Presentation on theme: "Invited Presentation World Forum on Shooting Activities Gary Mauser Professor emeritus."— Presentation transcript:
Invited Presentation World Forum on Shooting Activities Gary Mauser Professor emeritus
Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide? A review of international evidence
Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Spring 2007 Vol 30 (2) Don B. Kates Gary A. Mauser
Don B. Kates o American Criminologist o Professor of law (ret.) o Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco, CA, USA Gary A. Mauser o Canadian criminologist o Professor emeritus o Simon Fraser University Burnaby, BC, Canada
Claim The United States has the industrialized worlds highest murder rate because of high availability of guns Facts Russia has a much higher murder rate In general, higher gun ownership rates are associated with lower homicide rates (both internationally and intra-nationally)
Comparing homicide rates: United States and Russia (per 100,000 people) YearUSARussia (USSR) 1960s5.514 1990s8.124 20025.620.5 20095.015
Claim Europe has low murder rates because of stringent gun control Facts Europe had low murder rates before gun controls introduced in twentieth century Research does not support effectiveness of stringent gun controls
Notes, Tables 1 – 2 Tables 1 - 2 cover all the Continental European nations for which the two data sets given are both available. In every case we have given the homicide data for 2003 or the closest year thereto because that is the year of the publication from which the gun ownership data are taken. That publication is the Graduate Institute of International Studies, SMALL ARMS SURVEY 2003 (Oxford U. Press 2003) at pp. 64 and 65, tables The homicide rate data come from the pamphlets JURISTAT: Homicide in Canada (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics) for the years 2001-04.
Table 1 Gun ownership and murder rates NationMurder rate (per 100,000) Gun ownership (guns per 100,000) Murder rate year Russia20.544,0002002 Lithuania11.7001998 Hungary2.222,0002003 Finland1.9839,0002004 Sweden1.8724,0002001 Poland1.791,5002003 France1.6530,0002003
Table 1 (contd) Gun ownership and murder rates NationMurder rate (per 100,000) Gun ownership (guns per 100,000) Murder rate year Denmark1.2118,0002003 Holland1.203002002 Greece1.1211,0002003 Switzerland0.9916,0002003 Germany0.9910,0002003 Luxembourg0.9002002 Norway0.8136,0002001 Austria0.8017,0002002
Banning handguns Restricting access to handguns does not correlate with lower murder rates Countries that ban handguns typically have higher murder rates than neighboring countries
Table 2 Comparing murder rates of neighboring European nations NationHandgun policyMurder rate (per 100,000) Year BelarusBanned10.4Late 1990s PolandAllowed1.982003 RussiaBanned20.542002
Table 2 contd Comparing murder rates of neighboring European nations NationHandgun policyMurder rate (per 100,000) Year RussiaBanned20.542002 FinlandAllowed1.982004 NorwayAllowed0.812001
Explanatory Note to Table 3 It bears emphasis that the following data come from a special U.N. report whose data are not fully comparable to those in Tables 1 and 2 because they cover different years and derive from substantially differing sources.
Do ordinary people murder? Table 3 shows European countries with descending order of murder rate No apparent correlation between murder and civilian firearms ownership
Table 3 - Eastern Europe Gun ownership and murder rates NationMurder rate (year)Rate of gun ownership Russia20.54 4,000 Moldova8.13 1,000 Slovakia2.65 3,000 Romania2.50 300 Macedonia2.31 16,000 Hungary2.22 2,000
Table 3 (contd) - Eastern Europe Gun ownership and murder rates NationMurder rate (year)Rate of gun ownership Finland1.98 39,000 Poland1.79 1,500 Slovenia1.81 5,000 Cz. Republic1.69 5,000 Greece1.69 11,000
Is the United States uniquely violent? Table 4 shows countries in descending order of combined murder and suicide rates The United States does not have the highest intentional death rate. It falls midway in this collection
Table 4 – Intentional Deaths: United States vs. Continental Europe NationSuicideMurderCombined rates Russia41.230.671.8 Estonia40.122.262.3 Latvia40.718.258.9 Lithuania45.611.757.3 Belarus27.910.438.3 Hungary32.93.536.4 Ukraine22.511.333.8 Slovenia28.42.430.4 Finland27.22.930.1
Table 4 (contd) – Intentional Deaths: United States vs. Continental Europe NationSuicideMurderCombined rates Denmark22.34.927.2 Croatia22.83.326.1 Austria22.21.023.2 Bulgaria188.8.131.52 France184.108.40.206 Switzerland220.127.116.11 Belgium18.71.720.4 United States11.67.819.4 Poland14.22.817.0
Table 4 (contd) – Intentional Deaths: United States vs. Continental Europe NationSuicideMurderCombined rates Germany18.104.22.168 Romania22.214.171.124 Sweden15.31.016.3 Norway12.30.813.1 Holland126.96.36.199 Italy188.8.131.52 Portugal184.108.40.206 Spain220.127.116.11 Greece18.104.22.168
Notes, Table 4 1. Based in general on U.N. D EMOGRAPHIC Y EARBOOK (1998) as reported in David C. Stolinsky, "America: The Most Violent Nation?" M EDICAL S ENTINEL v. 5 (# 6 2000) 199-201. It should be understood that, though the 1998 YEARBOOK gives figures for as late as 1996, the figures are not necessarily for that year. The YEARBOOK contains the latest figure each nation has provided the U.N. which may be 1996, 1995, or 1994. 2. The Swiss homicide figure Stolinsky, supra, reports is an error because it combines attempts with actual murders. We have computed the Swiss murder rate by averaging the 1994 and 1995 Swiss National Police figures for actual murders in those years given in R.A.I. Munday & J.A. Stevenson, GUNS AND VIOLENCE: THE DEBATE BEFORE LORD CULLEN (Essex, Eng., Piedmont: 1996) at p. 268.
More guns, more death? Does access to firearms by civilians increase murder rates and suicide rates? No apparent correlation between total intentional death rate and civilian firearms ownership
Table 5 European Gun/Handgun Violent Death NationSuicide w /handgun Murder w/ handgun Percent households w/ guns Percent households w/ handguns Belgium18.71.716.6%6.8% France22.214.171.124%5.5% W Germany126.96.36.199%6.7% Holland188.8.131.52%1.2% Italy8.21.716%5.5% Norway12.30.832%3.8% Sweden15.31.315.1%1.5% Switzerland184.108.40.206%12.2%
Notes, Table 5 1. As to derivation of the homicide rates see Table 1, note 1. The data on household firearms ownership come from British Home Office figures printed in R.A.I. Munday & J.A. Stevenson, GUNS AND VIOLENCE: THE DEBATE BEFORE LORD CULLEN (Essex, Eng., Piedmont: 1996) pp. 30 and 275.
Table 6 European Firearms-Violent Deaths NationSuicideSuicide with gun MurderMurder with gun Guns per 100,000 population AustriaN/A 2.140.5441.02 Belarus27.26N/A9.86N/A16.5 Czech Rep.9.881.012.800.9227.58 Estonia39.993.63220.127.116.11 Finland27.285.783.250.87411.20 Germany15.801.231.810.21122.56 Greece3.541.301.330.5577.00
Table 6 (contd) European Firearms-Violent Deaths NationSuicideSuicide with gun MurderMurder with gun Guns per 100,000 population Hungary33.340.884.070.4715.54 MoldovaN/A 17.060.636.61 Poland18.104.22.1680.275.30 RomaniaN/A 4.320.122.97 Slovakia13.240.582.380.3631.91 Spain5.92N/A1.580.1964.69 Sweden15.651.951.350.31246.65
Irish murder incidents before and after 1972 handgun ban
Jamaican murder rates before and after 1976 firearm ban
Explanatory Notes for Subsequent Chart Recently published data confirm earlier analyses by Kates-Mauser that firearms ownership and homicide rates are not positively correlated internationally Civilian firearms ownership (shown by red line) increase from left to right. Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Study on Homicide, 2011 Homicide rates (shown by vertical blue bars) from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, SMALL ARMS SURVEY 2007 In general, nations with higher gun ownership rates (found at right) are associated with lower homicide rates
Homicide rates and firearms ownership in Europe
Caveat The Kates-Mauser study is based on the best available data o Murder and suicide rates are government sources o Firearms ownership rates provided by United Nations or the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Swiss Small Arms Survey Nevertheless, errors abide in available data o E.g., Swiss Small Arms Survey estimates combine civilian and criminal firearms
Conclusions and recommendations Available data does not support link between civilian firearms ownership and murder or suicide rates Available data does not support effectiveness of stringent firearms laws in reducing murder or suicide rates Better estimates of civilian firearms ownership should be collected It is imperative that policy makers be exposed to more accurate research on civilian firearms
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