July 24, 2012

Murders and Firearms

"The Small Arms Survey is also useful - although it is from 2007, it collates civilian gun ownership rates for 178 countries around the world, and has 'normalised' the data to include a rate per 100,000 population. So, given those caveats, we can see which countries have the highest ownership rates for firearms - and which have the highest gun murder rates.
The key facts are:
• The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world - an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership - and even the number two country, Yemen, has significantly fewer - 54.8 per 100 people.

• But the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate - that prize belongs to Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica. In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people
• Puerto Rico tops the world's table for firearms murders as a percentage of all homicides - 94.8%. It's followed by Sierra Leone in Africa and Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean"  Gun Homicides And Gun Ownership by Country, The Guardian, July 22, 2012
Below is a chart, based on 2007 data, that I extracted from the above article and tried to include those countries that were most relevant when comparing them to the United States. My conclusion is the United States has a serious problem.

Click Chart To Enlarge
Here is what caught my attention.
  • The countries having worse homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population than the United States include Columbia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua.
  • The United States had a homicide rate by firearm per 100,000 in population of 2.97. The next closest country below us is Turkey with .77 per 100,000 in population.
  • Canada, England, Germany, France and Spain have the following respective homicide rates by firearm per 100,000 in population: .51, .07, .19, .06 and .2.
  • The United States had 88.8 firearms per 100 people. The next closest country was Switzerland with 45.7 per 100 people. Switzerland's homicide by firearm per 100,000 in population was .77.
This problem needs to be addressed. In this article I am not advocating gun control. I am advocating that serious thought be given to what we are going to do about it. Gun control is only one solution.


  1. We should concentrate on only banning assault weapons.

  2. Everyone is afraid of the NRA. Why?

  3. We should concentrate on reducing the gang presence in our cities. Look at the CDC produced chart of violent crimes committed with firearms ranked by city - Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago, etc. All areas with strict gun control measures in place.
    The issue that "more gun control" advocates find hard to address, is that it is not the lawful citizens' possession of firearms that is the problem, it is the possession of firearms by gang members and other criminals that causes 98% of the murders and other viloent crimes. But gun control is ineffective with this segment of the population. It is just "easier" to legislate the restriction of firearm possession by law-abiding citizens, rather than attempting to rid the cities of violent criminals. So the gun control advocates at every level, rationalize and convince themselves that restricting gun ownership by law-abiding citizens is somehow "doing something" to reduce the problem. It doesn't, as the track record of many of our cities with the strictesst gun control laws in place, will attest to.