Shannon Watts is peddling CNN’s BS about gun deaths in the Americas

CNN linked the US to Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Brazil, and Mexico.

Gun-related homicides, suicides kill more people than war, study says

More gun deaths happened outside of war than in it during the years researchers examined (1990 through 2016) in 195 countries and territories.  Worldwide, an estimated 251,000 people died by gun in 2016. 

Gun deaths are predominantly concentrated in six countries that make up less than 10% of the world’s population. The United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala together account for more than half of the gun-related deaths worldwide.

For the record that is the United States, one failing state, two failed states, and two narco-states.  I wonder if CNN is going to get into this more or just let it stand without context.

In 2016, the majority of global firearm deaths — an estimated 64% — were homicides. Suicides accounted for 27% of the gun deaths. A small fraction, about 9% of gun deaths, were accidental.

Except in the US where suicides are 61% of gun deaths.

If you were to look on a map, the highest numbers of gun-related homicides are concentrated in a belt that stretches from Mexico through the Caribbean to Brazil. Many of these homicides involve drug cartels, the authors suggest, and there’s a problem with organized crime and the illegal gun trade.

Suggests?  Really.  How about the ongoing war between the cartels and the Mexican government with civilians caught in the crossfire?  How about the non gun deaths in that drug war, with people literally being hacked to death with machetes as a warning?  Oh yeah, this is about gun control, sorry, a drug was is irrelevant.

“The sheer magnitude of these deaths and the range in firearm-related deaths is extraordinary,” said the study’s senior author, Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Yeah, ignoring the drug war forest for the gun death trees is a hell of a way to conduct a study.

Suicide-by-gun rates declined globally between 1990 and 2016. Some countries, though, struggled with this public health crisis. In 2016, Greenland had the highest number of firearm suicides, with 22 deaths per 100,000 people. The US had the second-highest number, with 6.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2016.

But the population of Greenland is only 56,000 people so who cares.  The raw numbers don’t make a blip on the gun death radar.

“The US really has quite marked rates around suicide,” Murray said. “That was a surprise to me.”  For perspective, the United States has 4.3% of the world’s population, but suicide by gun there represented 35.3% of all firearm suicides in the world in 2016. By comparison, there were twice as many firearm suicides as gun-related homicides in 2016 in the US.

There is that important statistic, buried as an after thought at the end of a paragraph.

Americans have been killing themselves more with guns over the past decade, but homicide numbers have been relatively flat. The US ranks 30th in the world for total number of homicides, according to the study.

You mean America is not a failed, narco-state shit hole with running drug wars in our streets?

The highest increase in gun-related suicide rates in this time period was in Jamaica, and Singapore had the fewest gun-related suicide deaths. These numbers, Murray said, are an important reminder about how widespread this public health problem is.

How about overall suicide rate?  Well, we are number 31 on the list, below Belgium and France and just ahead of Canada and Sweden.  Our suicide numbers are on par with the average of the wealthier nations of Europe and below a lot of Asian nations.  It seems that Americans kill themselves at the same rate as our economic peers in Europe, we just use guns to do it more.

That never gets mentioned because it’s only about guns.

There is no one single trend behind gun violence. Drugs, alcohol, a lack of mental health services and domestic violence are often to blame, as is poverty, the study suggests.

“Places with high rates of firearm mortality that are getting worse tend to be places with weak government institutions, especially in the criminal justice system or social upheaval,” Daniel Webster, who has written extensively about gun violence as director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, wrote in an email. Other things that stood out from these numbers, he said, is that while the “measures aren’t great,” he said, “there is a connection: more guns, more gun-related deaths.”

Really?  How do we interpret it then that the majority of American gun deaths take place in high population density, urban areas, that are generally run by Democrats?  Maybe acknowledging that the US is not a monolith and places like St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, and parts of Chicago are more like failed microcosms unto them selves is a start.

That way of thinking doesn’t justify nation wide gun regulation.

Laws that seem to limit gun violence include ones that strengthen background checks and require permits for ownership, the study authors said. More restrictions on guns in Brazil and South Africa seem to suggest a link between a reduced access to gun ownership and a lower number of gun-related suicides and homicides.

And higher rates of murder of minority farmers who obey the gun laws at the hands of people who don’t.

Most of South America has very restrictive gun laws.  Mexico has one gun store for civilians.  Venezuela has banned civilian gun ownership.  They are all failed or failing states.

Chicago, DC, and Maryland have very restrictive gun laws, they too are failing US cities.

Maybe the issue here is that when a society crumbles economically and the goverment fails to maintain basic social services, that emboldens the criminal element of the population to arm themselves and start taking advantage of people through crime.

Venezuela and Detroit have a high murder rate for the same reason.  They have failed and there is no one to enforce the laws outside of a bubble surrounding where the elite live.

But CNN and Shannon Watts are going to overlook that because the culmination of the study is a push for gun control.


5 Replies to “Shannon Watts is peddling CNN’s BS about gun deaths in the Americas”

  1. “Shannon Watts is peddling CNN’s BS about gun deaths in the Americas”

    She only does that on the days that end in ‘y.’ 😉

  2. It’s fundamentally dishonest to talk about “gun deaths”. After that, it’s fundamentally dishonest to talk about any sort of deaths without calculating per capita rate. Ohs Noes! The US has more gun deaths than the Republic of San Marino!! – Yeah, we have more of everything than San Marino. There’s not even 35,000 people living there. We have football games bigger than that.

    I’m not a degreed statistician, just an engineer, and that article makes my head hurt.

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