Sunday, February 17, 2013

Further Parsing UN Gun Murder Data

On Friday, to answer a challenge from a friend who maintained that the UK had as high or higher of a murder rate than the US, I went search for some statistics from a reliable source. And sure enough, I found some good clean data complements of the UN's office of Drugs and Violent Crime. It has some excellent data for anyone desiring to compare violent crime rates across countries.

Based on that analysis (posted here), it appears that my friend was quite wrong. The US homicide rate was over 3 times that of England's. But we were left with one final question to be answered: "Does the legal Right to Bear Arms impact the overall homicide rate?

The answer is, "It depends." The deciding factor is whether or not I include the USA. Because without the US, it turns out that there is no difference whether or not "the right to bear arms" was offered or not.


I took only first World countries in this sample -- because like the US, they have stable governments. The list included the following countries.

  • Right To Bear Arms: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and United States
  • No Gun Rights: Australia, England & Wales, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Spain.
Here is what I came up with....

Avg Homicide Rates Based on Right to Arms Laws (With USA)

Yes No Diff Diff %
Gun 0.9 0.3 0.7 250%
Overall 2.0 1.5 0.5 35%


Avg Homicide Rates Based on Right to Arms Laws (Without USA)

Yes No Diff Diff %
Gun 0.5 0.3 0.3 99%
Overall 1.5 1.5 0.0 0%

So, it turns out that another NRA talking point is in question. Since the Right to Carry has little impact on homicide rates if we remove the USA, it will likely have limited impact on other violent crime rates. More on this as I continue to dig into the numbers..

Data Source: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html

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