05 November 2009

Missing the obvious

Mikeb had a post where he discussed a Times article I sent him where Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that the annual murder rate in London was two deaths per 100,000 of the population — compared with 35 per 100,000 in Baltimore.

That post had the following table:

Murder rates per 100,000 population

133 Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
130 Caracas, Venezuela
67 New Orleans
62 Cape Town
35 Baltimore
6 New York
2 London

Of course, comparing crime rates between countries is a bit of mental masturbation, but the salient part is that these are the murder rates compares by areas with "gun control" and without "gun control".

First off, why might Ciudad Juárez, Mexico's murder rate be so high? Well, it's across the U.S. border from El Paso, Texas. El Paso and Ciudad Juárez comprise one of the largest binational metropolitan areas in the world with a combined population of 2.4 million people. In fact, Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, in spite of the fact that it is "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones."

Mexico does indeed have strong gun control measures, but we are dealing with a city that suffers from a plague of drug violence. That means that the city probably has its share of smugglers who are capable of moving large quantities of drugs north of the border into the United States.

Not to mention it is directly across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

Likewise, the drug smugglers can move large quantities of firearms South of the Border. We can debate the issue, but allegations are made that weak US gun laws fuel the gun violence problem in Mexico. The border here is porous enough to render Mexican gun laws moot.

Drug Killings have skyrocketed such that the the death toll for 2009 already has surpassed 2,000 homicides, almost 400 more than the total count for 2008. Of course, not all of those were committed with a firearm. According to Ciudad Juarez government figures, about 100 homicides in 2009 have been "inocentes," or innocent bystanders, compared with around 30 in 2008. These homicides include people caught in crossfire and relatives of cartel members.

Maybe the Yanks could end their stupid drug war. But that's not my point.

Next we come to Caracas, Venezuela with 130 deaths. Colombian-organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region. Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking, smuggling, and cattle-rustling occur frequently in areas along the 1,000-mile long border between Venezuela and Colombia per the US State Department. The CIA factbook states that:
small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border

Again, perhaps the Yanks can do something about their war on drugs. SO, my comments about Caracas are similar to those about Ciudad Juarez,

Strangely enough, the presence of the next one, New Orleans, seemed to have been missed by the commentators to mikeb's post.

Probably because New Orleans isn't a foreign city, but one in the United States. Not only is it in the United States, but it is in the gun friendly jurisdiction of Louisiana! It's a shall issue CCW state! I thought I would look up "New Orleans Guns" and see if I could learn more about this, but it seems that the gun cretin crowd is only worried about any possibility of a "gun grab". Maybe that's why that one was missed.

The gun cretin crowd wants to point a finger and distract from everything at hand, but the fact that lax gun laws mean more gun crime!

Cape Town
is the next one on the list which has gun control. Owning a gun is conditional on a competency test and several other factors, including background checking of the applicant, inspection of an owner's premises, and licensing of the weapon by the police introduced in July 2004. South Africa does have a strong gun culture though.

The next three on the list have even more stringent gun controls with London being the strongest.