In an earlier post (http://hongkongmacro.blogspot.com/2007/04/economics-of-massacres.html), I discussed the economics of massacres.
On a related note, the US has one of the highest murder rates in the world. When I discuss this matter with pro-gun American's, I generally offer them two possible explanations:
1) readily available guns (as per my earlier post) or
2) Americans are murderous
These are not the only possible explanations, nor are they mutually exclusive, but they seemed the most likely possibilities to me. I also believed that 1) was probably true while 2) was probably not true, and that most American's would prefer it that way. The alternative is that American's are a murderous lot.
It turns out that I might well be wrong: even once all murders involving guns are removed from the statistics, "the non-gun homicide rate in this country [the US] is three times higher than the non-gun homicide rate in England."
(see http://newmarksdoor.typepad.com/mainblog/2007/04/the_virginia_te.html for more)