Gun ownership versus homicides

Breitbart says that maps made by the U.N. office on Drugs and Crime (circa 2007) clearly show that where gun ownership is highest in the world, crime is lowest on a per capita basis. Not! It is more complicated, and interesting than that.

gun ownership

It is surprizing to find how well-armed Canadians and Europeans are. The Americans lead the way with more than 75 guns per hundred people. But Canadians and the supposedly disarmed Europeans (France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Scandinavia have over 50  guns per hundred people, which translates into high household ownership of firearms.


homicides per hundred thousand

The homicides per hundred thousand figure  is even more surprizing. On this scale, Canada’s murder rate shows the same as the States’ (0 to 5 per 100,000), Europe’s level is equally low, regardless of the gun ownership figures, with the exception of Finland and Russia. The Balkans, of all places, show low murder rates, which means the prosperity may be ending their tribal feuding. Muslim North Africa, India and China look safe, if not exactly peaceful.

South America’s rates  outside of the largely white Argentina and Chile are bad to atrocious; East Africa, South Africa, and West Africa are good to avoid. In Papua-New Guinea they really are coming out of the stone age. Burma has several ethnic wars ongoing. Greenland has murder rates similar to those in other Inuit settlements in Canada’s north, which are drowned statistically in the rest of Canada’s population.

Another relationship is visible: the proportion of black Africans and African immigrants indicates high murder rates. Brazil is more than 40% African. In Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and to a lesser extent Peru, the drug trade and high class tensions lead to high rates of crime.

While there is not a simple relationship between gun ownership and murder rates, it is evident that the US is much more safe than its image would suggest.





Bookmark and Share

homicides per 100,000 is not gun homicides per 100,000.

The actual pattern is extremely predictable– if you overlay gun ownership with % people living below poverty line, it coincides VERY well with gun-related homicides.


also, US is comparatively safer in overall homicides than a lot of the rest of the world, but in terms of gun homicides per capita, it’s just out of the top 10.

If you look at gun-related suicides, US is #3, only Uruguay and Montenegro have more suicides by gun than the US. #4, South Africa, has half as many as the US.


Please show us the chart or figures on which you rely. Thank you. That would be a useful contribution. I appreciate your comments.


I actually don’t really care about the gun ownership vs gun control debate.

Here is the bottom line. If I am a generally a careful, law abiding, reasonably thoughtful and considerate person I can break many laws and get away with it.

If I want to smoke dope? (I DON”T but just for the sake of example).
All I have to do is buy it quietly, in small amounts and smoke it discreetly and no matter how many cops there are, no matter how many politicians bluster I will never be arrested.

If I want to drive 145 kmph? If I ensure I am a good, SKILLED driver, driving a sound vehicle in good conditions with a radar detector, CB radio and knowledge of the road ahead and in low traffic areas then my chances of getting charged are slim (almost none).

The cops can threaten and the judges can pontificate until they are blue in the face for all I care.

If I want to buy, own and shoot a gun? If I take the proper precautons then the gun control assholes and the big tough he-man cops can go screw themselves. They won’t charge me because they won’t know I’m doing it.

The onus in every one of these examples is on the person to act responsibly, with intelligent thought and consideration.

With every freedom comes responsibility. This becomes apparent when you are talking about PERSONAL FREEDOM from laws you do not wish to obey.

Personal freedom and responsibility ALSO means taking full personal responsibility for any unfortunate outcome that results from my actions.

If I am driving 145 KMPH while practicing all these precautions and STILL get involved in an accident I better be willing to face up to the consequences.

Only spoiled brat libertarians waant freedom without responsibility or consequences.

Ken Moore

China doesn’t fit the pattern well. The chart for gun ownership hasn’t the kind of detail you’d like to make the point properly. Breaking the data into states, or even counties and major cities would be attractive.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *