By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
“United State’s crime clock continues to click, one murder every 22 minutes, one rape every 5 minutes, one robbery every 49 seconds, and one burglary every 10 seconds.”
And the cost of crime continues to mount: $78 billion for the criminal justice system, $64 billion for private protection, $202 billion in loss of life and work, $120 billion in crimes against business, $60 billion in stolen goods and fraud, $40 billion from drug abuse, and $110 billion from drunk driving. When you add up all the costs, crime costs Americans a stunning $675 billion each year. There is no universal definition of terrorism available at the moment but looking at the above figures one can see that US has lost war against crimes (terrorism) in its own country.
United States is the most dangerous place on earth and unfortunately currently ruled by the violators of international law and war criminals. US have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons and the man (President Bush) who controls them said, ‘God told me to go to war in Iraq’. That is very alarming and worrying. One British psychiatrist said, ‘that is a worrying statement’. That should be quite worrying for the US citizens and the rest of the world. What if Bush order a nuclear attack on Iran while sleeping walking and say God told me to do it? The orders came out of that country have killed millions and devastated lives of millions too. When they talk off disarming ‘abc’ groups they should look into their own back yard too.
The US and its rulers have made this earth most dangerous for every one. Yes, more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and occupied territories in Palestine. The reason suicide bombings are happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Pakistan are due to the neo-colonialist agenda and policies. Suicide bombing is not related to one religion Japanese Buddhist, Tamil Hindus and others completed suicide mission for various reasons. But there is another reason why US is the most dangerous place on earth, and that is because its law and order and public safety problem? It has lost self-created and fraudulent war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. US have also lost war against crime in its own country.
In 1960 the total US Population was 179 million (179, 323,175) and the crime index was 3,384,200, the numbers of violent crimes to the person were 288,460, property 3,095,700, murder 9,110, rape 17,190, robbery 107,840, assault 154,320, burglary 912100, larceny theft 1,855,400, Vehicle theft 328,200.
In 2006 the total US Population was 229 million (299,398,484), and the crime index was 11,401,313, the numbers of violent crimes to the person were 1,417,745, property 9,983,568, murder 17,034, rape 92,455, robbery 447,403, assault 862,947, burglary 2,183,746, larceny theft 6,607,013, Vehicle theft 1,192,809.
The Independent, London newspaper reported on 28th June 2007 there were 5,400,790 Violent crime in 2005 in the USA, the total population is of USA: 288,378,137 (2005), violent crime per 1000 people: 18.73%. In fiscal year 2006, the FBI’s total budget was approximately $8.7 billion, including $495 million in program increases to enhance counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, cyber crime, information technology, security, forensics, training, and criminal programs.
The statistics compiled by professor Morgan Reynolds (Texas A&M University) are very concerning 500,000 burglaries take place each month, 250,000 of these are reported to the police, 35,000 arrests are made, 30,450 prosecutions take place, 24,060 are convicted, 6,010 are sent to prison; the rest paroled of the 500,0000 burglaries, only 6,000 burglars went to jail! And if this 1 percent effectiveness ratio isn’t disturbing enough, professor Reynolds found that the average time served was only 13 months.
In addition to the financial cost there is a psychological cost of devastated lives and a loss of security. In recent months, even apathetic Americans have been shaken from their false sense of security as they have seen criminals invade nearly every sanctuary. Teenagers are responsible for a disproportionate share of violent crime: The violent-crime rate seems to rise and fall in tandem with the number of teens in the population. But recently, teen violence has exploded (murder arrests of teens jumped 92 percent since 1985) during a period in which the teen population remained steady or declined. The perception that criminals are getting younger is backed up by statistics. In 1982, 390 teens ages 13-15 were arrested for murder. A decade later, this total jumped to 740.
687 law enforcement officers who were killed by firearms other than their own guns, .38 calibre handguns than killed more by any other type of weapon from 1982 to 1993. Sheley and Wright found that the juvenile’s inmates in their 1991 sample in four States preferred large calibre, high quality handguns. Just prior to their confinement 58% owned a revolver, usually a .38 or .357 calibre gun, 55% owned a semiautomatic handgun, usually a 9 millimetres or .45 calibre gun, 51% owned a sawed-off shotgun, 35% owned a military-style automatic or semiautomatic rifle.
According to The U.S. Department of Justice’s report on “Guns Used in Crime: Firearms, Crime, and Criminal Justice–Selected Findings published in July 1995, by Marianne W. Zawitz, BJS Statistician revealed that,
“There are 223 million guns available to the general public. Stolen guns are available to criminals. The FBI’s National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) stolen gun file contains over 2 million reports; 60% are reports of stolen handguns. In 1994, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) received over 85,132 requests from law enforcement agencies for traces of guns used in crime. Over three quarters of the guns traced by the ATF in 1994 were handguns (mostly pistols), and almost a third were less than 3 years old.
Surveys of inmates (prisoners) show that they prefer concealable, large calibre guns. Juvenile offenders appear to be more likely to possess guns than adults. Studies of the guns used in homicides show that large calibre revolvers are the most frequent type of gun used in murder, but the number of large calibre semiautomatic guns used in murders is increasing.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), almost 43.6 million criminal victimizations occurred in 1993, including 4.4 million violent crimes of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. Of the victims of these violent crimes, 1.3 million (29%) stated that they faced an offender with a firearm.
In 1993, the FBI’s estimated that almost 2 million violent crimes of murder; citizens reported rape, robbery and aggravated assault to the police. About 582,000 of these reported murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults were committed with firearms. Murder was the crime that most frequently involved firearms; 70% of the 24,526 murders in 1993 were committed with firearms.
Handguns are most often the type of firearm used in crime. According to the Victim Survey (NCVS), 25% of the victims of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault in 1993 faced an offender armed with a handgun. Of all firearm-related crime reported to the survey, 86% involved handguns.
The FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports show that in 1993, 57% of all murders were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and 5% with firearms where the type was unknown. The 1991 Survey of State Prison Inmates found that violent inmates who used a weapon were more likely to use a handgun than any other weapon; 24% of all violent inmates reported that they used a handgun. Of all inmates, 13% reported carrying a handgun when they committed the offence for which they were serving time.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) estimated that from 1899 to 1993 about 223 million guns became available in the United States, including over 79 million rifles, 77 million handguns and 66 million shotguns. The number of guns seized, destroyed, lost, or not working is unknown.
The number of new handguns added to those available has exceeded the number of new shotguns and rifles in recent years. More than half of the guns added in 1993 were handguns. Over 40 million handguns have been produced in the United States since 1973. Over 80% of the guns available in the United States are also manufactured with the USA; gun production is a reasonable indicator of the guns made available.
From 1973 to 1993, U.S. manufacturers produced 6.6 million .357 Magnum revolvers, 6.5 million .38 Special revolvers, 5.4 million .22 calibre pistols, 5.3 million .22 calibre revolvers, 4.5 million .25 calibre pistols, 3.1 million 9 millimetre pistols, 2.4 million .380 calibre pistols, 2.2 million .44 Magnum revolvers, 1.7 million .45 calibre pistols, 1.2 million .32 calibre revolvers.
During the two decades from 1973 to 1993, the types of handguns most frequently produced have changed. Most new handguns are pistols rather than revolvers. Pistol production grew from 28% of the handguns produced in the United States in 1973 to 80% in 1993.
The number of large-calibre pistols produced annually increased substantially after 1986. Until the mid-1980s, most pistols produced in the United States were .22 and .25 calibre models. Production of .380 calibre and 9 millimetre pistols began to increase substantially in 1987, so that by 1993 they became the most frequently produced pistols. From 1991 to 1993, the most frequently produced handguns were: .38 calibre pistols (20%), 9 millimetre pistols (19%),.22 calibre pistols (17%),.25 calibre pistols (13%),.50 calibre pistols (8%).
The Victim Survey (NCVS) estimates that there were 341,000 incidents of firearm theft from private citizens annually from 1987-92. Since the survey does not ask how many guns were stolen, the number of guns stolen probably exceeds the number of incidents of gun theft.
According to The FBI’s National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) stolen gun file contained over 2 million reports as of March 1995. In 1994, over 306,000 entries were added to this file including a variety of guns, ammunition, cannons and grenades. Reports of stolen guns are included in the NCIC files when citizens report the theft to law enforcement agencies, which submit a report to the FBI. All entries must include make, calibre, and serial number. Initiated in 1967, the NCIC stolen gun file retains all entries indefinitely unless a recovery is reported.
Most stolen guns are handguns Victims report to the Victim Survey that in 53% of the thefts of guns, handguns were stolen. The FBI’s stolen gun file’s 2 million reports include information on— 1.26 million handguns (almost 60%), 470,000 rifles (22%), 356,000 shotguns, (17%). From 1985 to 1994, the FBI received an annual average of over 274,000 reports of stolen guns
Under the provisions of the US National Firearms Act, all automatic weapons such as machine guns must be registered with the ATF. In 1995, over 240,000 automatic weapons were registered with the ATF. As of March 1995, the NCIC stolen gun file contained reports on about 7,700 machine guns and submachine guns.
Most frequently reported handguns in the NCIC stolen gun file are:.38 Revolvers, 259,184, .22 Revolvers, 147,681, .357 Revolvers, 146,474, 9 Semiautomatic, 111,558, .25 Semiautomatic, 87,714, .22 Semiautomatic, 84,474 , .380 ,Semiautomatic, 68,112, .45 Semiautomatic 46,503, .32 Revolvers 41,318, .44 Revolvers 39,254, .32 Semiautomatic 18,377, .45 Revolvers 16,214.
Upon request, the ATF traces some guns used in crime to their origin. The National Tracing Centre of ATF traces firearms to their original point of sale upon the request of police agencies. The requesting agency may use this information to assist in identifying suspects, providing evidence for subsequent prosecution, establishing stolen status, and proving ownership. The number of requests for firearms traces increased from 37,181 in 1990 to 85,132 in 1994. Traced guns come from many countries across the globe. However, 78% of the guns that were traced in 1994 originated in the United States and most of the rest were from– Brazil (5%), Germany (3%), China (3%), Austria (3%), Italy (2%), and Spain (2%).
Some studies of guns used in homicides provide information about calibre McGonigal and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Centre studied firearm homicides that occurred in Philadelphia, 145 in 1985 and the 324 in 1990. Most of the firearms used in the homicides studied were handguns 90% in 1985 and 95% in 1990. In both years, revolvers were the predominant type of handgun used, however, the use of semiautomatic pistols increased from 24% in 1985 to 38% in 1990.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services studied 844 homicides that occurred in 18 jurisdictions from 1989 through 1991. Firearms were identified as the murder weapon in 600 cases. Over 70% of the firearms used were handguns. Of those handguns where the calibre and firing action could be identified, 19% were a .38 calibre revolver, 10% were .22 calibre revolvers, and 9% were 9 millimetre semiautomatic pistols.
The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention Division, studied 59 firearms-related homicides in Honolulu from 1988 to 1992. Handguns were used in 48 homicides (over 80%) including 11 handguns of 9-millimetre calibre, 10 of .357 calibre, 10 of .38 calibre, and 5 of .25 calibres.
A New York State Statistical Analysis Centre study of homicides in 1993 in New York City found that assault weapons were involved in 16% of the homicides studied. The definition of assault weapons used was from proposed but not enacted State legislation that was more expansive than the Federal legislation. By matching ballistics records and homicide files, the study found information on 366 firearms recovered in the homicides of 271 victims. Assault weapons were linked to the deaths of 43 victims (16% of those studied).
A study by the Virginia State Statistical Analysis Centre reviewed the files of 600 firearms murders that occurred in 18 jurisdictions from 1989 to1991. The study found that handguns were used in 72% of the murders (431 murders). Ten guns were identified as assault weapons, including 5 pistols, 4 rifles, and 1 shotgun.
In the 1991 BJS Survey of State inmates, about 8% of the inmates reported that they had owned a military-type weapon, such as an Uzi, AK-47, AR-15, or M-16. Less than 1% said that they carried such a weapon when they committed the incident for which they were incarcerated. A Virginia inmate survey conducted between November1992 and May 1993 found similar results: About 10% of the adult inmates reported that they had ever possessed an assault rifle, but none had carried it at the scene of a crime.
Two studies indicate higher proportions of juvenile offenders reporting possession and use of assault rifles. The Virginia inmate survey also covered 192 juvenile offenders. About 20% reported that they had possessed an assault rifle and 1% said that they had carried it at the scene of a crime. In 1991, Sheley and Wright surveyed 835 serious juvenile offenders incarcerated in 6 facilities in 4 States. In the Sheley and Wright study, 35% of the juvenile inmates reported that they had owned a military-style automatic or semi-automatic rifle just prior to confinement.
The young people in the US are going around killing people in educational institutions indiscriminately with or without any motive. That shows a society under lot of stress and pressure. The recent killings and shootings in educational institutions are quite serious and alarming. But what can you do when law enforcement agencies in the US are following Muslims, keeping an eye on mosques and people with beards including Sikhs.
Americans have a history of committing atrocities on human beings. There appalling genocide of indigenous Red Indians is a black chapter of US history. American history of racism and slavery is another black dot on the human civilisation when human beings ‘Black African Slaves’ were treated as a commodity and not human beings. More recently carpet bombings in Afghanistan, use of Thermobabic bombs in Faluja, Iraq, Abu Ghrab prison’s war crimes and Guantanmo are the worst chapters in the human history.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior award wining investigative journalist and writer on security, foreign policy, and terrorism based in London)