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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Could Benghazi Attack Sink Obama Election Victory?

In Uncategorized on October 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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Gun Violence, Media and Politics

In media, Uncategorized on July 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Federally-supported gun violence intervention ...

Federally-supported gun violence intervention program (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since the Colorado massacre, debate has been raging in the media over America’s gun laws.  Republican pundits such as Bill O’Reilly and Greg Gutfeld have referenced similar cases of shootings in countries not traditionally associated with  gun violence,  like the horrific rampage in a Norwegian summer camp  in 2011, to make the case that the issue is the psychological profile of the individuals committing the crimes, and not America’s gun laws which need to be reviewed.

Certainly, in the case of  Jared Loughner who killed six bystanders and shot thirteen others, including US representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last year, fellow classmates had expressed concern over his psychological state.

With the scandal over 28 year old George Zimmerman’s shooting of an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin having only just disappeared from the media spotlight, to claim that other countries suffer from as much gun violence if not more seems besides the point.  The CDC US crime survey taken in 2005 puts the total firearm related death rate in the US at 10.27 per 100,000 population. This is somewhere in-between Mexico and the Philippines, but significantly higher than Argentina. According to these statistics, the US homicide rate is only slightly lower than that of Zimbabwe.

List of countries by firearm-related death rate

This is a historical list of countries by firearm-related death-rate per 100,000 population in one year.

Country Total firearm-related death rate Homicides Suicides Unintentional deaths Year Sources and notes
 South Africa 74.57 74.57 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Colombia 51.77 51.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 El Salvador 50.36 50.36 NA NA 2009 OAS 2011[2]
 Jamaica 47.44 47.44 NA NA 2009 OAS 2011[2]
 Honduras 46.70 46.70 NA NA 2007 OAS 2011[2]
 Guatemala 38.52 38.52 NA NA 2009 OAS 2011[2]
 Swaziland 37.16 37.16 NA NA 2004 UNODC 2006[2]
 Brazil 14.15 10.58 0.73 0.28 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Panama 12.92 12.92 NA NA 2010 OAS 2011[2]
 Estonia 12.74 8.07 3.13 0.93 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Mexico 12.07 9.88 0.91 1.27 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 United States 10.27 4.14 5.71 0.23 2004-2006 CDC[4]
 Philippines 9.46 9.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Argentina 9.19 2.11 3.05 0.32 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Paraguay 7.35 7.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Nicaragua 7.14 7.14 NA NA 2007 OAS 2011[2]
 Finland 6.86 0.86 5.78 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Northern Ireland 6.82 5.24 1.34 0.12 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Switzerland 6.4 0.58 5.61 0.13 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 France 6.35 0.44 5.14 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Canada 4.78 0.76 3.72 0.22 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Zimbabwe 4.75 4.75 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Austria 4.56 0.42 4.06 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Norway 4.39 0.3 3.95 0.12 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Portugal 3.72 1.28 1.28 0.21 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belgium 3.48 0.6 2.56 0.06 1990 Krug 1998[3]
 Costa Rica 3.32 3.32 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Uruguay 3.24 3.24 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Slovenia 3.07 0.35 2.51 0.2 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Barbados 3 3 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Israel 3 0.72 1.84 0.13 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Italy 2.95 1.66 1.11 0.11 1992 Krug 1998[3]
 Australia 2.94 0.44 2.35 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 New Zealand 2.66 0.17 2.14 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Denmark 2.6 0.23 2.25 0.04 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Azerbaijan 2.38 1.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Sweden 2.36 0.18 2.09 0.03 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Slovakia 2.17 2.17 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Peru 1.87 1.87 NA NA 2009 OAS 2011[2]
 Czech Republic 1.77 1.77 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Germany 1.57 0.22 1.17 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Greece 1.5 0.59 0.84 0.04 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Republic of Macedonia 1.28 1.28 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Kuwait 1.25 0.36 0.06 0 1995 Krug 1998[3]
 Hungary 1.21 0.23 0.88 0.09 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Ireland 1.21 0.03 0.94 0.11 1991 Krug 1998[3]
 Latvia 1.2 1.2 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 India 0.93 0.93 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Spain 0.9 0.21 0.43 0.25 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Bulgaria 0.77 0.77 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Netherlands 0.7 0.36 0.31 0.01 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Scotland 0.58 0.19 0.33 0.02 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Moldova 0.47 0.47 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Lithuania 0.46 0.46 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 England/ Wales 0.46 0.07 0.33 0.01 2002 Krug 1998[3]
 Taiwan 0.42 0.13 0.12 0.11 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Belarus 0.38 0.38 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Ukraine 0.35 0.35 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 Poland 0.29 0.29 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
 Singapore 0.24 0.07 0.17 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Hong Kong 0.19 0.12 0.07 0 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Mauritius 0.19 0 0.09 0.09 1993 Krug 1998[3]
 Qatar 0.18 0.18 NA NA 2000 UNODC 2000[1]
 South Korea 0.13 0.04 0.02 0.05 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Japan 0.07 0.02 0.04 0 1994 Krug 1998[3]
 Chile 0.06 0.06 NA NA 2002 UNODC 2002[5]
Source: Wikipedia.org

Protecting Second Amendment rights is a hot-button issue for most Americans, but the fact is the misuse of firearms is a cultural problem. US citizens were appalled when then senator Obama commented in 2008:

“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them,” Obama said. “And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” .

Perhaps it’s time to consider, was he really so wrong? A couple of days ago, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises and a chill went down my spine as Ann Hathaway’s character commented to Batman during an action scene “I know how you feel about using guns, but…”. It may only be a Hollywood movie, but guns are as characteristically American as apple pie. It’s figuring out how to manage them that presents the hardest task.