The bogus stats keep coming

After reviving my first ever online post. I’ve dug up my first ever post on guns. Phil Ronzone posted this to soc.culture.australian:

Of even more interest is the TREMENDOUSLY larger per capita rape numbers in the “non-violent peace loving” European counties. The Unites States at 26.30 is below such countries as Australia (90.82), West Germany (77.49), New Zealand (65.73), Netherlands (56.00), Scotland (44.69), Denmark (41.06), Sweden (40.52), Austria (30.42).

Gee, it must be the USA system of mandatory penis registration & control that accounts for our per capita rate of rape being about 25% of that of Australia.

On Nov 4, 1991, I replied:

Phil, comparing crime rates between different countries is notoriously difficult, because of differences in the definition of crimes, reporting rates, police recording procedures, and so on.

I looked up some crime statistics in “The Size of the Crime Problem in Australia” by Mukherjee and Dagger, drafted by the Australian Institute of Criminology and found the following:

[figures for sexual assault] cannot therefore by compared between states with any validity at all.

So, comparing countries is even less valid.

Anyway, the rate for sexual assault in 1988 was 55 (per 100,000 population). I’d by interested in hearing in hearing where on earth you got your 90 figure. Sexual assault includes rape, attempted rape, assault with intent to rape, and indecent exposure. The only numbers I could find for the rape were for 1976—6.6. I could make some crack about the rate being 25% of that in the USA, but I hope I’ve convinced you how stupid that would be.

I’m afraid that people are still making the same mistake as Ronzone. Howard “Worst defence of Lott ever” Nemerov has an article purporting to show that the 1996 gun ban in Australia caused a dramatic rise in violent crime. Nemerov writes:

Following are selected comparisons for violent crime rates per 100,000 people in 2001. While homicide is lower and robbery is similar, assault and rape occur more than twice as often in Australia, proving that when the physically weaker are barred from possessing the best tool for self-defense, they are rendered helpless. As with England, women pay the price when politicians use tragedy as an excuse to eliminate armed threat to their power.
Homicide: AUS – 1.8 US – 5.6
Assault: AUS – 779 US – 319
Rape: AUS – 86 US – 32
Robbery: AUS – 136 US – 146

However, the rate he gives for rape in Australia is not for rape but for sexual assault. And the rate he gives for assault in the US is not for assault, but for aggravated assault. The rates in Australia are lower for both of the comparable crime categories. And Nemerov used rates from 2001, even though rates from 2002 are available. Most rates didn’t change, except that the robbery rate in Australia dropped to 106. Nemerov blames any increase in crime rates in Australia on the gun laws, will he credit the gun laws with causing this decrease?