Well, there are probably many reasons, but this article in the New York Times and on CNN reminded me of how wonderful England truly is. The gist of the story is that some doctors are moving to ban long, pointy kitchen knives because they are the most common murder weapon in England.
It’s a dicey topic in the states, but it could only remind me of the murder problem that plagues America (which seems to be a GUN problem, see stats below). But I’m not sure. One thing that came up in the CNN article was that the doctors said that “many assaults are impulsive, often triggered by alcohol or misuse of other drugs…[and the knife is easily available]” So something about impulsiveness and then the availability of a weapon should be considered. Bowling for Columbine, in which Michael Moore went to Canada, an equally gun-toting nation in which people seem to stay on the right end of the barrel, reminds us that it isn’t just ‘having guns’ that causes the violent deaths we see in the US. (here is an interesting site refuting Moore’s statistics)
Total homocide rate in England in 2003 was 853. The total murder rate in the US that year, according to the FBI was 14408. Given that the population of the US is about 5 times that of England, we appear to only have about 2-3 times the murder rate per capita.
So… maybe the US isn’t so bad after all.. ? 🙂 And maybe the Brits will fight the pointy knife ban with the catchy slogan, ‘if long, pointy knives are outlawed, only outlaws will have long, pointy knives.’ …
Comparison of U.S. gun homicides to other industrialized countries:
In 1998 (the most recent year for which this data has been compiled), handguns murdered:
- 373 people in Germany
- 151 people in Canada
- 57 people in Australia
- 19 people in Japan
- 54 people in England and Wales, and
- 11,789 people in the United States