16 April 2015

Bowling for gun deaths

Recently decided to watch Bowling for Columbine again "inspired" by the latest disaster in the US of a three-year old shooting a baby in the head. 

Cory Doctorow also reposted an article from Boing Boing from 2003 wherein Michael Moore tries to defend himself against the gun lobby's attacks on his film - archive.org version

I've just got to the bit in the film, about 50 minutes in, where he describes the gun deaths around the world and wanted to see if things had got better or worse in the 13 years since the film was released. My figures came from Wikipedia, as so many things do, and I cross-matched the numbers from that page with requests to Google saying "France population 2009" and so on.

My figures are not very accurate. Most of the time I've rounded up in the decimal point was more than .6, but I didn't want to make the figures worse than they are; I just wanted a rough idea.

It seems things are getting worse. For each country, I put the deaths reported in Bowling for Columbine, then the total deaths reported on Wikipedia. Those deaths are per 100,000 of the population so I just took the millions value for population, added a zero and multiplied by the deaths reported. Please let me know if my maths is wrong.

Gun deaths

2001: 381
2010: 1.24 82 = 1,017

2001: 255
2009: 3.01 65 = 1,956

2001: 365
07-11: 2.22 35 = 777

2001: 68
2010: 0.25 63 = 157

2001: 65
2011 0.86 22 = 189

2001: 39
2008: 0.06 128 = 77

2001: 11,127
2011: 10.3 312 = 32,136

To make it clear:
For France's figures for 2009 you get "2009: 3.01 65 = 1,956"
This means 3.01 deaths by gun fire per 100,000 people. France's population in 2009 was listed as roughly 65 million, so I multiplied 3.01 by 650 (adding the zero to make the 3.01 number pertinent to millions), which gives a depressing 1,956 deaths by gunfire in my extrapolation.

What has depressed me further here is look at the increase in less than 15 years:

Germany 2.67x
France 7.67x (!)
Canada 2.12x
UK 2.3x
Australia 2.9x
Japan 1.97x
US 2.89x

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