America and Homicide

1550 words 7 pages
America and Homicide
The United States has been a world leader in homicide for centuries. Indeed, “since the early 19th century ...[America has been] the most homicidal country in the Western world” and holds that title today (Kelley, 2009). In a 2007-2008 list of 31 nations, only two nations, Mexico and Chile, had higher homicide rates (Comparison, 2010). Nations with higher populations, such as India and China have fewer homicides (Comparison, 2010). Further, a nation such as Japan, which has a lower population but a higher population density then the United States, has one of the world’s lowest homicide rates (Comparison, 2010). Population size and density, therefore, cannot be the chief reasons for this nation’s higher homicide rates.
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This desire for gun ownership, however, has a direct relation to violence and homicide. Studies that have evaluated the role of gun ownership to homicide have found that “gun ownership is moderately but significantly correlated with homicide committed with a gun” even when extreme cases of gun ownership and homicide (such as that in war-torn countries and the U.S.) are excluded from the data to obtain a more accurate result (Killias et al., 2001). Researchers analyzing crime differences in the United States and Canada, moreover, have concluded that “the level of crime in the two countries is similar but that there are more homicides in the U.S. because guns are more prevalent” (Ouimet, 1999).
Despite the claims of “gun rights” supporters that guns do not kill, people do, the fact remains that 69% of homicide and assault deaths in the United States in 2007 were due to guns (Assault, 2007). Because guns make murder so easy to commit and require very little effort, they make homicide easy. The ease of their availability, therefore, does help increase the homicide rate. While it is true that those intent on committing murder will eventually find a way even if guns were not easy to acquire, it is also true that the majority of those who commit murder do so without previous plan and the ease of gun availability makes their


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