A list of most dangerous countries in the world if counting the deaths by firearms, according to the website http://www.nationsmaster.com:
1. South Africa
4. United States of America
5. The Phillipines
8. El Salvador
This ranking is probably quite surprising to most. I stumbled on the list when researching the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia of the 30-odd nations of the area.
Hearing about the intent of the Canadian and US governments to refuse to discuss over the weekend the issue of legalization of illegal drugs as an option to combat the devastation in the countries due to drug wars going on in middle and south American nations, I shook my head. As the only two nations that are not as directly affected by the devastation and the death toll by the drug wars than the other nations, now proposing some form of legalization, they seemed to have less appetite to accommodate this idea than the nations much affected. Or are they? We all know that the rich US and Canada are drug the users and are the target of the drug smuggle.
According to the stats above, the US is a nation where weapons are seen as an integral part of society that made it a very dangerous nation. Bearing weapons is seen as a constitutional right. Estimates of the number of guns in the US are hard to pinpoint and varies from the low numbers from official guns that were registered by the government agency, to other estimates that say that there are more guns than people. The deaths in the US might not necessarily be drug related, but we have seen the media reports about a variety of types of violence perpetrated in that country, from college and school kids gunned down in university and high school killings and to mass murders, like the civil uprising at Oklahoma where government had to bomb the activists who had intended to fight with weapons. The website http://www.nraila.org there are now 325 million privately held firearms in the US.
The gun lobby is getting stronger, predominantly consisting of white middle class people that feel and act as if they are victims facing discrimination and might loose their right to defend themselves, against the government if they should happen to see a need. That would amount to a civil war and insurgency, in my book. I can’t for the life of me understand that a nation’s governments, local and federal, would NOT see the need to disarm and regulate weapon possession of their citizens, who indeed could and are wrecking havoc with their weapons.
The last count of total deaths by violence in the US was according to the statistics website as I have discussed in the blog post Mexican Musings earlier, was over 1,3 million for one year only.
The number of guns made in the US was for one year (2009) according the the ATFL government website 2.4 million handguns and over 3 million rifles and shotguns made by 5400 licensed firearms manufacturers. There are also 950 licensed importers in the US (mainly guns from Brazil and Austria).
The Brady Act instated by Clinton to restrict guns ending up in the hands of criminals requires a criminal record check for every gun buyer, but that law is allegedly almost too easy to circumvent by using a third party straw men to purchase the guns that are then re-sold without criminal checks. Each year there are anywhere from over 3 million to 5 1/2 million guns made in the US and sold, I take it, i addition to estimates of 700,000 weapons imported a year. There were only 2,8 plus million weapons registered by the government agency on Dec 2010. Were are all the others?
Scary country indeed.