What Can Be Done To Prevent Another Newtown Massacre?

Marcus Foot By Marcus Foot, 17th Dec 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

In the aftermath of the Newtown CT killings can we learn anything from statistics?

The Statistics and Calculations

There has been much discussion following the tragic events in Newtown CT about gun control and what made a young man shoot innocent children and their teachers. Now I’m an engineer by training and this results in logical, fact-based thinking, lead by immutable laws. As Mr. Scott would say, “”Ye cannae change the laws of Physics”. So for the purpose of this discussion I will take some statistics about gun deaths, analyse and compare them, and them give my personal opinions.

The source for the statistics is here.

The figures I will be using are:
Gun ownership per 100 of population
Annual gun deaths
Population of the country

Then I will normalise the figures to the USA population and see what conclusions, if any we can draw.

First off, the baseline USA figures, 88.8 guns per 100 of the population, 9,146 deaths in 2007 for a population of approx 300 million.

Almost nine out of ten people in the USA own guns. I don’t know about you, but I find this figure absolutely staggering!

Now let’s take the UK, 6.2/100 with 41 deaths and a population of 60 million, about one fifth that of the USA.

If the UK had as many guns per capita and the same population as the USA, what would the death rate be?

88.8/6.2 = 14.3 times more guns per capita
Take this number and multiple it by the UK death rate
14.3x41 = 586 deaths if the ownership rate in the UK was the same as the USA
Multiply this by the population ratio between USA and UK gives us 2,931 deaths.

Let’s look at Switzerland now, a European country with the third highest gun ownership per capita in the world 45.7/100,57 deaths and a population of about 8 million. Doing the same calculations:
88.8/45.7 = 1.9
1.9x57 = 108
108x37.5 = 4,050 deaths when normalised to USA ownership and population.

Finally let’s look at a Latin American country, the Dominican Republic, population 10 million, 5.1 guns/100 people and a death rate of 1,618.

88.8/5.1 = 17.4
17.4 x 1,618 = 28,153
28,153 x 30 = 844,590 deaths if the Dominicans had the same rate of gun ownership and population as the USA.

Let’s see what conclusions we can draw from these figures.

First of all you’re statistically far safer in the USA or Europe than you are in the Dominican Republic! Although I feel that the ownership figures for the Dominican Republic are not accurate, there are a lot of illegally owned firearms in the country.

Now let’s look at the so-called developed nations in our little survey.

Regardless of the proportion of the population that own guns, the death rate in Europe is less than 50% that of the USA. Why is this?

I wish I knew the answer to that question!

What I DO know, however is that if there were no guns, nobody would be shot. Guns have one function, to expel a bullet at high velocity. The purpose of that bullet is to kill, injure or destroy the object, animal or person it hits.

If there were no guns in circulation, the chances are that in 2007 9,146 people in the USA would not have died. 41 people in the UK, 57 in Switzerland and 1,618 in the Dominican Republic would also still be alive today. And 26 Newtown residents would be preparing to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and a Merry Christmas and a Happy PEACEFUL New Year to you all.


Gun Control, Gun Violence, Newtown Ct

Meet the author

author avatar Marcus Foot
Expat party host & part-time author living in the Caribbean.
I publish my short stories & other fiction at smashwords.com & why not visit my website debtfreeliving.siterubix.com

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Dec 2012 (#)

Guns kill many more than otherwise - it is clear - siva

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
31st Dec 2012 (#)

If guns were outlawed or banned , mankind would have to do the same with violent films and books etc, but we know this will not happen. even if we might want it to .
Bless you .

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author avatar Marcus Foot
1st Jan 2013 (#)

On the contrary Stella.

Slavery has been banned, but books & films about it still exist. As with the death penalty in many countries, child labour in factories & press gangs for the merchant navy.

My argument is that if the Newtown killer had no easy access to firearms, those children would still be alive today. That fact is undeniable in my opinion.

No guns, nobody can shoot another human being.

It is only lack of will by the authorities that prevents this happening.

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author avatar Richard Field
14th Oct 2013 (#)

The trouble is, when the authorities live by the gun, then so will the people.
We have an historic paranoid hang up over having better weapons than our neighbours, and this filters down to criminals and the disturbed. "The cops will shoot us, lets get a gun then they can't". You get my drift.

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author avatar Retired
1st Jan 2013 (#)

,,,,,,staggering statistics...thanks for following me...

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
3rd Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you Marcus for your insight . I was thinking of an incident in my Country whereby two young children watched an evil video about a doll , and went out and killed a little boy of five . they had no guns, but the evil seed was planted in their minds by what they watched . Just a thought Sincerely Stella

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author avatar Marcus Foot
3rd Jan 2013 (#)

Before we had guns people were killed, it's just that guns make it so much easier. And impersonal.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
4th Jan 2013 (#)

Yes , I agree to that , and I am thankful that we do not have guns so readily available in England .

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Mar 2013 (#)

The facts speak for themselves. The law once said that slavery was OK. Laws can and well change. Time will take care of that but hopefully it is sooner rather than later.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
21st May 2013 (#)

I am now in the USA, and I see extensive debates about gun control laws and the second amendment. Every man's house is a castle and he has a right to defend it. This guiding principle behind the gun control laws seems to me outdated and archaic.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
3rd Jun 2013 (#)

The USA is a safer place to live (as a whole, presumably) than the entirety of the DR, Mexico, or many other countries where drug sales and gang violence trump love and common decency. I don't think the number of guns should be the issue, since -- as you pointed out -- some people have guns that they do not use for killing people, and other people have guns obtained illegally.
I disagree with your point that these tragedies would not have happened without guns. I think 9/11, the OKC bombings, and other man-made tragedies have taught us that. But you have inspired me (and I thank you for that) so I am going to write my own article on this topic.

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author avatar Marcus Foot
4th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for your comments Phyl.
There may be an arguement, however, thet the DR, Mexico & other countries are merely stepping-stones placed by the Americans to receive drugs, which follow the gun culture that they see in the media.
I stand by my point that without guns there would be no shootings.
I do admit though that Zero & Infinity are un-achievable in the real universe.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
4th Jun 2013 (#)

Point well made.

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author avatar wonder
9th Jul 2013 (#)

Very thought provoking.

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author avatar Kalai
29th Sep 2013 (#)

The gun is both a protector and a destroyer. It all depends on the hands that holds it.

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author avatar joyalariwo
21st Oct 2013 (#)

The gun was invented to kill that is its basic function, we may like it or not but that piece of metal will kip honorin its ancestry wether for good or bad.

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author avatar Dark-Warrior
6th Jan 2014 (#)

Number of Guns is not the issue, US is much safer than countries like Pakistan where Gun control is done

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author avatar Ron Flowers
10th Feb 2014 (#)

Your well thought out article has caused a lot of debate here. That's good. I was pleased to see that even those who disagreed with you gave thoughtful answers. Unfortunately, here in the United States there are too many people on both sides of the issue who can't discuss the issue sensibly. Thanks for a great article.

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author avatar vandana7
23rd May 2015 (#)

Owning a gun does not necessarily guarantee that it will be accessible in time. Secondly, reflexes of the person also come into play.

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