Saturday, August 2, 2014

Did Israel Create Hamas?

I've heard it mentioned in a lot of places, but I haven't seen it backed up as much as I would like, but:
The current fighting — a clash between Israel's vastly superior armed forces and Hamas's insurgents — obscures the greater challenges facing Israelis and Palestinians, including the thorny question of how to accord equal rights to millions of Palestinians living under occupation in the event that a separate Palestinian state turns out not to be viable.

It also obscures Hamas's curious history. To a certain degree, the Islamist organization whose militant wing has rained rockets on Israel the past few weeks has the Jewish state to thank for its existence. Hamas launched in 1988 in Gaza at the time of the first intifada, or uprising, with a charter now infamous for its anti-Semitism and its refusal to accept the existence of the Israeli state. But for more than a decade prior, Israeli authorities actively enabled its rise.

The Israelis saw Qutb's adherents in the Palestinian territories, including the wheelchair-bound Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Hamas's founder, as a useful counterweight to Arafat's PLO.

"When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake," one Israeli official who had worked in Gaza in the 1980s said in a 2009 interview with the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Higgins. "But at the time nobody thought about the possible results."
Wouldn't it be interesting if Hamas was actively created by Israel?  Personally, I wouldn't put it past them.

I say if you're going to stand with Israel--don't turn your back because they will stab you in it.

See Also:

Dispelling The Myth – Why the UK is NOT more violent than the US

OK, this is not original with me.  Some of you have a problem with republishing material: even if it is attributed.  This is reposted in the hope of getting accurate information out in the debate.

Nevermind, that the pro-gun side tends to repost stuff in a way that makes weeds look like a Capability Brown garden or flies on shit look like rare birds.  They hate it when others post things that contradict what they say.

That said, this comes from the site: Dispelling The Myth – Why the UK is NOT more violent than the US and it points out why comparing the US to other countries is not accurate:

Dispelling The Myth – Why the UK is NOT more violent than the US

INTRODUCTION: ======================================

First and foremost, I want to say this isn’t a statement about American’s right to bear arms, or about what I think about that. This is not the argument at stake here, and I’m not even going to go there.
Do I disagree with the rights of civilians (not just American ones) to arm themselves? Yes, yes I do. But that is my opinion, everybody has one, they all stink, and opinions are not based on palpable, objective facts, but on subjective thoughts, emotions and prejudices and bias. Which is why I’m not even going to debate that.
But there is something I will debate, and fight, and argue against. The notion that the US is somehow, a safer country than the UK. On the 14th of December 2012, armed gunman Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 children in a sad and deplorable shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the United States. A notable consequence of this disaster was an episode of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight show where the British journalist and television host made statements to the effect Britain is a safer country than the US because Britain has strict gun control laws vis-a-vis the United States. From these statements, a barrage of claims have been advanced by pro-gun advocates in particular (but not exclusively) quoting reports, surveys and statistics indicating that the United Kingdom has anywhere from 4 to five to 10 times more “violent crime” than the US does. One particular example is a segment of Fox’s WXIX affiliate in Cincinnati entitled “Reality Check” where presenter Ben Swann makes a series of statements and cites a number of “statistics” of the type mentioned above, indicating these prove the UK is not only five times more “violent” than the US, but also Europe’s second most violent country overall.
What shocks me the most about these statistics isn’t that they might be true, its how easily certain people cling to them, and the total, abject lack of any independent critical thinking or any interest in fact, of getting to the truth. Well, someone has to do it, and I have. It may have taken a few days, and more work, time and effort than I’ve probably dedicated to far more deserving University papers and academic work, but here it is. The reasons why, in short, bloggers, journalists, media outlets, armchair political scientists and opinionated fools are basically lying to you when they say the UK has a higher rate of “violent crime” than the US.
Has anybody stopped to even figure out why that may be? How that can be possible? How the UK defines violent crime? That what may constitute “rape” in the UK does not in the US and vice versa? Well, I have. And here are my findings.

SOURCES: ===========================================

First, I’ll begin by listing my sources. I’ve used The Home Office Statistical Bulletin – Crime in England and Wales 2010/11 Findings from the British Crime Survey and Police Recorded Crime. (2nd Edition) (THOSB – CEW hereafter.) Accompanying this is the User Guide To Home Office Crime Statistics (UGHOCS hereafter.) which is especially useful when looking at definitions of crime in the UK. For a definition of “homicide” in the UK I’ve relied on The Crown Prosecution Service – Legal Guidance. (CPS – LG hereafter.) In order to compare these with US statistics, I’ve relied on The Federal Bureau Of Investigation – Crime In The United States 2011 (FBI – CUS hereafter) and also the Criminal US Department of Justice Victimization Survey 2011 (USD – JVS hereafter.) For ancillary information, such as population sizes, I have relied on the World Bank (WB hereafter.) for the US and the 2011 Census – Population and Household Estimates for England and Wales, March 2011 (EW 2011 Census heareafter.) for England and Wales.
In the UK, crime statistics are collected by police reported crime (PRC) and the British Crime Survey (BCS). In the US, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) are the departments responsible for this task. Given that both my sources are those organisations themselves, and both are dated to 2011, I find my sources to be authoritative and up to date.

ADDITIONAL SOURCES: ===========================================

For a good balanced view of the pros and cons of the British Survey Crime vis-a-vis the police reported crime, see here. (The Office For National Statistics – UK)
Furthermore, when it is said “The European Union ranks the UK as x in levels of crime” or “crime capital of Europe” it is worth bearing in mind that Eurostat also only collects what each country publishes as “violent crime” and at no moment attempts to make it’s own, independent criteria. That is, they suffer from the same bias as that which will be explained below under “definition of violent crime”. (Eurostat, Statistics Explained – See Methodology
For the way in which homicide rates are recorded in the UK, see Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence, 2010/2011. (HFOIV hereafter.)




METHODOLOGY: ======================================

For the figures themselves, I’ve relied solely on” recorded crime”, as indicated in the THOSB – CEW for the UK and FBI – CUS for the US.It was my original intention to rely on the BCS and the NCVS figures for the UK and US respectively, because crime – by its very nature – is often covert and secretive, and much of it suffers from under-reporting. The surveys would offer a much more accurate picture of real crime rates in both countries, but unfortunately, to compare figures from both surveys with one another became impossible, as I explain below.
There are many types of crime which are reported equally in the PRC and FBI – CUS for both the UK and US, but not in the BCS and NCVS. For example, while the former reports the incidence of knife crime and gun crime occurring within a set of crimes, such as rape, robbery, burglary and assault, the later does not. Thus, it would be impossible to compare objectively between the two. Yet, such figures are available in the PRC and FBI – CUS estimates, where they can be compared.
Further, the BCS and the NCVS differ substantially both in their own methodologies in regards to calculating their numbers. (see 2.2 BCS Methodology, page 4 for the UK and NCVS methodology, page 12 for the US.)
For example, the BCS aims to interview 46,000 people aged 16 and over, while the NCVS relies on a core sample of 143,120 over the age of 12. This is even before we enter the quagmire how each country defines its various crimes. This is discussed in more detail below, and it must be said from the outset that what defines “violent crime” in either country is one of the main factors responsible for the wildly different numbers of report crime between the two.
For the specifics on how I calculated the violent crime rates, the formulas used and the veracity of the numbers involved, please see the “Mathematics” section.



DEFINING VIOLENT CRIME ==============================

United Kingdom:
“Violent crime contains a wide range of offences, from minor assaults such as pushing and shoving that result in no physical harm through to serious incidents of wounding and murder. Around a half of violent incidents identified by both BCS and police statistics involve no injury to the victim.” (THOSB – CEW, page 17, paragraph 1.)
United States:
“In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.”   (FBI – CUS – Violent Crime)
We can clearly see here there is quite a large difference in how both countries report and assess what qualifies as “violent crime”. The UK’s approach seems to be a lot more encompassing in scope and adds to its definition of “violent crime” offences which are not matched by its US counterpart. This raises the obvious question of whether UK violent crime rates can be said to be higher simply because things considered “violent crime” in the UK are not so in the US. One example is “assault”, all forms of which are considered “violent” in the UK, whereas in the US only “aggravated” is considered violent. A further example revolves around sexual offences, only “forcible” rape featuring in the US definition, while the UK definition includes rape and any and all forms of sexual assault.
Therefore, it becomes practically impossible to draw any objective comparison between the two, unless one trawls through the various definitions of crimes that can be said to be the same in definition and execution in the UK and the US. I’ve actually done this, and by going through the PRC and FBI – CUS it is possible, I believe, to find a number of crimes which I think are fairly indicative of the prevalence of “violence” in either country. To this end, I have isolated robbery, burglary, homicide / murder,  knife crime, fatal shootings, rape of a female, grievous bodily harm / aggravated assault and theft of a vehicle in order to give us a fair idea of which country is more “violent.” The relevant definitions and rates for each crime will be presented below in their own sections.
However, before we proceed onto that stage, I thought it would be useful to present the actual figures of “violent crime rates” for both countries that has spurned this research in the first place, and the mathematics involved in calculating the figures and statistics for each relevant isolated crime.


A common point raised in the debate is the assumption the UK reports homicides only after court findings, and thus does not include unsolved murders, while the US reports homicides before court findings. This assumption is incorrect. Statistical data recorded in the UK in the form of PRC (police recorded crime) includes homicides as reported by the police and also takes into account unsolved homicides. (HFOIV, page 16, paragraph 5 and 6.)



VIOLENT CRIME RATES: ================================

Lets start with the actual rates of violent crimes for each country themselves, for 2011, as reported to the police, in those countries. For the time being, they are not taken by a per capita, sample or household ratio.
US: 1,203,564 (FBI – CUS)
Again, we are bearing in mind these rates are not taking into account what defines violent crime or each individual offence classed as violent for each country, but is simply taking what “violent crime” is reported in each country and putting them side by side.
To give the reader an idea of how much crime can be said to be under-reported, I have taken the liberty of including the BCS and NCVS statistics on “violent crime” – again with the same shortfalls as above – for the sake of completeness.
Violent crime rates in 2011 as reported to by surveys in those countries,  the BCS and NCVS respectively.
Interestingly, this suggests that the actual violent crime rate for the US is 4.81x higher than reported (NCVS 5.800.000 / 1,203,564 FBI – CUS = 4.81) and 2.6x higher than reported than in the UK. (CBS 2,203,000 / 821,957 THOSB – CEW = 2.6)
Unfortunately, as I’ve said, it is impossible to use these figures against one another. However, it is indicative of a few things. Firstly, that crime has a higher rate of being reported in the UK than in the US, as the UK’s survey rate is more closely matched by police reported crime. Secondly, it illustrates by how much crime appears to be under-recorded in the US, by an order of 4.81 exactly.
Now, as I said before, this is simply stating the number of violent crimes that occurred in each country. It is not adjusted for population size, samples or households. As such, it is not very indicative. While in both reported crimes to the police and through surveys, the United Kingdom had a lesser number of violent crimes, this is not to say the UK is a safer country than the US or vice-versa, because the US has a population more than five times larger than the UK’s. Thus, any meaningful crime rate will have to take into account the number of crimes vis-a-vis a population sample. Therefore, below we examine the mathematics required to achieve any meaningful numbers, and the simple equation used to eventually achieve our robberyburglaryhomicide / murder,  knife crimefatal shootingsrape of a femalegrievous bodily harm / aggravated assault and theft of a vehicle rates.



THE MATHEMATICS: ===================================

First we will have to calculate a few population samples, by which to compare crime figures against. Let’s keep it simple and say 100,000 people. This way, we will get a representative, measurable rate of the number of crimes that occur for that number of people. We will then be able to objectively compare both countries.
So let us start with population sizes, as of 2011, according to the WB.
UK: 56,100,000 (EW 2011 Census)
US: 311,591,917 (WB)
Now that we have both the countries’ respective violent crime figures and populations, we may begin to calculate a basic violent crime to 100,000 people crime ratio. This will give us our violent crime rate. Our first step is to divide the populations by 100,000, our selected sample or packet.
UK: 56,100,000 / 100,000 = 561
US: 311,591,917 / 100,000 = 3116 ~ (Rounded from 3115.91917.)
Now all we have to do is divide the violent crime figures we’ve selected (the PRC and FBI – CUS ones) by the numbers we’ve found above, each of which represents a sample or packet of 100,000 people. That way we will find out how many crimes happen per 100,000 people, or the rate of violent crime, to put it simply.
UK: 821,957 / 561 = 1465
US:  1,203,564 / 3116 = 386
Straight off the bat, the UK can be said to have a higher crime rate, in fact, 3.7 times more violent crime than the US does. But remember, this is simply the “violent crime” rate as is reported in each country, regardless of how it is defined – and as we saw above, the definitions vary quite wildly as to not only what defines “violence” but also what constitutes each individual crime.
It is here that most media outlets and political enthusiasts pick up their figures from, at face value, without any effort at critical thinking or even ascertaining the truth behind these figures, and leave it at that – namely where their “research” ends. But to me, there is more than that. Any responsible and meaningful endeavour into the fuzzy world of numbers and statistics cannot stop there. I’ve already identified two factors which would skewer the rates in favour of the US, namely a 4.81 factor of under-reporting crime as opposed to the UK’s 2.6 ratio, but also the fact violent crime is defined differently in each country.
Therefore, we must find crimes which bear an equal or highly similar definition in both countries. Crimes such as robberyburglaryhomicide / murder,  knife crimefatal shootingsrape of a femalegrievous bodily harm / aggravated assault and theft of a vehicle which are objective enough, not prone to interpretation, and which will serve as the basis of our research as to which country is the more “violent.”
Below I give each of these, in order and with their respective PRC and FBI – CUS definitions, so that you may see there is no discernible difference in how they are defined, and thus fit our purposes. In each section, I will then divide the number of individual offences by our population samples. This should give us the incidence or rate of that particular crime per group of 100,000 people. We’ll begin with robbery.



ROBBERY: ===========================================

United Kingdom:
“Robbery is an offence in which force or the threat of force is used either during or immediately prior to a theft or attempted theft. It covers a wide variety of different incidents such as bank robberies or street robberies, regardless of the amount of money or property stolen.”   (THOSB – CEW page 61, paragraph 1.)
United States:
“The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines robbery as the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”   (FBI – CUS – Robbery)
UK robbery incidences: 76,179 (THOSB – CEW page 61, paragraph 2.)
76,179 / 561 = 135.72
US robbery incidences: 354,396 (FBI – CUS)
354,396 / 3116 = 113.7

You are thus 1.1x (135.7 / 113.7) more likely to suffer robbery in the UK than in the US.




BURGLARY: ==========================================

United Kingdom:
“The police record an offence of burglary if a person enters any building as a trespasser and with intent to commit an offence of theft, GBH or unlawful damage. Aggravated burglary occurs when the burglar is carrying a firearm, imitation firearm, offensive weapon or explosive.”   (UGHOCS, page 26, paragraph 9.)
United States:
“The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines burglary as the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. To classify an offense as a burglary, the use of force to gain entry need not have occurred. The UCR Program has three subclassifications for burglary: forcible entry, unlawful entry where no force is used, and attempted forcible entry. The UCR definition of “structure” includes apartment, barn, house trailer or houseboat when used as a permanent dwelling, office, railroad car (but not automobile), stable, and vessel (i.e., ship).”   (FBI – CUS – Burglary)
UK burglary incidences: 258,148 (THOSB – CEW page 73, paragraph 3.)
258,148 / 561 = 460.1
US burglary incidences: 2,188,005 (FBI – CUS)
2,188,005 / 3116 = 702.1

You are thus 1.52x (702.1 / 460.1) more likely to suffer burglary in the US than in the UK.




HOMICIDE / MURDER: ==================================

United Kingdom:
“Murder and manslaughter are two of the offences that constitute homicide. Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways: 1) killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies, namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or killing pursuant to a suicide pact. 2) conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and did kill, is manslaughter (“gross negligence manslaughter”); and 3) conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm, that resulted in death, is manslaughter (“unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter”). The term “involuntary manslaughter” is commonly used to describe a manslaughter falling within (2) and (3) while (1) is referred to as “voluntary manslaughter”. There are of course other specific homicide offences, for example, infanticide, and causing death by dangerous or careless driving.”   (CPS – LG)
United States:
“The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are scored as aggravated assaults.”   (FBI – CUS – Murder)
UK homicide incidences: 642 (THOSB – CEW page 17, paragraph 4.)
642 / 561 = 1.14
US murder incidences: 14,612 (FBI – CUS)
14,612 / 3116 = 4.6

You are thus 4.03x (4.6 / 1.14) more likely to be murdered in the US than in the UK.




KNIFE CRIME: ========================================

United Kingdom:
“The Home Office has collected additional data from police forces on offences involving knives and sharp instruments (referred to as ‘knife offences’ in the remainder of this section) since April 2007. Knives are taken to be involved in an incident if they are used to stab or cut, or as a threat. In 2007/08 this group of offences consisted of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, GBH without intent and robbery. In 2008/09, the offence coverage was expanded to include offences of threats to kill, actual bodily harm (ABH), sexual assault and rape.”   (UGHOCS page 24, paragraph 6.)
United States:
“The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Attempted aggravated assault that involves the display of—or threat to use—a gun, knife, or other weapon is included in this crime category because serious personal injury would likely result if the assault were completed.”   (FBI – CUS – Aggravated Assault)
UK incidences of knife crime: 32,714 (THOSB – CEW, page 18, paragraph 1.)
32,714 / 561 = 58.3.
US incidences of knife crime: 19.1% of 751,131. (FBI – CUS) = 142,714.89
142,714.89 / 3116 = 45.8

You are thus 1.27x (58.3 / 45.8) more likely to be knifed in the UK than in the US.




FATAL SHOOTINGS: ===================================

United Kingdom:
“Provisional statistics for 2010/11 are available for police recorded crimes involving the use of firearms other than air weapons (referred to as ‘firearm offences’ in the remainder of this section). Firearms are taken to be involved in an incident if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument against a person, or used in a threat.”   (THOSB – CEW, page 63, paragraph 2.)
United States:
“Information collected regarding type of weapon showed that firearms were used in 67.7 percent of the nation’s murders, 41.3 percent of robberies, and 21.2 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapons data are not collected for forcible rape.)”   (FBI – CUS – Violent Crime)
UK incidences of fatal shootings: 55 (THOSB – CEW, page 63, paragraph 3.)
55 / 561 = 0.09
US incidences of fatal shootings: 67.7% (FBI – CUS[/url) of 14,612 = 9892.2
9892.2 / 3116 = 3.17

You are thus 35.2x (3.17 / 0.09) more likely to be shot dead in the US than in the UK.




RAPE OF A FEMALE: ===================================

United Kingdom:
“Rape is the legal category of rape introduced in legislation in 2003. It is the penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth by a penis without consent.”   (UGHOCS, page 25, paragraph 14.)
United States:
“Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.”   (FBI – CUS – Forcible Rape)
UK incidences of rape of a female: 14,624 (THOSB – CEW table 2.04, page 43.)
14,624 / 561 = 26
US incidences of rape of a female: 83,425 (FBI – CUS)
83,425 / 3116 = 26.7

You are thus 1.02x (26.7 / 26) more likely to be raped as a female in the US than in the UK.





United Kingdom:
“Grievous body harm (GBH) includes injury resulting in permanent disability, more than minor permanent disfigurement, broken bones, fractured skull, compound fractures, substantial loss of blood, lengthy treatment or serious psychiatric injury (based on expert evidence).”   (UGHOCS, page 22, paragraph 11.)
United States:
“The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. The UCR Program further specifies that this type of assault is usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by other means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Assaults that do not involve the use of a firearm, knife or cutting instrument, or other dangerous weapon and in which the victim did not sustain serious or aggravated injuries are reported as Other Assaults–Simple, Not Aggravated.”   (FBI – CUS – Aggravated Assault)
UK incidences of grievous body harm: 19,474 (THOSB – CEW table 2.04, page 42.)
19,474 / 561 = 34.7
US  incidences of aggravated assault: 751,131 (FBI – CUS – Aggravated Assault)
751,131 / 3116 = 241.05

You are thus 6.9x (241.05 / 34.7) more likely to suffer aggravated assault in the US than in the UK.




THEFT OF A VEHICLE: =================================

United Kingdom:
“Theft or unauthorised taking of motor vehicle where the vehicle is taken without the consent of the owner or other lawful authority; this includes incidents where there is intent to permanently deprive the owner or where intent is not evident, typically including ‘joyriding’ where the car is later recovered.”   (UGHOCS, page 28, paragraph 1.)
United States:
“In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, motor vehicle theft is defined as the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. In the UCR Program, a motor vehicle is a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surfaces and not on rails. Examples of motor vehicles include sport utility vehicles, automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles. Motor vehicle theft does not include farm equipment, bulldozers, airplanes, construction equipment, or water craft such as motorboats, sailboats, houseboats, or jet skis. The taking of a motor vehicle for temporary use by persons having lawful access is excluded from this definition.”   (FBI – CUS – Motor vehicle theft)
UK incidences of vehicle theft: 99,277 (THOSB – CEW table 2.04, page 44.)
99,277 / 561 = 176.9
US incidences of vehicle theft: 715,373 (FBI – CUS – Motor vehicle theft)
715,373 / 3116 = 229.5

You are thus 1.29x (229.5 / 176.9) more likely to suffer theft of a vehicle in the US than in the UK.




CONCLUSION: =======================================

While it becomes clear that certain types of offenses are marginally higher in the UK than in the US (robbery and knife crime being more likely in the UK by an order of 1.1x and 1.27x respectively) a number of other, more serious offenses, are both marginally and substantially higher in the US. Rape of a female is 1.02x more likely in the US, while theft of a vehicle is 1.29x more likely. More disturbingly, burglary is significantly higher at 1.52x more likely to occur in the US. However, it is at the considerably more, well, violent crimes that America really supersedes England and Wales into its own class. In the United States, you are 6.9x more likely to be the victim of aggravated assault resulting in serious injury than in the UK. You are 4.03x more likely to be murdered than in the UK. And more staggeringly (though not surprising) you are 35.2x more likely to be shot dead in the Unites States than in the UK. Before anybody asks, no, these do not take into account justifiable homicide and other “acceptable shootings”, nor do murders for that matter:

The UCR Program does not include the following situations in this offense classification: deaths caused by negligence, suicide, or accident; justifiable homicides; and attempts to murder or assaults to murder, which are scored as aggravated assaults.” (FBI – UCS – Violent Crime)

What does this tell us? Well, maybe it is easier to say what this DOESN’T tell us. For starters, it DOESN’T tell us the UK is a more violent country than the US, and not even close. It DOES tell us that in fact, the United States is a lot more violent a country when it comes to serious offenses likely to result in serious injury, shootings or murder.It also tells us journalists, media outlets, bloggers, armchair political scientists and opinionated posters don’t actually bother to go through the numbers and verify the facts for themselves. Taking any information provided, by whichever source, at face value and without any attempt at  critical thinking or even a small dose of scepticism is dangerous and seriously out of touch with reality. Never let your prejudices, emotions, political views or bias get in the way of your faculties and your critical thinking.

In sum, it becomes clear that an objective comparison between any two countries types of offenses is a difficult and time consuming endeavour. In order for it to be done properly, matching definitions need to be found, and umbrella terms that group large numbers of what one country may class as offenses and the other not, must be avoided. Statistics must be broken down to their bare bones and compared accurately and objectively if any meaningful parallels are to be found. I hope that above, I have shown not only the truth, but also nothing may ever be taken at face value. I would welcome any others who decided to base their comments and views on similar grounds, rather than the vitriolic and groundless drivel I will no doubt be expecting. I don’t even expect more than a fraction of you will have read this far.

And if you have, it is clear WHY the United States IS more violent than the UK.



EDITORIAL NOTE: ===============================================

The contents of this blog are posted as is, and may be quoted, misquoted, misconstrued and misunderstood in whichever manner the reader sees fit. I will not maintain, edit or allow comments. The purpose of this is so that others may have a point of reference when referring to the UK vs US guns debate. For this purpose, I’ve added an easy PHP/Forum format post (top right corner) which will allow you to quote this post in that format. Colour and sizes may vary depending on forum format. Some editing may be necessary.
Outside of any actual technical or mathematical errors, such as spelling, broken links, or a mathematical mistake, I will not be further adding or editing the contents. If you wish to report something of this nature, please e-mail me at


UPDATE (08/02/2013)============================================

It has come to my attention that there was a mistake in the original calculation. While the article refers to the UK and counts its population, the crime statistics for the UK encompass only those of England and Wales. Thus,  I mistakenly added the populated of Northern Ireland and Scotland as constitutes the UK to the overall calculation. This inflated the population by approximately 7,081,775 people, while not taking into account the crime rate for those respective territories. As such, the population has been revised to include only that of England and Wales, to match the crime rates for those countries also. Please bear in mind then that any instances of “UK” in the blog are likely to refer only to “England and Wales.” The revised population figure stands down from 63,181,775 to  56,100,000.  This error skewed the numbers for all figures marginally in favour of the US (ie with higher crime rates for the UK) but not sufficiently to alter any of the original findings significantly, nor reverse any of the findings themselves.
All relevant figures have been revised. I would also like to add that under “Defining Violent Crime” I have added a small sub-section to explain PRC in the UK (police recorded crime) IS based on both findings before court AND findings after court. Unsolved homicides ARE included in these figures. Please see the relevant section for details and sources.


TL;dr? That’s fine. The US is more violent in basically all ways that will either result in a serious injury or death than the UK.

Open Carry Dildo

I guess it had to happen.

Gotta admit a dildo is more intimidating than a gun:

So, strap one on and make up for your lack of manhood.

Maine Family of Five Wiped Out - Murder - Suicide Suspected

From the Trenches

A family of five, including three children ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old, were found shot to death Sunday inside a southern Maine apartment, authorities said. 

Investigators said a gun was found near one of the bodies and it appeared no one outside the family was responsible for the shootings.  

State police Sgt. Chris Harriman said murder-suicide is one of the scenarios being investigated but that determination will be made by the state medical examiner’s office.

Authorities did not release the names of the family but said the parents were in their 30s and the children were ages 4, 7 and 12.

North Carolina Formerly Lawful and Polite Gun Owner Goes Wild - 3 Dead, 3 Wounded

Huffington Post

An angry husband sprayed his father-in-law's house with bullets from two 30-round magazines, killing two people, after his wife ran to the home during an argument Wednesday.

The man later exchanged gunfire with authorities and died of a gunshot wound after hitting several deputies and a state trooper, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said.

"He just went wild," Butler said of the shooter.

NRA Member Who Lost Sister To Gun Violence Tearfully Asks Senate To Protect Women

Huffington Post

Another Witchita Kid Dead - No Arrests - Police Offer the Usual Advice

Local news reports

A 3-year-old boy has died after what apparently was an accidental shooting in a home in the 500 block of East Lincoln on Tuesday afternoon, Wichita police said.

Police said they believe the mother and her boyfriend were sleeping in the house when the 3-year-old located a handgun and accidentally shot himself in the chest, Lt. Dennis Wilson said.

It was the second time in three months that a Wichita child was shot to death at home. On April 30, a 19-month old boy died shortly after being shot in the chest after three young children found a gun.
On Tuesday, the mother and boyfriend woke up when the shot was fired around 5 p.m. and called 911. 

Four children – ages 3, 6, 7 and 8 – were in the house at the time, Wilson said. 

The boy was taken to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m., Wilson said. The boy’s mother was with him when he died.

No arrests have been made, police said. The boyfriend was still in custody answering police questions nearly two hours after the shooting

“My advice to parents is to lock up any type of firearm,” Wilson said.

Read more here:

Friday, August 1, 2014

End of July GVA summary

Bizarre Fanatical NRA Video - Forced Guns for Everyone

Open Carry Loser #1298

Best comment award to the article this came from goes to Roland Smith for:
So lemme get this straight.....We have a socially marginalized guy with a ton of debt, no girlfriend and an obsession with guns and an anti-police, anti government mentality walking the crowded streets of Carytown on Saturdays with a crew of equally socially rejected antisocial police haters with assault rifles which may or may not have been purchased with proper background checks.

And they wear bullet proof vests.

Has anyone stopped to wonder WHY these guys might want Richmonders to be desensitized to the sight of AR-15s in Carytown???

Connect the dots people.

Your NRA: Meet Bob FitzSimmonds, NRA, VA GOP Treasurer

Meet Bob FitzSimmonds.

Virginia GOP Treasurer.  NRA member.  Racist and Bigot.

To mark the end of Ramadan, on Sunday, Obama released a statement thanking Muslim Americans "for their many achievements and building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy."
It is one thing to be gracious on religous holidays, but this is pure nonsense. Exactly what part of our nation's fabric was woven by Muslims?

Gosh, Bobby--who has never served in the military--what about this?

 Just another NRA racist and bigot.  It's a common theme.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Call me crazy, but I feel one of my responsibilities as a gun rights advocate is to show people that gun owners are reasonable, responsible people who aren’t a threat to the innocent. If I were to, say, walk into Chipotle carrying an AK at the combat ready, I’m pretty sure I’d accomplish the exact opposite. And I really couldn’t blame regular Joe for being afraid of me. Think about it, guys. If a cop walks into Chipotle with a rifle, people will get scared. If a soldier walks into Chipotle with a rifle, people will get scared. If some unknown guy walks into Chipotle with a rifle, especially if he’s carrying it at the combat ready, people are going to get scared. In America, carrying a rifle into a restaurant isn’t a normal act. Right or wrong, it scares people. And you won’t make people less scared of guns by intentionally scaring them with guns.

Source, which is well worth a read.

Do you want government dictating medical matters?

Isn't that the big gripe with "obamacare" (aka the affordable care act)?

Yet, people have no problem with the decision to give birth.

Anyway, this poster from the American Academy of Pediatrics seems appropriate:

South Carolina Gun Owner Kills his Son - Family Says Accident - Police Say Murder

WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Your NRA: Meet Robert Dowlut, NRA's General Counsel

Gosh, is the NRA's whole leadership comprised of racists, murderers, attempted murderers, bigots, sex offenders,
misogynists, felons, embezzlers, and petty criminals?

Meet Bob Dowlut--NRA General Counsel.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cenk on the right to bare breasts

Judicial Ethic rules?

It seems that Judge Scullin, the judge who invalidated DC's carry ban, reported reimbursement for attending a seminar in Florida sponsored by the Charles Koch funded George Mason University Law and Economics Center, aka Mercatus Center in 2010. But I'm sure that didn't have anything to do with his ultimate ruling. It was just a coincidence. Right?

I think the same  is true for Silberman (Parker), and Thomas and Scalia: they have all accepted gifts from the Kochs or Koch funded entities.

Where are the judicial ethic rules for Federal Judges? Who enforces them if they exist?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The right to keep and bare breasts! (or open carry breasts)

You wanted to see something else?
It seems that the open carry crowd in Texas is upset at some women lawfully displaying their breasts in public.

Somehow, it seems to me that it would be a "god" (goddess?) given right if such a thing were to exist since breasts, unlike firearms, are part of the human body.   Firearms are not only man made, but a fairly recent one on the historic timeline (maybe a thousand years or so back), which seems to knock the possibility that a deity had anything to do with their creation.

In fact, I would think that even the most hard core religious fanatic would have to admit that god created the human body. Women's breast perform the function of nurturing babies, which again points to the fact that they may have been designed by a creator deity if one believes in such things.

Or did you really buy into the modesty fig leaf thing?

Additionally, it seems that it is not against the law to "keep and bare breasts" in Texas (at least the part where women openly carry their breasts), which means they can exercise their goddess given right to do just that.

Kinda like realising that god is responsible for most abortions:  god is also responsible for women having breasts.

As the song says:  Ya gotta like boobs a lot!

But if you have a problem with women exercising their right to keep and bare breasts, maybe you ought to consider that walking around with a weapon isn't exactly a friendly act. In fact, it is a threatening act to most thinking people.

Did that ever occur to you, or are you just too stupid for that to occur to you?

Next week: the NRA demands that Open Carry Texas ogle breasts; to be followed by a limp retraction.

See also:

Your NRA: Meet William DeHayes

Yup, the total package: no shirt, cig plugged into piehole, displaying his manhood.  Surely he is the stud of his trailerpark.

NRA member Willy DeHayes is very proud of his manhood.  So much so, he likes to show them off to people.  Sometimes this isn't a good idea:

Brooksville, Florida -- A 25-year-old pregnant woman is dead after she was shot in the head last night in Brooksville.
According to the Brooksville Sheriff's Office, Katherine Lynn Hoover died early this morning.
She was five months pregnant.
Physicians at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point removed baby boy Hoover last night after Katherine was airlifted to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Baby boy Hoover was pronounced dead at 8:35 p.m.
Sheriff's investigators Katherine Hoover's injuries occurred after her friend, William DeHayes, showed her his .22 caliber revolver and it went off, the bullet striking Hoover in the head.
Hey, but it's all ok--Willy feels bad about everything:

"We feel terrible about the whole thing," Don DeHayes, William's father, told 10 News. "For the other family, for my son and his family, we just feel bad. We can't change it."

Don DeHayes sounds like a real putz.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"[The gun issue] is the one thing that will spin the blue-collar union member away from his union."--Neil Knox

You are cynical about government, but what about the politicians that make the laws?

George Carlin on Language - Israeli Murderers are Called Commandos

DC Concealed Carry Ban Unconstitutional

from ssgmarkcr

  I just saw this come up.  It seems that the US District Court in DC has ruled that the District's ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional.  The Heller, McDonald, and Peruta decisions were all cited in the decision. 

"In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which
this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-
use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the
Court finds that the District of Columbia's complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is

"Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”

"Judge Sculin extensively referenced the Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) to concluding “there is no longer any basis on which this court can conclude that the District of Columbia's total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny.”

    Of course, it will be appealed, and might end up like Illinois did.  Perhaps they'll even appeal it to the US Supreme Court, something that Illinois decided not to do.  We shall see. 

The reality challenged right--a bibliography.

One doesn't need to go too long to find that the US right has embraced ignorance as a virtue, but here is a bibliography of sources if you think I'm making this up:
Of course, we can use The Heller Decision for the apotheosis of ignorance.  In fact, the "gun rights" movement is so obviously a case of ignorance trumping reality that it is mind numbing.

I'll keep updating this as more material comes to light.

A good post for a Sunday

This eye-opening map was created by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

If you’d like to see state-by-state breakdowns of exactly how many believers each faith has, the ASARB has the maps for you.

Something to think about when you want to go imposing your religion on others.

I find it interesting the places where Islam is the second largest religion.

See also: