Archive for December, 2012

The link between guns and U.S. crime

Although it’s worth researching, evaluating the relations of the Connecticut catastrophe to mental illness or “manhood” isn’t within the scope of internationalcomparisons.org. Rather, we focus our attention on national statistics about gun deaths and gun control.

We’ve updated the site to arrange arms ownership rates to be sandwiched between crimes per capita and homicides per capita. Countries like Japan indicate the potential impact gun control can have with a 0.6 ownership rate cozily resting between 19.17 crimes per 1,000 capita and 0.5 homicides per 100,000 capita.

The U.S. is at the opposite end of the spectrum with 61 traumatic reminders since Columbine. Compared to the next to worst advanced democracies studied on internationalcomparison.org, the United States owns over twice as many firearms (88.8 per 100 capita) and suffers twice the homicidal rate (5.4 per 100,000 capita).

There’s plenty to be done concerning gun control without repealing the Second Amendment; tighter restrictions with closer regulation would be appropriate to achieve the goal of the Second Amendment which is a well regulated militia. Earlier this year in Colorado, concealed guns were okayed on college campuses. Four other states also allow firearms on campuses. Loaded weapons are permissible in bars in five different states. In eleven states, felons have less to worry about when they try to have their right to bear arms restored. A well regulated militia would be an easy start. Stricter (not total) gun control would be an easy start in order to ensure arms don’t end up in the wrong hands.

A recent open-forum article in the San Francisco Chronicle recommends the following steps: 1.) Close the gun-show and private-sell loopholes to require background checks. 2.) Include more data for background checks in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 3.) Ban military assault weapons designed to kill many people quickly. 4.) Repeal immunity of gun makers from litigation so they are treated like manufacturers. 5.) Ban large capacity bullet magazines.

Two well established groups have advocated for reasonable gun laws: the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. After the mass murder in Connecticut, a number of additional groups are advocating for gun control.

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Why the U.S. won’t sign an international treaty for the disabled

Here are some hints as to why the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities did not get ratified by the U.S. Senate:

It’s not because we would need to pass more laws for better regulation to adhere to what the Convention demands.

It’s not because it requires decentralization or states to compromise their power.

No. The reason why all but 8 Republicans withheld their support from the Convention when it came up for ratification in the U.S. Senate is because opponents have an immovable disdain for multilateral agreements with international organizations, none more outstanding than the resentment towards the U.N. It couldn’t be any easier to execute the requirements of the Convention, since, as of 1990, we’ve made the same requirements, ourselves. Apparently Senators have found it more necessary to tout the supposed evils of the U.N. than to take advantage of the U.S.’ political clout and influence as a superpower to endorse an unmistakably noble cause.

Internationalcomparisons.org is proud to raise awareness to this embarrassment by adding the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to our International Treaties page, where many people might be surprised to find how many international agreements welcome the Rights of the Disabled to neglect from U.S. policy.