22 February 2018

Guns. And inequality. OR; Lets focus on the root of the problem

Apparently now the topic is guns here. I guess I'll bite too.
Inspired by a Facebook theory on how race relates to the public reaction to gun violence, I did a little (internet) research, and a little thinking, and I think I've got something...

First a bunch of background:

- Gun violence IS very high in this country compared to other wealthy nations. So is violence, generally. Gun violence is a subset of, and proportionate to, violence generally.

- While comparing the US to wealthy nations makes us seem particularly violent, comparing us to the world puts us on the gentler side of average.

- It turns out wealth is the wrong metric to use to compare. There is little to no correlation with wealth vs poverty and rates of violence.

- The relevant metric is actually wealth equality. Across all countries, the more inequality there is, the more violence there is. https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/003465300559028#.VEa2xNTF9D5

- When measuring inequality, the US is actually closer to some "third-world" dictatorships than it is to Western Europe, Canada, or Japan. According to the CIA, there are 110 nations with more equality than the US, and only 39 with less.
- Whenever a high profile, dramatic incident involving guns occurs, 1/2 the country is extremely interested in guns for a few weeks. This could be a person shooting indiscriminately at other people, or a stand off between law enforcement and some cult or militia.