U.S. citizens threatened by rampant violent crimes: report

The life and security of the people of the United States are threatened by rampant violent crimes, says the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2005 issued on Thursday.

"For a long time, the life and security of the people of the United States has not been under efficient protection," says the report issued by the Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet.

Across the country each year, 50,000 suicides and homicides are committed, according to a report of the Washington Post.

The record quotes the U.S. Justice Department as saying that there were 5.18 million violent crimes in the United States in 2004. There were 21.4 victims for every 1,000 people aged 12 and older, which amounts to about one violent crime victim for every 47 U.S. residents.

According to figures released by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), murder increased by 2.1 percent across the United States during the first six months of 2005, compared with the same period of 2004.

A total of 4,080 murders were reported in cities with more than 10,000 people, while homicides were up 13 percent in cities with a population of 10,000 or less.

The Washington D.C., with a population of less than 600,000, had 194 slayings in 2005. In Chicago, the number of various crimes exceeded 125,000 from January to September of 2005, including 352 murders, 11,564 robberies, 8,903 assaults and 534 arsons, says the report.

From January to mid-November of 2005, 334 persons were murdered in Philadelphia, exceeding the total number of murderees in the city in 2004.During the first half of 2005, 198 murders were reported in Los Angeles, 11 percent more than the same period of 2004, the report says.

Camden in New Jersey has become the most dangerous city in the United States, with its homicide rate more than ten times the national average and robbery rate, more than seven times the national average, according to a report of the Washington Post.

The United States has the largest number of privately owned guns in the world. According to statistics released in June of 2005 by the Brady Campaign, an organization aiming to prevent gun violence, there were approximately 192 million privately owned firearms in the United States.

A survey conducted by the Washington Post and the American Broadcasting Company showed that about 10 percent of the surveyed were once shot, and 14 percent threatened by guns.

According to figures released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Justice Department in 2005, in the year 2004 the United States recorded 339,200 firearm-related crimes, including 11,300 murders, 162,900 robberies, and 165,000 assaults.

The Washington Post reported on Dec. 25, 2005 that every year nearly 12,000 Americans use guns to kill people. In the reports of crimes received by American police in 2004, 70 percent of the murders, 41 percent of the robberies and 19 percent of assaults on persons were committed with firearms.

The unchecked spread of guns has caused incessant murders. In February 2005, mother and husband of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow were shot to death at home in Chicago.

On March 12, a gunman opened fire at a church service being held at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people and injuring four.

On March 21, 2005, 17-year-old Jeff Weise killed his grandparents and went on a shooting rampage at the Red Lake High School in Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, killing another eight persons including school security guard, teacher and students and injuring 14 others.

Source: Xinhua

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