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Crime statistics

Jun 13, 1997 12:08 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

Pat, I think you are making a very wrong interpretation of a
statistic when you say "Where gun ownership is highest, crime
rates are lowest."  Might as well say "Where population density
is lowest..."  Because the high gun-ownership is by hunters in
rural parts of the country, where of course crime rates are
low.  Now if you looked at *handgun* ownership I bet you you
would find that where it's highest, crime rates are highest.

Second, about comparative statistics, re JRC's comments.  It's
true that the UK has *very* low murder rates.  But it's also
true that those talking heads who say ours in the US is way
higher than other Western industrialized countries are full of
crap.  The Netherlands has a higher murder rate than ours, and
Sweden, Russia and Italy are right behind us in the top 25.
(We're 19, Netherlands 14.  Don't go to Swaziland, #1, or the
Bahamas, #2.)  Another shocker was that *property* crime rates
are higher in almost all the "more civilized" countries,
including Canada, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Holland,
and others, than here.  Comparisons are tricky, but even so.

Another false statistic we hear often is that out-of-wedlock
births are drastically higher here than in Western Europe,
etc.  Iceland is I think around 49% and many other countries
are ahead of us.  It's *teenage mothers* that we rank near the
top on, because of ignorance/lack of birth control, which I blame on
the anti-abortion religious right.  There'd probably be a lot
fewer abortions if they weren't also opposing widespread birth
control information.

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