Ok, so maybe to this crowd, it’s not so startling. Nonetheless…
Wikipedia conveniently provides a summary showing homicide rates and gun ownership rates for every country in the world. I added a computed column showing the total homicide rate (involving guns and NOT involving guns) compared with the gun ownership rate. I’ve attached a PDF of the spreadsheet.
What do the results say? Take a look!
In the US, the homicide rate divided by the gun ownership rate is 0.037. If we sort the entire data set based on that ratio, the United States comes in 13th place worldwide with 158 countries scoring worse, in some cases much, much worse.
Here are the top 13 countries sorted in descending order of the ratio of homicide rate divided by gun ownership rate:
Iceland at .01
Switzerland at .01
Norway at .02
Austria at .02
Serbia at .02
Bahrain at .02
Germany at .026
Oman at .027
Saudi Arabia at .03
Sweden at .03
France at .035
United Arab Emirates at .036
United States at .037
Notice how these top 13 countries are all clustered around 0.02 +/- 0.01. Pretty low numbers, and all very close to the same. By the time we get down to Italy at 25th place, the rate has doubled. That is a pretty fast drop-off for a dataset of 171 countries.
Some interesting examples from further down the list:
18th place: Canada at 0.05
23rd place: Finland at 0.068
24th place: Denmark at 0.075
48th place: China at 0.204
65th place: Japan at 0.5
91st place: Russia at 1.146
106th place: South Korea at 2.36
171st place: Ethiopia at 56.25
The actual numbers refute the belief that more guns = more homicides. In fact, it seems to be the opposite. As you scroll down the list, you will generally see that as gun ownership rates go down, homicide rates go up.
Check this out:
The rate of gun ownership for the top 13 countries is 39 guns/100 people.
The rate of gun ownership for the bottom 158 countries is 8 guns/100 people.
Facts, folks…they speak volumes.
What does the data say to you?