Even Swedish kids fight

American adolescents are no more violent than youths in Sweden, Portugal, Ireland or Israel, says an international study. But U.S. kids are more likely to die as a result of violence, possibly because they have easier access to guns.

Children 11 to 16 years old were asked how frequently they fought, were injured from fighting, carried a weapon or bullied schoolmates. Occasional fighting was common in all four countries; few students were injured or carried weapons. Bullying was most common in the U.S. and Israel with more than 40 percent of students saying they’d been bullied in the last school term; only 15 percent of Swedes said they’d been bullied.

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  1. US kids are more likely to die “because they have easier access to guns”?????

    In Israel, every man and woman joins the army upon completion of high school and is given a gun, so you can pretty well bet that there is at least 1 gun in every Israeli household, guns that kids have access to.

    I’m so tired of the rhetoric that says we need to have more gun control. If we taught our kids the proper way to handle guns (which I’m sure the Israelis do) we wouldn’t have American kids killing each other with guns as much.

  2. Mike Roemer says:

    I had the same thought. In fact, doesn’t Sweden require all “eligible” males to have a weapon and be part of their “militia”? To my knowledge, these weapons are stored at the individual’s home.
    All this kerfuffle over bullies. It seems to me that if we spent as much time teaching kid how to deal with a bully, including (gasp) punching ’em in the nose, as we do clutching our collective bodices over the “crisis”, we just might get somewhere.

  3. Contrary to what the NRA’s leadership would have you believe, firearms ownership is quite common in other industrialized countries (last summer I personally witnesses a father and son taking their shotguns out of their car to do some hunting in Nothern Ireland). The key difference is that Europe/Canada/Japan/Israel all have gun licensing and/or registration. That tends to cut down on ya-hoos buying pistols to hear them go BANG a few times then putting under the bed until junior finds it and takes it to school.

  4. Mike — that’s Switzerland.

  5. American students are more likely to have access to guns for which they have very little training, safety instruction, respect, and fear.

    Guns don’t kill people, morons with guns kill people.

  6. So I guess America has more morons, then.

  7. “Similarly, the cited study noted reports that adolescents in the United States are more likely to approve of war than were youth in any of those countries.”

    There you go, Americans are just a bunch of war-like gun toting heathens that shoot folks over any slight.

    It is not clear the study corrects for gang bangers shooting one another. As is pointed, the stats for fighting are basically the same.

  8. More population=more morons, so yes. I’d say we have more morons with access to weaponry, too.

    I’m against what is called “gun control”, but I won’t say we don’t have a serious problem in this country.

  9. Rita C. says:

    I think the U.S. just has more desperately poor ghettos full of warring and well-armed drug gangs than Sweden.

    Sometimes I have my kids write descriptive essays that describe their house or neighborhood using all five senses. The kids who live in the worst parts of the city usually describe the pop of gunfire all night.

  10. Robin Roberts says:

    To the contrary, Scott, mandatory reserve systems like Israel and Switzerland mean more “yahoos” with guns, not less.

  11. But those are adult yahoos with some training with their weapons. I haven’t heard of child reservists in any Western Democracy (though there are many in other parts of the World).

  12. Tim from Texas says:


  13. Tim from Texas says:

    Didn’t intend to post here. Sorry.