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USA Has 40% of the World’s Guns – and Only 4% of the Murders

A Newsweek article back in June attempted to highlight just how crazy it is how many guns there are in America. “Americans have 40 percent of the world’s guns despite being four percent of population,” the headline reads.

They were reporting on the findings of a newly-released study by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies “Small Arms Survey,” which detailed how there are 1 billion firearms currently in circulation, 85 percent of which are in civilian hands. And of those in civilian hands, a near-majority are in American hands. “Of the 857 million civilian-owned guns noted, 393 million could be found in the U.S., a country of just over 325.7 million people in a world of about 7.6 billion.”

You know the angle that Newsweek is getting at with all this; that the majority of the world’s guns are in America, and that America is rife with gun violence, therefore gun control. What they left out of their article is a lot more important than what they included. Here are the homicide stats as of 2014, with some global context:

  • World Population: 7,298,453,033. U.S. Population: 318,857,056 (4.4% of world total).
  • World Homicides: 384,553. U.S. Homicides: 14,249 (3.7% of world total).

In other words, Americans commit just 3.7% of the world’s murders, despite having 4.4% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s firearms.

That certainly throws a wrench in the “more guns, more murders” claim, doesn’t it? Liberals commonly point to the fact that gun homicides are higher in America than other countries, apparently forgetting that there are multiple ways to kill people.

While it is true that countries with more guns have more gun murders (as guns become the preferred method to carry that out), the correlation isn’t there when it comes to overall murder rates. That could reflect a number of factors; that the increase in gun homicides is offset by guns used in self-defense or simply that people find other ways to carry out murders if they don’t have access to a gun.

Below is charted the U.S. and middle-income countries rates of gun ownership per 100 citizens and homicide rates per 100,000 citizens.

us gun deaths vs other countries

And this chart is similar, but some States are added in (where gun ownership is above the U.S. average):

us gun deaths vs other countries

Despite the massive outlier the U.S. is, it is not an outlier when it comes to our overall murder rate. Liberals must be at a loss to explain why that is.

Here’s just a sampling of the left-wing hysteria on guns we’ve been recently exposed to in the U.S:

  • “Some of these bullets, as you saw, have an incendiary device on the tip of it, which is a heat-seeking device. So, you don’t shoot deer with a bullet that size. If you do you could cook it at the same time.” – Former Democratic New York Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington.
  • “What’s the efficacy of banning these magazine clips? I will tell you… these are ammunition, they’re bullets. So the people who have those now, they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.” – Colorado Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette.
  • “We lose 93 million Americans a day to gun violence.” – Democrat Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
  • “…it is easier for a 12- or 13-year-old to purchase a gun, and cheaper than it is for them to get a book.” – Former President of the United States Barack Obama

How can we have a reasonable debate over gun control in America, when one side knows absolutely nothing about guns?