Monday, July 30, 2012

International Data on Firearms and Homicides

Not surprisingly, as the density of firearms in the US population is the highest in the world, the percentage of homicides by firearms is also among the highest in the world though, interestingly enough, not the highest.  That dubious distinction belongs to Sierra Leone.  Even in terms of deaths via firearms which probably includes suicides, the US number is smaller than Mexico, (which, admittedly, is fighting a brutal drug war) Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia (which have no such excuse).  It also suggests that these countries have very high homicide rates.  What is also interesting is that when it comes to firearms density relative to percentage of homicides by firearms, Switzerland actually has a worse record than the US.  What that means is that while the percentage of Swiss population that own firearms is lower than the US, they use it to commit a higher rate of homicides.  That is also true for a number of other countries such as Japan and Singapore.  In other words, since firearms ownership is much more widespread in the US, a much higher percentage of such weapons are owned by law-abiding citizens.

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