Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A graph that tells the story of gun violence.

An article in The Economist discusses the rate of homicides in the United States. It points out that the murder rate in the USA is higher than that in other developed nations, nearly three times that in Canada, and that two-thirds of U.S. murders are done with guns.

"Three-quarters of all victims and nearly 90% of perpetrators are male. Black Americans are only 13% of the population, but over 50% of murder victims. Among black men between 20 and 24, the murder rate is over 100 per 100,000 (see chart)."

The data support our intuition that easy availability of guns probably increases the murder rate, and that there are social factors that influence who gets murdered. I doubt that black men want to get murdered, but they are put in danger of being murdered far more often than others in out society.

There seems to be interest in preventing violence against women, even though men are more likely to be murdered than women. But the difference in the rates of white men, white women and black women being murdered are small as compared with the huge increase in murder rate of black men.

Perhaps we should be looking more carefully at violence against black men, and seeking ways to reduce that violence.

I suspect we all know why black men are faced with so much violence. The problem is, we don't know how to quickly overcome centuries of racism directed at them.

No comments: