Guns and Homicides Don’t Correlate

High rates of gun ownership do not correlate with higher rates of homicide by firearm.

According to a 2007 survey by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Switzerland has the third highest private gun ownership rate in the world, and one of the lowest homicide rates. Finland has the fourth highest private gun ownership rate, and a homicide rate half of Switzerland’s. The United States has by far the highest rate of private gun ownership (88 firearms per 100 people), but ranks 28th in homicides by firearm. None of the top 25 countries in gun ownership, and only four of the top 50, are in the top 25 in homicides by firearm [ref].

Meanwhile, none of the top 25 countries in homicide rates by firearm have high gun ownership rates. None are ranked in the top 25 in gun ownership, and most are not even in the top 50. Ecuador is 142nd in gun ownership, but 16th in homicides by firearm. Trinidad and Tobago is 129th in gun ownership, yet 7th in homicides [ref].

Below is a chart created from the UNODC data, plotting firearm homicide rank and gun ownership rank for each country (each country represents a plot on the graph). As you can see from the chart, the numbers are all over the place. Low rates of firearm ownership often do not correlate with low firearm homicide rates. Gun control advocates would have you believe that there is a strong direct correlation, when in fact there is not.

Guns don’t cause homicides. The social and moral condition of a community, city or country ultimately determines the degree of violence and murder.

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