Rainy day statistics from Lloyd Cooke

How does a thoughtful fellow spend his time on a rainy day? If you’re Lloyd and you’ve been reading about mass shootings in the news, you dig deeper and find different ways to look at the problem.
Murder by Gunshot ‐ USA and Canada
A person is 7 times more likely to be murdered by guns in the USA than in Canada. Interestingly, your odds are increased to more than 40 to 1 if you are in the United Kingdom compared to USA.
The number of homicides by guns is only about one third of all deaths by gunshot in both Canada and the US – it seems the presence of guns in a household leads to an even greater number of suicide and accidental deaths. The USA also has more about 3 times more guns per capita than Canada (88.8 vs 30.8 guns per 100,000 people) and not surprisingly, about 4 times the number of all gun related deaths per capita.
How do we imagine or visualize the loss of life in these numbers? In the attached maps I have imagined that if the 10,700 annual gunshot murder victims in the USA were to link hands, they would stretch for 20 kilometers ‐ from the foot of Yonge Street east along the Lakeshore, then north along the Don Valley Parkway, then west along Bloor Street, then south along Dufferin and back along the Lakeshore to Yonge Street.
Also, if the 175 annual gunshot murder victims in Canada were to link hands they would stretch 1,000 feet around the Nathan Phillips Square reflecting pool in front of City Hall.
At first this seems like a good comparison for Canada – but on the other hand on a per capita basis we are only 4 times less likely to be victims of gun violence ( probably not as different as many of us imagine) , and we have a long way to go to match the United Kingdom – but it is a worthy goal.
. . . All statistics courtesy of Wikipedia

One thought on “Rainy day statistics from Lloyd Cooke

  1. The rain continued into the early evening – and so did I ( but be assured, my investigation is now concluded) with Part 2:
    Most of the statistics available use common reference “ . . . per 100,000 population”.
    Let’s imagine a small city of 100,000 – about the size of Barrie or Peterborough, but located in the USA
    The US city would therefore have some 89 guns. And over a 10 year period the city would experience 36 murders and 63 suicides by gunshot. Chances are you would know, or know of, some of the victims.
    Why so many? Remember some of these 89 guns are multi-shot assault weapons and capable of taking more than one life at a time. Statistics also show that areas with high gun ownership are more likely to have high suicide rates (self inflicted gunshots are almost always fatal where as other means are not).
    If the 100,000 population city were in Canada we could expect 5 murders and 18 suicides by gunshot over a ten year period. Not as bad, but still far too may!! We are better, but not as good as we could be.
    This second chapter is too discomforting (too easy to relate to here at home) to be put into the Blog.
    Editor’s note: Obviously I thought that Part 2 should be published as a comment on the blog, but I must say… I’m glad it finally stopped raining.

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