ANALYSE - Na het drama van Newtown is wapenbezit in de VS (uiteraard) weer een hot topic geworden. Er worden allerlei rationalisaties en oplossingen geroepen. SocProf kijkt naar de feiten.
This obvious set of facts:
See the differences? See the statistically significant correlation between homicide by firearms and ownership of firearms? See the massive difference between the United States and other developed countries?
Now, since last week, we have heard a whole bunch of rationalizations as to why this has nothing to do with guns. So, let me unpack some of these rationalizations.
Rationalization #1: violence is part of human nature.
If that were the case, the rates of violence between the United States and comparable countries would be, well, comparable. Heck, violence rates all over the world would be roughly at the same rate. There is nothing “natural” about violence. There is nothing genetic about it. It is not universal. To state that violence is universal and part of human nature fails to explain the scatterplot above.
Rationalization #2: If the killers had not used guns, they would have used something else (follows a long list of potential weapons).
Except, they did not, did they. These killer had access to these alternative weapons all along. So why did they pick guns? R#2 does not explain the choice of guns in the first place. The reason they picked guns was that guns are available relatively easily. They are also lethally effective (and a lot of people pointed out that the Chinese attacker went after the same number of children with a knife and none of them died). And the kind of guns these killers chose were those that would provide them with great and easy means of piling up a solid body count.