Category Archives: Crime and punishment

incarceration and other options

Ban Guns, surely you Jest

Ban Guns, surely you Jest

Congratulations to our young people for standing up for the rest of us. Recent polls show that the vast majority of voters are in favor of improved gun control. Some folks interpret that to mean banning guns. That could not be further from the truth. The vast majority are in favor of gun ownership, never mind the 2nd amendment. Certain elements, on both sides of this subject, are creating an unnecessary polarization and as a result no action is being taken.

The facts are that the US leads all first world countries in gun violence and not by a small margin. My impression is that there are two main contributors to this. First is the issue that our young people are pursuing. When I say “young people”, almost all of these advocates are younger than my grandchildren. Among the elements and at the forefront is minimizing the availability of assault weapons. That is easy to resolve if only our elected representatives would take action. If it is so easy, then why has it not happened. My suggestion is, as usual, follow the money.

The 2nd issue is not so easy. It has to do with the culture of violence that we have facilitated in our country. We have 5% of the world’s population and incarcerate 25% of the total world’s inmates. Our homicide rate is 5 times that in Australia and when a homicide occurs, who is always the first person of interest according to the police? It is always the spouse and next it is family members closely followed by “friends”. In fact, the majority of homicides in our country are committed by this group. I have no idea how to resolve this issue, but it definitely deserves some thought. Banning assault weapons will have little positive impact on this issue.

What I do know is that there is plenty of room for agreement by the majority that will have a positive impact in reducing gun violence and the homicide rate. Australia proved that it can be done without violating our right to gun ownership. It is extremely sad that the “adults” in our society have so far failed.

Violence and Incarceration

Chapter 62 Violence and Incarceration

The US has the highest incarceration rate in the World. In fact, with only 5% of the world’s population we incarcerate almost 25% of the world’s total inmates! There is a direct relationship between violent crimes (refer to the prior post) and the rate of incarceration. The average annual cost of inmate incarceration is almost $40,000. As taxpayers, we should be outraged. The US has an incarceration rate (at almost 700 per 100,000) that is 5 times higher than the following countries:

Country (or dependent territory, subnational area, etc.) Incarceration rate (Prisoners per 100,000 population)
Central African Republic 16
Comoros 19
Faroe Islands (Denmark) 23
Republic of Guinea 26
Congo (Brazzaville) 27
Liechtenstein 27
Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) 29
India 33
Mali 33
Nigeria 35
Oman 36
Chad 39
Burkina Faso 41
Bangladesh 43
Pakistan 43
Mauritania 44
Niger 44
Iceland 45
Solomon Islands 46
Japan 47
Ghana 49
Liberia 49
Sudan 50
Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) 50
South Sudan 52
Andorra 53
Qatar 53
Sweden 53
Yemen 53
Finland 55
Sierra Leone 55
Cote d’Ivoire 56
Mozambique 57
Gambia 58
Syria 60
Denmark 61
Nepal 62
Senegal 62
Togo 62
Equatorial Guinea 63
Papua New Guinea 63
Tanzania 64
Marshall Islands 66
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska 67
Djibouti 67
Indonesia 69
Netherlands 69
Malawi 70
Norway 70
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Federation 73
Slovenia 73
Afghanistan 74
Monaco 74
Benin 77
Burundi 77
Germany 78
United Kingdom: Northern Ireland 78. See notes below
Ireland, Republic of 79
Cyprus (Republic of) 80
Croatia 81
Madagascar 84
Switzerland 84
Sao Tome e Principe 87
Vanuatu 87
Sri Lanka 88
Italy 89
Greece 91
Isle of Man (United Kingdom) 92
Lesotho 92
Angola 96
Austria 97
Belgium 98
Libya 99
Kosovo/Kosova 100
Mayotte (France) 100
Haiti 102
France 103
Republic of (South) Korea 107
Cook Islands (New Zealand) 109
Tuvalu 110
Kuwait 112
Myanmar (formerly Burma) 113
Cameroon 114
Canada 114
Hong Kong (China) 115
Cambodia 116
Egypt 116
China 118 or unknown. See notes below.
Laos 119
Luxembourg 120
Reunion (France) 120
Uganda 120
Kenya 121
Tajikistan 121
Bolivia 122
Guatemala 122
Iraq 123
Bulgaria 125
Zambia 125
Guernsey (United Kingdom) 127
Micronesia, Federated States of 127
Ethiopia 128
Lebanon 128
Armenia 130
Kiribati 130
Malta 131
Spain 131
Brunei Darussalam 134
Portugal 137

Violence in America

Chapter 61 Violence in America

Who cares about the facts? Since we can’t seem to solve the problem of violence in our country our only option is to ignore the facts.

The facts support the perception that we have nurtured a culture that is more violent than almost all the other first world countries.

Following are some facts:

The intentional homicide rate in the US is just under 5 per 100,000 per year.

This is more than 5 times the rate for the following countries:

UNODC murder rates (per 100,000 inhabitants). Most recent year UNODC has published
Country (or dependent territory, subnational area, etc.) Rate Count Region Subregion Year listed Notes
 Andorra 0.00 0 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 San Marino 0.00 0 Europe Southern Europe 2011
 Liechtenstein 0.00 0 Europe Western Europe 2015
 Monaco 0.00 0 Europe Western Europe 2008
 Macao 0.17 1 Asia Eastern Asia 2015
 Singapore 0.25 14 Asia South-Eastern Asia 2015
 Hong Kong 0.30 22 Asia Eastern Asia 2015
 Japan 0.31 395 Asia Eastern Asia 2014
 French Polynesia (France) 0.38 1 Oceania Polynesia 2009
 Brunei 0.49 2 Asia South-Eastern Asia 2013
 Indonesia 0.50 1,277 Asia South-Eastern Asia 2014
 Austria 0.51 44 Europe Western Europe 2015
 Bahrain 0.54 7 Asia Western Asia 2011
 Norway 0.56 29 Europe Northern Europe 2014
 Palestine 0.60 26 Asia Western Asia 2012 notes
 Netherlands 0.61 104 Europe Western Europe 2015
 Madagascar 0.62 130 Africa Eastern Africa 2010
 Ireland 0.64 30 Europe Northern Europe 2015
 United Arab Emirates 0.66 60 Asia Western Asia 2015
 Spain 0.66 303 Europe Southern Europe 2015
  Switzerland 0.69 57 Europe Western Europe 2015
 Burkina Faso 0.71 117 Africa Western Africa 2012
 Luxembourg 0.72 4 Europe Western Europe 2014
 China 0.74 10,083 Asia Eastern Asia 2014 notes
 South Korea 0.74 372 Asia Eastern Asia 2014
 Poland 0.74 286 Europe Eastern Europe 2015
 Czech Republic 0.75 79 Europe Eastern Europe 2015
 Italy 0.78 469 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 Taiwan 0.82 192 Asia Eastern Asia 2015
 Maldives 0.85 3 Asia Southern Asia 2013
 Greece 0.85 93 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 Germany 0.85 682 Europe Western Europe 2015
 Croatia 0.87 37 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 Slovakia 0.88 48 Europe Eastern Europe 2015
 Iceland 0.91 3 Europe Northern Europe 2015
 New Zealand 0.91 41 Oceania Australasia 2014
 United Kingdom 0.92 594 Europe Northern Europe 2014
 Tonga 0.95 1 Oceania Polynesia 2012
 Malta 0.96 4 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 Portugal 0.97 100 Europe Southern Europe 2015
 Australia 0.98 236 Oceania Australasia 2015
 Denmark 0.99

 

I wonder how the above countries manage to keep their homicide rates so low. Could we learn anything from them?