The “freedom to carry guns”, that is the Second Amendment, the holy cow of US politics, is a pet topic for most Internet posters in the USA. Among others, a bog standard argument of theirs is that “firearms actually reduce violence because the criminals and terrorists may expect to be shot by law abiding citizens”. If one reads the news about the almost daily mass shootings in the USA then it’s quite obvious that this argument doesn’t hold much water. Though the readers should feel free to quote documented examples in the comments section where such citizen heroism actually happened!
Gun porn from Texas, USA
Since I do like numbers, now let’s see some statistics about deaths caused by firearms.
The firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year in the USA is 10.54
Out of these, the rate is 3.43 for for homicides and it’s 6.69 for suicides.
That’s the highest figure (by far) anywhere in the developed world! Even neighbouring, infamously violent, third world country Mexico is doing better than the USA in this regard because their overall gun-related death rate is “only” 7.64. However the Mexicans do use their guns to kill other people and not to kill themselves. The homicides rate in Mexico is 6.34 and it is only 0.44 for suicides.
Now let’s compare this to the situation in the UK where there’s strict gun control. The firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population per year in the UK is 0.23. Yes, that’s 46 times less than in the USA. The rate for homicides in the UK: 0.06. That’s 57 times less than in the USA. The figure is 0.15 for suicides, that is 45 times less than for the USA.
These statistical figures are practically the same in Hungary as in the UK and our gun laws are also very similar to the ones in the UK. (Though, unlike in the UK, all our police are armed).
For comparison, the overall firearm-related homicide rate is well below 1.0 in each and every European country (with the notable exceptions of Montenegro and Cyprus).
It’s another common argument among the American “Second Amendment” Internet forum warriors (and among the “Second Amendment” journalists, aka gun salesmen) that “the USA would produce similar gun-death rates as Europe without the African Americans”. Let’s investigate this claim finally.
According to the FBI, “Of the offenders for whom race was known, 53.1 percent were black, 44.6 percent were white, and 2.3 percent were of other races”
Blacks make up 12.6 % of the population in the USA and Whites make up 72.4 %. The total population of the USA is 309 millions. So out of 10600 murders, say, 5000 murders are committed by Blacks. So if we removed them from the statistics altogether then 2.1 (5,600*100,000/(309,000,000*(1.0-0.126)) would be the murder rate figure in the USA instead of 3.43.
This figure is still a lot higher than the rate in nearly all European countries (with the sole exception of Balkanian Montenegro where the rate is 2.42.)
To cap it off, here is one more piece of information: As of today, 411 people have been shot in the iconic “gangster city” Chicago this year so far. The total number of homicides was 454. Yes, 90% of murders were committed with firearms. It’s so much easier to kill someone with a gun than with a knife.