Is My Mom Safer in Canada?

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My mother recently purchased a vacation home in Nova Scotia. One of the things she likes about it is that she feels safer there than she does at home in Virginia Beach, because Canada’s murder rate is so much lower than it is in the United States. Our neighbors to the North pride themselves on their low crime rate, usually citing that their murder rate is far lower than ours (1.9 vs. 5.5 per 100,000 people in 2004). Frequently, proponents of gun control have held Canada up as an example of the benefits of gun control, again citing Canada’s lower murder rate. But does that lower murder rate mean my mom is safer there?

While Canada does have a lower murder rate that the U.S., the rates of all other violent crimes are higher in Canada – significantly higher. In the U.S. last year (2005), there were approximately 471 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In Canada, there were 943 per 100,000. That’s twice the U.S. violent crime rate. So why is our murder rate more than two-and-a-half times theirs? Because Blacks and Hispanics are murdered at a far higher rates than are Whites and Asians, and Canada has relatively few Blacks and Hispanics. Since my mom is neither Black nor Hispanic, I thought I would try to look at just the murder rates for White victims.

(N.B.: The statistics used here reflect who has been murdered, not who's doing the murdering. The point of this investigation is to show the relative safety of a White person, namely my mother, in the United States as compared to Canada, so the emphasis is on victim counts. I do not care about the race of the perpetrators here, because I do not think living in Canada will turn my mom into a violent criminal.)

Unfortunately, and unfathomably, the FBI does not keep, or at least does not publish, data on Hispanic crime victims. The options are Black, White, Other, and Unknown. Hispanics are classified as one of the above. Fortunately, some states do track Hispanic crime victims, and the Census Bureau tracks the races into which Hispanics classified.

Although the data is sketchy, some studies have concluded that the murder rate for Hispanics is about 9.1 per 100,000. U.S. Census data that tells us that 91% of Hispanics consider themselves “White” (when forced to choose), and 6% consider themselves “Black.” With these census numbers and the Hispanic murder rate, we can derive the number of Hispanic victims, which we subtract from the reported Black and White victim counts. When we go back and recompute the murder rates for Whites and Blacks without the Hispanic victims, we find that the murder rate for Black victims is 18.1 per 100,000, while the White murder rate is only 1.9 per 100,000. Thus, the White murder rate in the U.S. is right in line with Canada’s.

So why, then, is Canada’s violent crime rate so high? The property crime rate is not significantly higher in Canada (3738 in Canada vs. 3517 in the U.S., per 100,000 people), so why should the violent crime be that much higher? Because we have guns. In the United States, a homeowner or a person shopping in the mall is far more likely to have a gun than is a Canadian, who is not permitted to carry a loaded handgun, even when he is licensed to have one at all. In Canada, handguns may only be transported if they are unloaded, are equipped with a trigger lock, and are locked in a case; and no stops may be made between one’s home and the (government approved) shooting range.

Another consequence of the Canadian gun ban is that, in Canada, 50% of burglaries are of occupied homes. That rate is only 13% here. Along with the higher burglary rate in Canada, that means that burglary of an occupied home in Canada is four times more common than it is here. Burglars don't get shot in Canada.

I am far less concerned for her safety when she is home in Virginia Beach than when she is in Nova Scotia, which has an even higher violent crime rate than does Canada as a whole. (Halifax, the capitol of Nova Scotia, has the highest crime rate of any city in Canada.) My mother is a widow, and one of the Social Security generation. Without a gun, she has no chance of defending herself against a typical young criminal. Here in the United States, my mom has the right to own a gun for personal protection. She is also protected here by the deterrence provided by our collective gun ownership, because the criminals don’t know whether she has a gun or not.

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9 Comments

Two words: Potato Gun.

A 4-foot length of PVC is easy to carry around the house, and hair spray and buckets of spuds can be pre-positioned strategically next to the bed, near the easy chair and in the kitchen.

But seriously, the burning question has to be: Why Canada? Couldn't she have found something nice in Florida or, if temperature is an issue, New Hampshire? She'd be packing in either place.

If she's set on NS, you can at least fix her up with some kick butt supplies much easier to wield than potatoes.

Start here:

http://www.defensedevices.com/expepspray.html

Jack said:

Joe:

Property is much cheaper in N.S. than anywhere on the east coast of the U.S. When I was there, I saw a 50-acre lot, on a river navigable down to the ocean, for $38,000 Canadian.

Canadians are not allowed to carry weapons of any kind, including pepper spray and, I would assum, potato guns. (I see you get the Sunday Post, too.)According to the Consular Information Sheet published by our Dept. of State, mace and pepper spray are classified as "restricted firearms" by the Canadian Government.

Just to give you further insight into the Canadians, the CIS goes on to say, "Visitors to large cities should be aware that parked cars are regularly targeted for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts, and they are cautioned to avoid leaving any possessions unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Due to the high incidence of such crimes, motorists in Montreal and some other jurisdictions can be fined for leaving their car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view." It's the victims fault. These poor criminals just cannot stop themselves if you leave your car unlocked.

Lastly, people in the U.S. who do not carry guns are still protected by our right to carry them, because the criminals don't know who's carrying.

No wonder property is so cheap, it sounds like a pretty crappy country. At the risk of over-generalizing, of course. Someone I know went to Vancouver not so long ago and had the car burglarized, and reported she "just wanted to get out of there" as fast as possible, and would never go back because the overall feeling of the town was terrible.

I'd buy her some pepper spray anyway if you could think of a way to get it across the border.

God Bless America said:

honestly, we've got our problems but we are still the best place to live in the world. Thanks for the reminder, Jack!

Jack said:

BTW, Joe, try to avoid mentioning potato guns. After the article in the Washington Post, the D.C. Council is looking to ban potatoes.

If you have a chance, you might ask Tom Davis why he opposes repealing the D.C. gun ban.

Arthur De Volve said:

Canadians don't realize they don't have rights.

Canadians also cannot understand statistics otherwise, they would read them and realize that they are not if fact safer and, also that all their gun crime is not due to "illegal guns" crossing the US Canada border

crystal said:

I hope this information could be useful,and if anyone could help shed light I would be greatful .

I’am a victim of psychiatric abuse its a crime, and in hospital I have witnessed the twisted mentality of mental health professionals such as abuse like punishing me with force drugging of antipsychotics , chemical restraints ,isolation for days at a time with in appropriate meals, and nursing staff threating me with anything they thought of and it just depends on how mad you got the staff that day. I never did anything out of control or did I get violent,yet I was just standing up for patients rights and making my argued opinions in result I would get tortured with over dosing of forced antipsychotic drugs. I have even witnessed nursing staff murder a co-patient and it was sickening,frustrating and very sad part of my life. I also have a young friend who got an E.C.T done and it has completly fried his memory. after the reinforcement of drugs I have had tremors symtoms of N.M.S head pains, heart cardiac pains,weight gain ,dizzyness and sleepiness all caused by side affects of antipsychotic drugs. I suffer each day with the symptoms and I don’t think I will live that long on psychiatric medication its deadly look at the statistics if anyone can help me with this prosectution I would appreciate all the help I can get please I can name a few people who were responsible for the murders of some people:
Dr. David Cochrane (psychiatrist)
R.N: Mark Samuel ,R.P.N: Sandy ,Robb

All this took place at the Northeast Mental Health Center abbreviated N.E.M.H.C use to be called the north bay psychiatric hospital
P.O. Box 3010 4700
Highway 11 N
North Bay, ON,CA


cant say said:

Dr. David Cochrane nemhc I was molested by DR.DAVID COCHRANE . I'am 13 years old and when this happened he told me he was giving me therapy , well let me tell you he did all kinds of sexual things to me ,and told me that it was okay cause he was the doctor and does this stuff all the time .it hurts my feelings i told my parents Dr.David Cochrane molested me, but they dont't believe me .I didn't know that he also works at north east mental health center in north bay, ontario and is a psychiatrist . Canada,ON,North Bay

Kevin said:

cant say what?

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