Violent Crime Rates In Canada, Australia, the UK and the US – The US Looks Pretty Good by Comparison

Via twitter… I hate it that folks can post things without providing links to their source material. So here is a link. Comparing international trends in recorded violent crime. Courtesy of the Australian government

Trends in recorded violent crime in England and Wales, the United States, Canada, and Australia, rate per 100,000 persons, 1962-2004
Trends in recorded violent crime in England and Wales, the United States, Canada, and Australia, rate per 100,000 persons, 1962-2004

It is interesting to note that the law virtually outlawing private handgun possession in the UK was passed in 1997. Given the rate of increase that the violent crime went through in the years after that, do you think it was a success?

Of course things in the UK got a bit better after 2005 – if they had stayed on that trajectory it would have been crazy. You can find numerous article extolling how the crime rate decreased (marginally) in the years after 2005.

And the UK does have one of the lowest rates of GUN homicide. (That data is easy to find – they shout it from the top of Wikipedia at every chance available.)

The way the UK Home Office reports crime statistics has me bamboozled. I am currently wading through “detection rates” which basically means “cases closed” but I can’t find rates on crimes recorded or occurred. I also can’t find anything except “crimes against the person” which I take to be all kinds of assault, lethal or not. If I can figure out their overall murder-rate, I will either update this post or post another entry. Gun-crime is usually a smoke-screen. In this case it almost certainly is, because if violent crime increased that much since 1998, I would guess murder went up as well. And it doesn’t matter to the victims if they were shot, stabbed or bludgeoned, it only matters to the folks producing the statistics.

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Government Spending and Ebola – Could They Screw It Up Any More?

Buying things in bulk only works if you track the expiration date, and have proper storage facilities. The DHS didn’t, and doesn’t. At Ebola hearing, DHS inspector general reports that pandemic preparedness supplies may no longer work – The Business Journals.

• The Transportation Security Agency has about 200,000 respirators that are more than five years old — the usability threshold guaranteed by the manufacturer.

• Out of nearly 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer stockpiled for the Washington, D.C., region, nearly 4,200 are past their expiration date.

• DHS spent $600,000 on antiviral drugs that it sent to field offices, but these drugs often were stored in buildings that aren’t temperature-controlled during evenings and weekends, potentially compromising their effectiveness. As a result, DHS is recalling 32,000 courses of antiviral drugs for possible destruction.

Any 19th century homeowner would have known that you have to track how long your supplies will last. Canned goods and gas masks have expiration dates. Apparently the geniuses that run the DHS didn’t think about any of that.

And 200,000 respirators? Exactly how did they arrive at that number? (The cost of the respirator divided by their budget?) I have no idea what the correct number is, but 200k seems like it is either too many or too few. Depends on the mission I guess.

It’s a good thing all the pundits are telling us not to worry about Ebola, because it is clear that the .gov isn’t up to the task just yet. Let’s hope this is the dry run they needed and move on to getting ready for next time.

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Ebola Virus Has Traveled to Mali – To Early to Say How Bad This Will Be

More bad news on the Ebola front. Mali’s first Ebola case, a two-year-old girl, dies – officials.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is probably not equipped to handle an outbreak of this disease.

The girl had travelled with her grandmother hundreds of kilometres by bus from Guinea via Mali’s capital to the western town of Kayes, where she was diagnosed on Thursday. Health workers were scrambling to trace hundreds of potential contacts in a bid to prevent Ebola taking hold in Mali.

She was symptomatic for at least 3 days before being diagnosed, and was contagious during that time. That three days included the bus journey.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) are rushing an emergency team and supplies to Mali.

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TSA-like Security Comes to Public Transit: Goodbye 4th Amendment

What more can you say? Police to begin checking bags for explosives at CTA stations | Chicago Sun-Times.

Starting the week of Nov. 3, officers will ask “randomly selected” individuals if they are willing to have their bags screened before they pay to enter a station, police said in a statement Friday. If someone declines the screening, they will not be allowed to ride the train.

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So Ferguson Shooting Was Justified?

So the situation was more complicated than the forces screaming for blood made out. Evidence supports officer’s account of shooting in Ferguson – The Washington Post.

Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post.

Physical evidence – blood spatter, shell casings etc. – also support the version of events as told by Officer Wilson. If the Grand Jury decides against indicting him, then I expect the folks fanning the hate in Ferguson to ignore that evidence and go on another media-fueled frenzy.

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Tired of Ebola News? Try Tuberculosis Instead

Several thousand people have died of Ebola in the past year. 1.9 million people died of tuberculosis or TB in 2013. WHO: Alarming Increase in Multi-Drug Resistant TB.

There is regular TB, which can be treated with a 6-month regimen of drugs. Then there is multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).

“There are now around 480,000 MDR-TB cases estimated to have occurred in 2013. And as you know, MDR-TB is a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to at least the first two key drugs against tuberculosis,” said Raviglione. “When you have this situation, then the treatment changes. It becomes much more complicated, much longer, two years rather than six months, much more expensive, much more difficult to follow and much richer, if you like, of side-effects.”

MDR-TB can become extreme drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) which is now found in 100 countries.

TB – all forms – is a bacterial infection, which means it really is airborne, like the flu.

I’m all for doing things to stay safe, and I love to beat up on bureaucratic ineptitude, but if you are going to worry about something, worry about something that really matters.

Part of the reason that Ebola has made so many headlines is the fact that it is a hemorrhagic fever – that is, the symptoms include bleeding from your nose, gums, etc. Messy and gross makes for good TV, I’m guessing. And we have to fill up the 24 hour news with something. (Kim Kardashian helps a lot with that, but the poor girl can only be expected to do so much.)

I wonder if Hansen’s disease (leprosy) will make a reappearance in the news?

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Defending Your Family from Attack

Parents (and grandparents) have a duty to protect their children. This is a post about 2 such occurrences.

So how would you react if someone, or several someones, were trying to rape a member of your family? Homeowner shoots home invaders attempting to rape his granddaughter : News :

The homeowner and his wife were forced into the back of the house and ordered to open their safe. All three men had handguns and attempted to rape the couple’s granddaughter, the release said.

That’s when the homeowner grabbed a gun and fired at the suspects. The suspects fired back, hitting the homeowner several times, and took off in the homeowner’s gold Cadillac, according to the sheriff’s office.

The grandfather was seriously wounded and remains in serious condition. One of the would-be rapists is dead, and the other two were shot and are also in serious condition.

Without access to a firearm, this homeowner may not have been injured (MAY – you don’t know how it would have played out!), but his granddaughter would certainly have been raped. Without access to firearms, any of us can be overwhelmed by numbers.

The press are looking for more answers, but it appears this is also a case of self defense. Sarasota homeowner shoots, kills intruder – WFLA News Channel 8.

Sarasota Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Wendy Rose said, “He confronted [Yoder] in the hallway. The suspect fired a shot at the homeowner, and the homeowner returned fire striking and killing the subject inside his home.”

The man’s 11-year-old son was in the home, and he believed he had no choice.

Self-defense is a human right.

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What if 911 Wasn’t There? Then What Would Bloomberg Have You Do?

Calling 911 is one strategy for dealing with a violent situation. But for 6 hours one day in April, the entire State of Washington was without 911 service. Washington 911 outage: Six hours because counter stopped at 40 million..

This April, most 911 services went out in seven states for six hours; the entire state of Washington was affected by the near total blackout. And per a new Federal Communications Commission report, the root cause of the crisis—which is not believed to have led to any deaths—was very simple.

The system that routed 911 calls maxed out at 40 million calls. And then stopped working. Remember Y2K? Exactly the same thing. A hard-coded limit in the system was reached. And the system failed.

Calling 911 and expecting to be rescued from a violent situation is a fine strategy. Calling 911 is a fine thing to do. But if that is your only plan, then you may be disappointed in the outcome. That disappointment may last for the rest of your life.

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Clerk Fights Back With the Weapon at Hand and Foils Robbery

Fighting back against criminals, even armed criminals, is a strategy for dealing with a hostile situation. It worked here. Portsmouth store clerk fights off gunman with trash can |

“He comes straight to the kitchen area and he pulled the gun and said ‘I need the money,’” Maachoui says.

Maachoui didn’t have a gun, but instead used his resourceful thinking to take action. His weapon of choice? A 40-gallon trash can.

Pushing the guy with the trash-can lid was enough. The gun discharged once into a cooler of Mountain Dew, but no one was hurt, and would-be robber got out of there. Apparently he wasn’t expecting resistance and realized that in a fight, he might get hurt.

And for anyone who wants to claim how the smart thing to do is cooperate with the violent criminals, I bring your attention to the posts in the category, Cooperate with Criminals.

As I say in those Cooperate with Criminals posts, (and also at the archives) cooperation is a strategy for dealing with a violent encounter. It doesn’t always work, and I believe it to be a fairly poor strategy. Fighting back, with whatever means you have available is also a strategy. No strategy will work perfectly, since “there are no guarantees in this life save death and next winter’s snow.”

Self-defense is a human-right.

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Don’t Bring a Screwdriver to a Gunfight

If you are armed with a screwdriver, and a guy with a shotgun tells you to get the hell out of his house, you might consider taking his advice. Homeowner Shoots Intruder – WLOS – Asheville Top Stories – ABC.

They tell News 13 when the homeowner warned Hicks to leave he refused. The homeowner’s daughter says her father fired several warning shots before shooting Hicks in the right knee.

The police caught up with this genius at a hospital in Tennessee. He has been charged with first degree burglary.

This idiot is lucky that he wasn’t killed. Center-mass shot with even a small shotgun at close range is going to do a lot of damage.

As it stands the homeowner is upset, but as his daughter said, “you got to do what you got to do.”

Self-defense is a human-right. Good Guys 1, Bad Guys 0. [Hat tip to]

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