Skip to comments.Swiss Gun Murders Lower Than Reported
Posted on 12/09/2012 4:47:53 PM PST by marktwain
Whenever international comparisons of homicide rates are studied, it is mandatory to consider Switzerland. Not only does Switzerland have very low homicide rates, it has one of the highest levels of gun ownership in the world.
As I attempted to find out what the gun homicide rate for Switzerland was, I ran into a curious phenomena. The most commonly quoted figures for gun homicides were for both gun homicides and attempted gun homicides. In one source, this led to the startling conclusion that gun homicides for a given year were greater than total homicides. At the site gunpolicy.org, the total homicides for 2009 are listed as 51. The total gun homicides are listed as 55.
Though a little research, I found that what most writers are seeing is the composite figure for both attempted and fatal gun homicides. As the attempted gun homicides outnumber the fatal gun homicides, this has a large impact on the number of total gun homicides claimed and on the rate of firearm homicides claimed in Switzerland.
Because of the referendum on gun control held in 2010, figures were published giving the actual gun homicides for four years. These were 1998, 2007, 2008, and 2009. The number of attempted homicides with firearms was given for 2009.
Here are the numbers:
In 1998, 53 homicides with firearms for a rate of .75/100,000
In 2007 27 homicides with firearms for a rate of .35/100,000
In 2008, 20 homicides with firearms for a rate of .26/100,000
In 2009, 24 homicides with firearms for a rate of .31/100,000
In 2009 the number of attempted homicides with firearms was 31.
These are exceptionally low rates. The are lower than the rates of Australia and Canada, both of which have much more restrictive gun control schemes. They are slightly higher than France and Sweden, though the overall homicide rate (after all this is the more important number) is slightly higher in those countries, again, with much more restrictive gun control.
Here is a link to the source for tha actual number of homicides with firearms. You have to subtract the suicides with firearms from the total number of homicides and suicides with firearms to find the actual number of fatal firearm homicides.
It looks like more gun do equal less crime, as John Lott has pointed out.
Take this from a guy who has traveled around Europe and the US.
Homicides by guns...have nothing to do with gun control. It may sound shocking but I’ve come to notice a few interesting things.
First, if you split the US statistics up into state numbers and did it by population numbers...then several states like New Hampshire and Hawaii would easily match up with Germany or the Netherlands. You can easily fit ten states up to various European countries which have very tough gun laws...yet these states have the same laws as states like Mississippi or Louisiana...which have huge homicide numbers.
Second, you start to look for odd differences and then start to note drug usage in a lot of these shootings. When you look around DC...with over 100 homicides per year...when the cops do come to some conclusions in the homicide, there’s usually drug usage involved. Figure cocaine, meth, crack, or PCP...it usually clouds your judgement and you start making irrational thoughts.
Third, if you look around Europe....you don’t have any serious drug issues except marijuana or LSD. Guys who take plain marijuana....don’t usually get violent...which tends to something as well about the nature of people who are doped up.
As for the Swiss...if you ever travel around the country, you find almost no drug use noted. There are a handful of clusters of LSD usage in major cities....but even marijuana use isn’t that big of a deal there. If there are homicides with weapons....it’s usually from some jealous rage over a wife or husband...a rare event.
I personally think the gun-control nuts are looking at the wrong cause to the homicide numbers. If you cleaned up an area of hardcore drug use...you might notice a downward trend on gun homicides...course, you wouldn’t want to admit it was drugs as the issue.
Those who are serious about gun control probably know this, but will not admit it. They do not have another "hook" to get gun control, though they have been trying to demonize the possession of military firearms, which I think is one of their primary objectives.
Josh Horowitz, one of the further thinking gun control advocates, has said that they should decouple their desire for citizen disarmament from crime control for quite a while now.
Similar to the Red state/ Blue state maps, someone please make a map by county or zipcode of the ratio between the number of FOID CARDS or guns held by non-criminals and gun violence...and then compare violence and the number of guns held by criminals where due process abridged their right to bear arms. That would be an interesting map. a picture is worth a thousand words.
Vermont had 8 murders in 2011, with a population of 600,000 people. That's a rate of 1.33 per 100k people in a state where >40% own a gun. Germany's rate is 0.9 (with 30% gun ownership) and the Netherlands is 1.1 (with 3.9% gun ownership).
93% of violent crimes (including gun crimes) committed against blacks in the US are committed by those who vote Democrat.
Libs don’t want to admit the obvious, since it violates their politically correct orthodoxy: there isn’t a gun problem, there’s a *cultural* problem. The violent, uber-masculine subculture among many young bkack men is what’s putting so many of them in the ground.
91.615% of all statistics are made up from nothing.
One factor to consider is how much more homogeneous the Swiss population is compared to that of the US.
I would bring to FR’s attention a NCPA report that shows, based on Texas data, that concealed carry permitees where the least likely of almost all population groups to commit a violent crime, let alone a crime with a firearm.
Texas Concealed Handgun Carriers:Law-abiding Public Benefactors
In an unpublished report, engineering statistician William Sturdevant found that concealed carry licensees had arrest rates far lower than the general population for every category of crime. For instance:
Licensees were 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for violent offenses than the general public - 127 per 100,000 population versus 730 per 100,000.
Licensees were 14 times less likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses than the general public - 386 per 100,000 population versus 5,212 per 100,000.
Further, the general public is 1.4 times more likely to be arrested for murder than licensees [ see Figure I ], and no licensee had been arrested for negligent manslaughter.
Aren’t Swiss soldiers required to keep their fully automatic army issued rifle at home as well?
It would be interesting to take apart the eight Vermont murders in 2011, and see if drugs or alcohol played any part of each homicide.
The Swiss have four official languages, so in some ways they are less Homogeneous. They are homogeneous in respect for the rule of law. In the United States, that respect has been under attack for a long time. You cannot expect respect for the rule of law when you preach that the supreme law of the land is flexible and malleable, subject to change at the whim of 5 judges.
That's an interesting point.
About 75% of Swiss citizens speak German, 20% French and 5% Italian - only a handful of villages speak Romansch.
The French and Italian speakers typically study German from preschool through high school.
That being said, about one out of five people living in Switzerland is not a Swiss citizen.
I thought you might be interested in this.