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      06-29-2010, 01:59 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by scollins View Post
And finally, with respect to crime, let's look at some specifics. According to the Home Office report on Crime for 2008/2009, "Police recorded crime" was measured at 4.7 million crimes (page 2.) On Page 6, it details the percentage breakdown of the various categories. It shows that "Violence against the person" was 19% of the total, "Sexual offences" were 1% and "Robbery" was 2%. That comes to 22% of the total of 4.7 millions crimes for a "Violent crime" tally of 1,034,000.

The FBI defines "Violent crime" like this: "violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault." According to the FBI, in 2008 Violent crimes were committed 1,382,012 times, which is nearly 350,000 more violent crimes than seen in the UK and Wales. So the UK/Wales must be safer than the USA, right?


BUT!!!! Let's look at those rates per 100,000 population. Population figures sourced from:
UK 2010 Est. Population: 61,284,806.
US 2010 Est. Population: 310,232,863.

So the UK has roughly 1,687 violent crimes per 100,000 people while the US has only 445 violent crimes per 100,000 people. You are FOUR times more likely to be a victim of violent crime in the UK than the US!
I think our countries have a slightly different definition of "violent crime". Yours is actual violence. Ours is anything the complainant considers violent, which by law defines anything from a light bruise upwards. That Violence against the Person stat you quoted includes someone slapping someone else in a nightclub bitchfight, your stats are all aggravated assault upwards.

As for the relative levels of crime, you'd be amazed how many of those crimes are carried out by drunk people against drunk people - we have a binge drinking problem that ties up a lot of police resources on Friday and Saturday nights. The actual risk for normal people is minimal - 4% risk of violent crime for men, 2% for women. Crime levels are at their lowest since the current survey began in 1981, with incidences of violent crime (even our very broad measure) falling 43% over the last 15 years.

Like I said, I don't need a gun to protect me from muggers or burglars because I'm not under threat from them. In the possibility that one day I do get mugged I don't need a gun to protect me from their gun because they don't have a gun either. But I suspect that in America like here a lot of crime gets concentrated in small areas - outside certain parts of cities, the gun "for protection" is almost certainly protecting you from a perceived threat rather than an actual one, isn't it? Or do armed intruders routinely come into homes in America?

You can quote whatever spurious statistics you like to prove your case, on a like for like basis my society is less violent than yours. If your argument was that we need tooling up, how would that reduce crime? If I carry a gun won't the muggers and burglars (that aren't actually there because you misquoted the stats but never mind) do the same? Would I feel safer pointing my gun at someone pointing their gun at me rather than neither of us being armed?

And THAT is the cultural difference - feeling "safe" without a weapon. I can respect America's view on guns. I don't agree with it, I'd not want to live with your murder rates, but its a free world.