According to the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’, in 2013 deaths from gun violence in the US were as follows:
3.5 homicides per 100,000 citizens
6.6 suicides per 100,000 citizens
0.25 accidental deaths per 100,000 citizens
Therefore, 10.35 people per 100,000 citizens died from guns in the US that year.
In Australia, in 2013 the deaths from gun violence was as follows:
0.16 homicides per 100,000 citizens
0.74 suicides per 100,000 citizens
0.04 accidental deaths per 100,000 citizens
Therefore, 0.94 people per 100,000 citizens died from guns in Australia that year.
Because these statistics are per 100,000 citizens, they are independent of population, so the fact that the USA has a population of about 324 million, while Australia has a population of about 24 million is immaterial, except when you multiply those death rates by the population to give you the number of fatalities. In Australia, 225 people were killed by guns, while in the USA, it was 33,534. So, every three years, the US loses the same number of people as were killed fighting the Japanese in the 3 years and nine months of the Pacific theatre of WW2 (i.e. about 100,000). For Australia, it would take 77 years to accumulate the same number of losses from gun violence as we lost in the Pacific theatre (i.e. about 17,500).
The US National Rifle Association (NRA) was shit-scared when President Obama made note of the Australian gun control legislation in a speech he gave some time ago. They therefore wrote an article entitled ‘Australia: there will be blood’. It is probably worth going through it bit by bit.
They state that a ‘spectre is haunting America – the spectre of gun confiscation’. They then go on to mention Obama’s ‘praise’ of the tightening of gun laws after the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre in which 35 people were killed. Obama said “It was just so shocking—the entire country said, ‘Well, we’re going to completely change our gun laws,’ and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.”
The NRA article then states that these gun laws were not just stricter they involved a mass confiscation. This is a lie, the Australian government did not confiscate these weapons, they bought them and destroyed them. There was overwhelming support for the measures from the populace, and the disgruntled numbered in their thousands at most.
The NRA then included a couple of quotes, one from a gun collector who was forced to hand his guns in after 40 years of collecting, and another from a retired chief inspector of police who said “It’s become very, very obvious … that the expenditure of half a billion dollars has done absolutely nothing to reduce crime.” The NRA piece finishes with a flourish by stating that: “It robbed Australians of their right to self-defense (sic) and empowered criminals, all without delivering the promised reduction in violent crime.” It hasn’t reduced crime in general, but the risk of an average person dying from gunshot wounds has dropped by 50%. Perhaps the most startling was the decline in gun related suicides, which dropped 50% in the 2 years after the laws were enacted.
The western world looks at the gun laws in the United States and does not wish to emulate them. They just shake their heads in disbelief at the stupidity of the easy availability of guns, such that in the US, in the first 4 months of 2016, toddlers shot 23 people, 11 of whom died. Nine of the fatalities were toddlers themselves. Indeed, in those 4 months, toddlers killed more people than were killed by terrorists.
Americans say they are the land of the free and the home of the brave, but their freedoms are much the same as any other western democracy. However, the freedom they seem to want to cling to more than any other country is the freedom to die in a hail of bullets. And they keep being told, by the NRA, that this is an important freedom to have! It is amazing how gullible some people are.