Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Right Wing-nut MUST have been short a rant or three...

... and I can not resist (once in a while when the liver plays up on me) taking up the gun control cudgels. I guess that it must be the primal dishonesty in what people like this say that stirs the gall into the liver where it reacts with the decomposition products of the pinot gris that I enjoyed last night, along with the venison steaks and kumara mash, when we went out to celebrate the wife's birthday.

Now, I have little doubt that the present Dalai Lama might have said "...If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun..." But I can imagine that it would have been in a context far removed from direct support of RKBA. I can imagine that someone like this wingnut would enjoy having Hitler support his position.

I am not going to argue the "for/against" either. The US is quite welcome to the RKBA. It matters not to me which of the sides one takes - pro- or anti- gun control.

If the wingnut wants to compare the US with Brazil, that is fine by me too. He could chose Mexico, or South Africa, or Albania if he wants.

What I ask is some honesty, rather than the blatant (and blind) application of confirmation bias. That is not too hard to do, is it?

It is to that end that I present this link to a paper prepared for our Justice Department on the topic of comparative murder rates, and interestingly the wider subject of violent crime.

The Introduction shows part of the problem...
Differences in definitions of violent crime make international comparisons problematic, and account for at least some of the apparent differences in recorded violent crime rates between countries.

Definitions of offences vary between countries due to both legal differences and statistical recording methods. For example, the USA and Canada do not appear to include minor assaults, intimidation, and threats within their definition of violent crime. However, New Zealand does include these crimes in its definition, and these offences comprise approximately half of all violent crime in this country. Also, New Zealand does not include sexual offences in violent crime, whereas Australia, USA, Canada, England and Wales do.

But read the whole thing. It is an interesting paper, with some surprising outcomes!

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