The Math of Gun Deaths

The Math of Gun Deaths

It happens with depressing frequency in the United States - there's a mass killing and the gun debate jumps to the front. There's much hand waving on both sides for a few days. Then it fades until the next time.

And there's always a next time.

So I decided to do some quantitative analysis. Turns out it's hard to understand guns. I'm no slouch at data analysis, but this turned into a mystery..

I looked at the AR-15, which seems to be the weapon of choice for mass killers. It's available for civilian ownership in many countries. Some make you jump through more hoops than others, but basically if you want one you can get one.

Then I looked at deaths by guns. The statistics include all types of gun deaths not just mass killings. The numbers are quoted as deaths per 100,000 of population per year. I used the United Kingdom as my baseline.

United Kingdom 0.23

United States 10.54

That makes gun deaths in the United States 4,582% higher than in the United Kingdom.

Of course, the United States is not the worst. The highest number I found was Honduras at 67.18 and the lowest was South Korea at 0.08

But still, I think most people identify the United States closely with the United Kingdom. I know I do.

So the mystery is why gun deaths in the United States are 4,582% higher than in the United Kingdom.

4,582% is a massive gap between two close allies.

Data source: Firearm Death Rates by Country

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott abbottsystems@gmail.com