence being caused by race. It's not. My comments relate to class and the causes of the classist system.
    Hanover

    The gun laws are the same, or essentially the same, throughout the United States?

    San Diego, El Paso, San Jose, Austin, Virginia Beach, and New York City don't have a significantly higher murder rate than London (the highest of these, New York, has almost double that of London). But Detroit, and New Orleans, have about 22 times the murder rate of London, and Baltimore 31.Down The Rabbit Hole

    I assume Detroit, New Orleans and Baltimore are some of the poorest areas in the United States?

    If so, I am tempted to say the stark difference in murder rate is largely due to wealth inequality.
  • Hanover
    8.5k
    The gun laws are the same, or essentially the same, throughout the United States?Down The Rabbit Hole

    They are essentially the same throughout, some with more stringent rules than others, but all limited by the same Constitution as to how they may be regulated.. In my comment, though, I wasn't even leaving my specific jurisdiction. The murder rate among those I associate with (or have associated with) is zero. There are those within my state and my county that have had drastically different experiences though. I really can't recall seeing anyone openly carrying a firearm in a public place ever (other than a police officer). I do know that in certain more rural communities that may occur, but not so much around me.

    And it's not that I live in walled community or among the rich and famous. I live in middle class suburban Atlanta.
  • unenlightened
    6.8k
    The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose. — James Baldwin
  • Deleted User
    0


    Has nothing to do with gun laws, guns are inanimate. Gun wielders kill people, and specifically gun wielders with the premeditated idea of either killing people, or the potential of killing people, with very few exceptions. Abuse, ostracism, drug addiction, gang participation, poverty, and the mentality distinguished by regarding other humans as subjects without rights is what is leading to murder, not guns. Murderers are using many different means by which to murder. That's because they're murderers, they don't care about laws, or obtaining weapons legally.
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k


    Also, is the murder rate uniform over the US? It's a humongous country.RolandTyme

    The homicide rate is not at all uniform in 2017, varying from Louisiana, with 653 homicides--a rate of 12.4 per 100,000, to New Hampshire, with 17 homicides for a rate of 1 per 100,000. Very crudely, the SE quarter of the US has much higher homicide rates than the NW quarter of the US.

    Most, but not all, murders are committed with guns, but knives and blunt objects are also effective methods.

    It may surprise some, but a majority of Americans do not own guns.

    About 40% of Americans say they or someone in their household owns a gun, and 22% of individuals (about 72 million people) report owning a gun, according to surveys from Pew and Harvard and Northeastern. This figure has declined over time, down from 51% of gun-owning households in 1978. Gun purchases, however, have hit historic highs in recent years and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Fewer people own more guns, and far fewer use them to kill people. In 2020 there were 20,480 homicides in the US--a solid effort, one has to say, but in decades past the the rate of murder was higher--another sign of declining US productivity. People in Chicago, though, know how to get things done. In 2021 there were 849 homicides (any method). Chicago has a great web site for tracking murder and assault -- HEY JACKASS!. Sadly, other cities lack this one service.

    1100px-Intentional_Homicide_Rate_by_U.S._State.svg.png
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    You don't think the difference in distribution of wealth significantly contributes to the difference in murder rates?Down The Rabbit Hole

    No. In my opinion there has to be more to it to murder anyone. My guess is that most murders are committed by people themselves either born without appropriate values, or those values driven out of them, the more likely to occur in settings of extreme marginalization. If you're born and brought up without values or being valued or being taught such things, the more likely to murder - so I think.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    If you wanna know, murder rates may not give the complete picture because it counts only completed killings i.e. there's a dead person, a body count.

    Why not look at attempted murder rates? I'm sure all countries are more or less the same on that score. Access to lethal weapons means the fatality rates are higher, exactly what the data in the OP reflects.
  • tim wood
    8.4k
    The gun laws are the same, or essentially the same, throughout the United States?Down The Rabbit Hole

    Absolutely not. Each state has its own laws - in addition to federal laws. But class, culture, and education seem significant. Some western states have very liberal gun laws and high murder rates. Vermont, however, I believe has zero gun laws and almost no gun crime.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    There are those within my state and my county that have had drastically different experiences though.Hanover

    I'd say - the stats for Atlanta show 20.2 murders per 100,000 people (more than 12 times that of London). Guns were used in 82% of the homicides.

    And it's not that I live in walled community or among the rich and famous. I live in middle class suburban Atlanta.Hanover

    Not schmoozing with The Real Housewives of Atlanta? Even we on the other side of the Atlantic watch them. :lol:
  • Hanover
    8.5k
    I'd say - the stats for Atlanta show 20.2 murders per 100,000 people (more than 12 times that of London). Guns were used in 82% of the homicides.Down The Rabbit Hole

    And yet no one I know has ever known a person who was murdered, much less who was shot. What do you make of that? 55 years in this crime ridden city, and never even been pickpocketed.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    If you wanna know, murder rates may not give the complete picture because it counts only completed killings i.e. there's a dead person, a body count.

    Why not look at attempted murder rates? I'm sure all countries are more or less the same on that score. Access to lethal weapons means the fatality rates are higher, exactly what the data in the OP reflects.
    Agent Smith

    Good idea. I might struggle to find the figures, but worth a go.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    It may surprise some, but a majority of Americans do not own guns.

    About 40% of Americans say they or someone in their household owns a gun, and 22% of individuals (about 72 million people) report owning a gun, according to surveys from Pew and Harvard and Northeastern. This figure has declined over time, down from 51% of gun-owning households in 1978. Gun purchases, however, have hit historic highs in recent years and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Bitter Crank

    On the contrary, 40% of households with guns is surprisingly high to me. From American movies, I would guess guns are rampant in the South, but uncommon in California and middle class area.
  • Apollodorus
    3.4k


    I tend to doubt that "wealth distribution" has anything to do with it. Not all poor people are murderers, are they?

    I suspect culture may be a more important factor. For example, in some Muslim countries, there is a tradition of "honor killings". It's just like in street-gang culture, if someone "disrespects" you, then you shoot, stab, or acid them in order to restore your "respect" or "honor". And in some cases the wealthy are more violent than the poor because they tend to be more likely to get away with it.

    I would also guess that, in general, Americans tend to be more prone to acting on impulse or emotion than the British. This tendency seems to increase on a geographic scale from north (say, Canada) to south (Central and South America).

    And the same tends to apply to Europe. North Europeans, e.g. Scandinavians, tend to be less impulsive and emotional than South Europeans, e.g. Spaniards or Italians.

    Possession of guns may or may not induce people to use them, but I think you would need to have the cultural and psychological predisposition before you pick up a gun or some other weapon.
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k
    One of the issues in gun ownership is gun type. In many states quite a few hunt deer, ducks, geese, pheasants, turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, etc. with rifles. While a rifle certainly is an effective weapons against their fellow humans, they aren't convenient to tuck into one's pants and whip out if somebody threatens one with a discordant opinion, or something similarly intolerable.

    The larger problem is handguns, which are very portable and pretty much concealable. You can even buy plastic guns over the internet which are not picked up on metal scanners.

    My view is that there are far too many guns of all kinds in the USA. However, they are here now -- at least 1 per person, averaging out the total supply, and there isn't any acceptable way to round them up. While I loathe the slogan, it is true that guns don't kill people ON THEIR OWN--people do. Most people who own guns do not shoot other people. They could, but they don't. That fact doesn't make me feel better, but it a good idea to keep it in mind.

    55% of households in Mississippi own guns, 28% of California households own guns. The state I live in, Minnesota, has a gun rate of 42% and a low rates of gun violence.

    Most of the shooters and victims of gun violence are decidedly NOT middle class.
  • ssu
    6k
    Also, is the murder rate uniform over the US? It's a humongous country.RolandTyme
    Compare Chicago's or New Orleans murder rate to other cities or places.

    arthur-murderchicago.png

    ...or a place with a Narco-War like Mexico:

    Homicide_Rate_Mexico.png
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    And yet no one I know has ever known a person who was murdered, much less who was shot. What do you make of that? 55 years in this crime ridden city, and never even been pickpocketed.Hanover

    I'm guessing you're in one of the safest areas on Atlanta's crime map?

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/crime-maps-aws.neighborhoodscout.com/atlanta-ga-crime-map.png
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    406


    My view is that there are far too many guns of all kinds in the USA. However, they are here now -- at least 1 per person, averaging out the total supply, and there isn't any acceptable way to round them up.Bitter Crank

    What do you think outlawing guns (like the UK does) would do to the US murder rate?
  • Bitter Crank
    10.9k
    What do you think outlawing guns (like the UK does) would do to the US murder rate?Down The Rabbit Hole

    The likelihood of the US Congress and 38 states approving a constitutional amendment repealing the Second Amendment and banning gun possession is zero, or close to it. Even if this were done, there are so many guns already in possession (by about 1/3 of the adult population) gun violence would remain a problem.

    If gun and ammunition manufacture and sale were ended, it would take time for the existing supplies of ammunition to be used up. Some of those bullets would be used to kill people intentionally. Eventually, gun violence would decline; it might take quite a while.

    Now, let me point out again -- as anti-hand gun and anti-assault weapons as I am -- a very small percent of gun owners shoot people. Those who do shoot other people almost always use hand guns. [Of course, mass murders with rifles or assault weapons are an egregious exception.] A large share of hand gun deaths are among young minority males, generally in urban areas, who often are at least relatively poor, may be involved in the drug trade, and may be involved in gangs.

    So, the problem of gratuitous violence also requires changes in the urban environment (economically, socially, educationally, medically, and so on).

    One can kill other people with devices besides guns. A large rock will work if nothing else is available. A highly motivated individual can do it with his bare hands.
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