Skip to comments.The Numbers Speak For Themselves (gun control and murder rates of assorted countries)
Posted on 01/28/2005 4:10:54 PM PST by neverdem
Despite anti-gun propaganda, the U.S. murder rate is nowhere near that of many other countries.
Here's a pop quiz for you: Which country in the world has the highest murder rate? If you said the United States, you would be wrong, but your error would certainly be excusable. The incessant drumbeat from the mainstream media and anti-gun groups serves to perpetuate the canard that the U.S. is the bloodiest free-fire zone on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In his article "America: The Most Violent Nation?" researcher David C. Stolinsky shows conclusively that there are a number of countries with higher murder rates than the U.S. This information comes from the United Nations report "The 1996 Demographic Yearbook." The report lists the murder rates in some 86 countries. There are more than 200 countries in the world, and more than 100 did not provide murder-rate data to the U.N. Even so, the Yearbook opens a fascinating window on the failure of gun-control laws around the world.
The connection between murder rates and gun control is quite clear. The vast majority of murders are committed with firearms. Therefore, it is possible to determine if there is any sort of correlation between gun laws and murder rates in selected countries.
Gun laws, like all laws, should be evaluated to determine if they meet accepted measures of success. Gun-control advocates contend that gun laws reduce murders as well as other gun crimes. An examination of this proposition shows conclusively that gun laws fail to reduce murder rates in many countries. Therefore, they fail to meet the fundamental measure of success and should be amended or repealed.
A 1997 Justice Department report on murders in the U.S. shows that our country has a murder rate of seven victims per 100,000 population per year. There are a number of well-known examples of countries with more liberal gun laws and lower murder rates than the U.S. One is Finland, with a murder rate of 2.9. Israel is another example; although its population is heavily armed, Israel's murder rate is only 1.4. In Switzerland, gun ownership is a way of life. Its murder rate is 2.7.
By contrast, consider Brazil. All firearms in Brazil must be registered with the government. This registration process can take anywhere from 30 days to three months. All civilian handguns are limited in caliber to no more than 9mm. All rifles must fire handgun ammunition only. Brazilians may only buy one gun per year. At any one time, they may only have in their possession a maximum of six guns: two handguns, two rifles and two shotguns. To transport their guns, citizens must obtain a special police permit. CCW permits are available but are rarely issued.
Therefore, it should not be a revelation to anyone that Brazil has a thriving black market in guns. Virtually any type of gun is available, for a price. Incidentally, Brazil's murder rate is 19 victims per 100,000 population per year.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro controls every aspect of life with an iron hand, including gun ownership. Castro remembers well how he and his rag-tag armed Communist rebels overthrew the government of Fulgencio Batista and set up a Communist dictatorship. An armed populace is threatening to a repressive government. Still, somebody in Cuba is obtaining guns and using them to murder fellow citizens. Cuba's murder rate is 7.8.
The former Soviet state of Lithuania is now an independent democratic country. But it still retains some vestiges of Stalinism. Lithuania's citizens must obtain a police permit to buy a gun. All guns are registered with the government. Somehow these restrictions are not deterring the criminal element; Lithuania has an unenviable murder rate of 11.7.
Gun control in Mexico is a fascinating case study. Mexican gun laws are simply draconian. No civilian may own a gun larger than .22 caliber, and a permit is required to buy one. All guns in Mexico are registered with the Ministry Of Defense. Guns may not be carried in public, either openly or concealed.
Mexican authorities seem to take a particular delight in arresting and imprisoning unwitting Americans who are not familiar with Mexican gun laws. Americans may not bring legal guns or ammunition into Mexico. Possession of even one bullet can get you thrown in a medieval Mexican prison. The State Department says that at any one time there are about 80 Americans imprisoned in Mexico for minor gun crimes. The State Department even went so far as to issue a special notice to U.S. gun owners, warning about harsh Mexican gun laws. Americans are allowed to hunt in Mexico, but they must first obtain a permit from the Mexican Embassy or a Mexican Consulate before taking their hunting rifles south of the border.
Mexico's murder rate is an eye-popping 17.5. Mexican authorities are fond of blaming the high murder rate on firearms smuggled across the border from the United States. Nonsense. The U.S. has many more personal guns than Mexico, yet our murder rate is far lower than Mexico's. It is Mexico's absurd gun laws that prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against illegally armed criminals.
Guns are effectively outlawed in Russia. Private handgun ownership is totally prohibited. A permit is required to purchase a long gun. All guns are registered with authorities. When transporting a long gun, it must be disassembled. Long guns may only be used for self-defense when the gun owner is on his own property. By the way, Russia's murder rate is a staggering 30.6.
It is surprising to learn that there is gun trouble in the tropical paradises of Trinidad and Tobago. Here a permit is required to purchase a gun. All guns are registered with the police. In spite of (or perhaps because of) these restrictions, Trinidad and Tobago together have a murder rate of 11.7.
In all fairness, it must be noted that many of the countries with high murder rates have governments and cultures very different from our own. Even so, the fundamental measure of gun-control success still applies. The countries I have discussed, along with many others, have gun laws that are more restrictive than U.S. laws, yet their murder rates exceed the U.S. murder rate. These laws clearly do not meet the fundamental measure of success, which is ultimately to save lives.
What anti-gunners all over the world fail to understand is that people everywhere are basically the same in one important respect. They are determined to protect themselves and their families. If their governments will not allow them to have firearms for self-defense, then they may obtain guns illegally, even at the risk of harsh punishment. It is a natural human response to danger.
Try as they might, Sarah Brady and her bunch will never be able to defeat man's primal instinct to protect himself and his family through whatever means necessary. This fundamental human truth may offer some small measure of comfort to law-abiding gun owners around the world.
I'm surprised that our murder rate isn't higher considering the incessant "life is cheap" drumbeat from the mainstream media.
This is a poorly researched article. The Mexicans hunt deer and I know several with pump and bolt action rifles of other than military calibers. That would mean no 7mm Mauser, .30-06, 7.62 Nato, or 5.56 mm. These are not hidden in the closet. The point about Americans travelling to Mexico is well advised.
America is safer than Brazil, Cuba, Lithuania and Mexico?
Yikes. The author will be trying to tell me that smoking causes cancer next.
These are some of the people who are crossing over to the US to escape prosecution in Mexico. Now they are in the US, and some of them are already in our prisons because they've committed crimes in the US. Someone should mail this report to Bush and his cohorts who want to make them legal.
I would add that an armed society is a polite society. The act of a man tipping his hat was to show that he was not going for his gun.
The argument is a good one, but the numbers are stale as an old box of saltines, IMHO. Can you provide more up to date data?
I can't tell by reading this article. Is this the murder by guns murder rate ? or the overall all murder rate ?
It aint guns, its culture folks.
I suspect the author has never travelled outside the tourist areas of Mexico. I've seen a civilian on the back of a horse openly carrying a hunting rifle not far from the southern border of Mexico.
Guns may not be carried in public, either openly or concealed.
It does, but there's no credible evidence about second hand smoke causing it.
<< He Rides A White Horse
An armed citizenry is a strong deterrent to criminals both in and out of government. >>
But America doesn't have a criminal class.
I'm looking. I trying google without much luck. I'm going to check the US Dept. of Justice.
I think it's the overall rate. I remember Larry Pratt telling Chris Matthews years ago that in Mexico more people are killed with knives than guns.
Thanx....if so, then the gun murder rate would be even lower.
I saw this horrible show on A&E recently about the connection between mass and serial killers and cruelty to animals. One of the kids who shot up his school in the '90's along with killing his mother before hand, first went out and killed his pet dog and wrote about it in his journey.
It was so sickening, what he did to a being that most likely loved and trusted him unquestioningly, that I can't bring myself to repeat it here but suffice it to say, no gun of any sort was involved.
This sicko creep would have found a way to inflict pain and damage on others if all weapons were banned. And that goes for knives, chop sticks, golf clubs, whatever.
This is the first article that I ever saw such a comparison of homicides by that many countries. I spent most of the evening after I read your comment on google trying to find the latest version of the United Nations report "The 1996 Demographic Yearbook", but I couldn't even find the 1996 version. I'm going to a library to see if I can borrow a copy or look at a reference copy of one.