Following today's awful school shooting in Connecticut I wondered what gun ownership / crime was like in the USA versus Canada. So let's take a look.
- The USA has a population of 311mm versus Canada's 34mm, a ratio of about 9:1;
- US gun owners is 32 per 100 adults vs Canada's 24 per 100 persons (so correct by about 20% to 20 per 100 adults in Canada);
- Total firearm fatalities in the USA: 9,000 homicides, 17,000 suicides, 600 accidents (0.086 per thousand people) vs 200 homicides, 600 suicides, ~30 accidents in Canada 830/34mm (0.02 per thousand people);
It turns out that the dominant factors for firearm homicide are race, sex, and age group:
The victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher than those for whites.It looks as if the dominant reason for the firearm homicide rate in the USA is the proportion of young black men. 700K Canadians identify as black (2%) compared to 12% in the USA.
The offending rates for blacks were more than 7 times higher the rates for whites.
Males represent 77% of homicide victims and nearly 90% of offenders. The victimization rates for males were 3 times higher than the rates for females. Approximately one-third of murder victims and almost half the offenders are under the age of 25. For both victims and offenders, the rate per 100,000 peaks in the 18-24 year-old age group.
That's not the entire explanation - you don't get school shootings in Canada, and the major school shooting perps in the USA were white (or Korean). But it's a disturbing set of statistics.