Regardless of where you stand on gun control, the fact remains that America is one gun-toting country. There are 89 guns for every 100 civilians, according to the 2011 Small Arms Survey. That amounts to roughly 270 million guns owned nationwide, far and away the highest gun ownership rate in the world. With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. is home to anywhere between 35 and 50 percent of all civilian-owned guns on earth.

Created by Simon Rogers at the Guardian (click to explore interactively)


And while America certainly does not have the highest firearms-related homicide rate in the world (it ranks 28th), our rate is more than four times that of any other industrialized country (including all of Europe, Japan, Australia, Turkey and India): in 2011,  there were well over 9,000 gun-related homicides (nearly 70 percent of all homicides committed), or roughly three per 100,000 population, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That’s about 20 times the average rate of all other developed nations, according to the Washington Post.

Max Fisher_The Washington Post (source: UNODC; using 2010 data)

In contrast, Great Britain has a gun ownership rate of about 6 guns for every 100 civilians. Last year it had 41 gun-related homicides, or .07 per 100,000 population. Meanwhile, Finland, where there are 45 guns per 100 civilians, had only 24 gun homicides in 2011, a rate of .45 per 100,000 population.


Simon Rogers_The Guardian

The infographic below, produced by Good Magazine and Column Five, further illustrates America’s deep and exceptional love affair with the gun.

Editor’s Note: The U.S. rate of gun ownership was previously stated incorrectly: there are 89 guns for every 100 civilians (NOT: 89 out of 100 civilians own a gun).

The United States of Firearms: America’s Love of the Gun 9 November,2017Matthew Green

  • Morrigan smith

    “firearm-related homicide” This is a great qualifier! I wonder if it comes in knife flavor? how about base ball bat? no? Please remember that all gun crime is violent however not all violent crime uses a gun. shows ALL homicides not just those committed with a gun. It doesn’t make the US look any better, but please stop trying to qualify your statistics leaving an open end

  • dalepline

    I know bias when I see it. 89% of American’s probably also own lawn mowers. Would you catagorize America as ‘one lawn mower loving’ country’?

    • DJ301

      If 89% of Americans own a lawn mower, then yes you could classify America as a lawn mowing country (assuming they actually use the mowers) That is not Bias, that is stating the facts.

    • English Jim

      I think you grossly misunderstand the term bias. Lawn mowers are standard household items in ALL DEVELOPED countries. So are TVs, laptops, sofas, bookcases, carpets, toilet paper. Guns are NOT. Most Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, Japanese, British, French, Germans, Spaniards, Italians, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians, Dutch, Greeks, Portuguese, Swiss, Austrians etc., etc. do not own guns.

      Therefore in isolating a uniqueness of one developed country that counters this trend the term ‘gun loving’ is applied.

      Here are some other examples and apologies for the crass and cheap racial stereotyping in advance.

      The Huichol Indians of the Sierra Madre – Peyote eaters
      The Norwegians – Whale killers
      Akihabara, Tokyo – A district of electronics and peadophile DVDs

  • sanfranchristo

    “89 out of every 100..civilians own a gun” is NOT the same as “89 civilian firearms per..100 residents” as the survey you cite claims. Please do a better job editing!

  • Theunnamable1

    I agree with the other comment. Just because there are 270 guns owned nationally, does not mean that 89% of civilians are gun owners. Many people own more than one gun, but most don’t own a gun at all. Your reporting would lead us to believe that even children own guns as more the 11% of the population are under 18. Therefore the phrase, “one gun-loving country” is poor analysis and poorly written.

  • Animalia

    I find it interesting that one man tries to light a bomb in his shoe and now we all have to take off our shoes at the airport. However, after hundreds of mass shooting incidents, not only have we not implemented any stricter gun laws, but we are actually seeing them loosened.

    What if we had an anti-gun campaign, similar to other health and safety campaigns. Here are some ideas for the posters: “Just say no to gun ownership” “Only cowards own guns” “Your brain from a gun shot” “Donate your gun to law enforcement” “Gun recycling here”

    This is America, I know, I know…but I can dream!

    • GunsSaveLives

      How idiotic… 105,000 deaths due to alcohol and about 10,000 by gun… Yeah, let’s ban guns…. Blind liberal!

      • English Jim

        Sorry, just a liberal limey interfering here. Guns Save Lives? Really?? How is it then that all other developed nations have a tiny fraction per hundred people of guns owned to that of America and ALL of them also have a tiny fraction of the homicide rate proportionate to their respective populations.

        In the U.S. there have been at least 61 mass murders covering 30 states since 1982. In most instances the weapons had been obtained legally.

        Exactly how many hundreds of little school children have to die before people like you ‘gunssavelives’ stop thinking about your freedoms and slightly neanderthal traditions?

        • Ghgdhgjd

          you made your own point. in most instances, the guns were acquired illegally. how can you solve that problem with a law? you can’t. only law abiding citizens obey laws and therefore, you are only really removing guns from law abiding citizens.

          • Redjim63

            Many of the people responsible for the mass shootings had no previous. Hours before they unleashed a massacre they were what you would define as a law abiding citizen. The gun they used was bought in a law abiding family. In every country stressed and ill people snap one day. The difference is – in America – those people probably have access to guns and consequently when they do snap lots of innocents, often children, die.
            Your point about criminals having guns. Criminals have guns in every country. But amongst all other developed countries the death rate remains low. In your country, its huge. Don’t you see a pattern there?
            Heaven forbid any one of you should have to lose your kids this way because some loner up the road couldn’t take his problems any more and borrowed his mom’s guns and amo for the day.
            I’m forty nine now. I’ve lived in poor areas of major cities and I’ve known hundreds and hundreds of people and not one of them, to my knowledge, has ever been shot. So over there in America, why don’t you grow some balls and start living life without an arsenal of weaponry.

          • The people

            None-liberal, none-democrat, none republican or any other political affiliation limey person here..

            Since when was thinking about our freedoms were Neanderthal like? Last I checked thinking about our freedoms prevents us from being dim witted peasants ruled under a totalitarian government. (oh wait your most likely from Europe, forgot you all rolled over and accepted to be peasants)

            Also when was the last time you heard anyone claim gun free zones, or the complete ban of fire arms prevent all fire arm related homicide? Oh that’s right, never.

            I can tell you one thing though, gun free zones sure do attract criminals wonder why that is. Also i would like to mention not one fire arm since its conception (back when Europe was killing each other over petty arguments) has ever killed a human being. In fact, fire arms lack the most important component, that would be the ability to be alive, feel emotions, or have any kind of consciousness. That’s right! Fire arms cant kill anyone because it takes a conscious being behind it to do so.

            The individual who killed all those innocent people Friday broke over 41 laws that day. So with all honesty, what will one more law or a thousand new laws do to prevent homicide? Nothing. Take the fire arms away, and you will see an incline of stabbings. Take knifes away, you will see an incline of another weapon used.

          • Lmwolfe015

            I am a single mom. I am not a big person. I legally own several handguns and a shotgun to protect myself, my children and our home. I have never ONCE thought about shooting anyone or any place. However should the need arise the guns I own WILL save our lives! It infuriates me when people advocate for me to have my right to protect my children taken away from me because someone else has broken the law! How friggin dare you people!!!

          • skater60

            Gun ownership over here in the States is perpetuated by gun manufacturers and their political lobbies including, but not limited to, the NRA (National Rifle Association). It’s all about profits and advertising and waving our silly Constitutional Second Amendment around like the Flag of God Almighty Himself. It’s all about corporate rule and investors and it’s truly pathetic. As I see it, our USA is a grand human rights violator due to our inability to control civilian weapons. The United Nations might suggest we do something about it (could you maybe persuade the Queen to mention it?).

            Repeal our creaky-old Second Amendment and do a rewrite so that it makes sense in the year 2013 instead of 1789.

            Alternative: We keep creaky-old #2 as written while confiscating all civilian firearms and issuing free, single-shot muzzle-loaders to all Americans of age. We’ll even supply free bayonets – shiny new ones so we can be proud!

            Problem solved (shiny & new will get ’em everytime)!

          • ztheoldman

            The Newtown shooter acquired his guns illegally by stealing them from someone who owned them legally and killing the legal owner with one of her own guns! Get the picture?

          • English Jim

            @ the people. Sorry if my comments have been taken as a slur on another nation. They most certainly weren’t meant to be. They were about an issue. Just that – and seeing as it’s not my country perhaps I shouldn’t have got involved on here and for that i apologise.
            Yes, I am from England but I don’t think we’re ALL peasants in Europe. The UK is now an insignificant island. We’ve lost the odd conflict as your Independance is a prime example of but I can’t remember any specific instances where we’ve rolled over for anyone. Except possibly the EU.

        • Bryant_mathew

          Bad guys are gonna have guns regardless of if its legel or not, I just want the good guys to be able to protect themselves, I find it funny no one mentions on the news the 80 year old man who stopped a robery because he had his c and c licence and a .38 in his pocket I’m sure the ppl who’s lives were saved that day were thankful a good guy had a gun

        • Squirmy1

          How about this those other countries you were talking about have a high homicide rate They were just killed with other weapons besides guns. In countries where the citizens are not allowed to be armed they have higher rates of home invasion armed robbery and a multitude of other crimes you can perpetrate on unarmed people.

      • xtheoldman

        Use your head, GunsSaveLives. Someone setting out to commit mass murder does not stock up on alcohol to use against his victims, or look for a car that can do the most damage. That person turns to GUNS because they exist for only one purpose: to kill, maim, and destroy. And if the killer doesn’t already have his own guns, he’ll likely steal them from people like YOU, possibly killing YOU in the process. Statistically speaking, the odds of this happening are far greater than your ever using a gun in your own or someone else’s defense. How many stories have you heard about armed private citizens stopping a mass murder? Probably none, because it doesn’t happen. How many pistol-packing private citizens have the training and coolness under fire to do such a thing? Damned few, if any. Get your head on straight.

        • Painted_desert_house

          Actually if you do your research about armed citizens assisting there are quite a few. Texas Tower shooting in Texas is probably the most famous. I read one story about an armed citizen that helped officers stop a carjacking & there are many more.

      • There goes that right wing bubble again. You call us blind liberals? But you righties consistently discount facts. I dont know where you get your facts from, probably(fox news), but your stat on 105,000 deaths, are over a decade, and it’s more like 68,000, not 105,000. We have over 10,000 deaths via guns per year. Compare that to other countries with stricter gun laws and you will see, no comparision. How the hell do “GUNS SAVE LIVES”? If you have to have a gun for protection, go buy a mussel loading musket, that was the only weapon of choice that our fore fathers had when they wrote the second ammendment.

        • Cf3006

          so your saying 68,000 deaths is ok. But 10,000 is too much. Please look at who’s doing the killings, not the guns but the people behind the guns!

        • Kharyp

          Its muzzel not mussel. In a free society these things happen. If you want complete security where the gov. Takes care of you from birth to grave the USA is not the place for you. I will not give up my freedom of any kind for security. Give me liberty or death. The bill of rights protect us enough, if they take one right they will take them all. You know hitler also liked gun control. Did that right before he rounded up the jews. Guns do save lives you just don’t hear about it.

        • Bryant mathew

 seems when everyone knows his neighbor has a weapon and knows how to use it they think twice about breaking in, I’m just saying

        • Dalords

          For all you crazy ” lets ban guns” people, just remember the Oklahoma City bomber killed 168 people 19 of which were children. No gun needed. Get the point. PEOPLE kill not guns. Stop being stupid and so willing to give up a freedom, even if you don’t agree with it, it is still a freedom!

        • Lmwolfe015

          Question for all you anti-gun folks… How do you plan on protecting yourself and your family should someone break in to your home armed with a gun??? How do you suggest I as a single mom protect my kids in the same scenario? Do not advocate for my ability to protect my kids to be taken away!

          • My suggestion is to seek counseling for your anxieties and fears that come from headlines. You are more dangerous with that mind full of fear than a criminal. 4 guns? How will you handle them all at once? What if the bad person gets one and kills you first? You speak just like a damm fool. No thought, just a trigger finger ready to shoot.

          • T.A.

            Your wrong Joe, I took an oath over 20 years ago to protect the citiziens of the USA and to preserve the rights of the Constitution from forgien and domestic enemies and believe me it’s not out of fear that I did and will continue to. It is the gun and the courage of a man behind it that has given you the freedom of choice and how you live. If you have ever been in a situation where a gun has saved you or someone close to you, you wouldn’t be spouting off about guns. You would be saying how could we fix the problem with these evil persons that are doing these bad things. Joe your the one who is scared. I would die protecting my family, you sound like a man who would tell a robber to do any thing he wanted to you family or whoever but dont hurt you. Dont be little someone who is not afraid to stand up or you just might get knocked down.

          • How friggin dare you people?’ That’s the kind of emotion that kills people. Your emotions and your guns. Look how heated up you get over a divergent opinon from yours. Don’t tell me that you’re not capable of being dangerous!

          • nominalize

            People who own guns for self-defense remind me of people who drive long distances because they’re afraid of flying, even though flying is actually much safer. But being behind the wheel gives people the illusion of control that makes them *feel* safer. Owning a gun gives the same illusion.

            The fact is, by having a gun in your house, you are putting your children in far more danger than you’re protecting them from.

            Any gun you own is 11 times as likely to be used in a murder (often after an argument), assault, accident, or suicide as it is in self-defense. Instruments of death are far more dangerous sitting around your house, every day, than the (very slim) chance that a “bad guy” will come through the door when you happen to be home.

            Not to mention that the person most likely to commit a crime against you, from theft to molesting your children, isn’t a “criminal”, but someone you already know and trust— family, friends, community leaders, etc. I know it feels good to think of ourselves as the “white hats” fending off the wicked “black hats” out there, but in the real world, most wolves wear sheep’s clothing.

            If you still want to be afraid of the “bad guys” out there, so be it. But if you are, you should be even MORE afraid of the people you interact with all the time. They’re the ones who are gonna get you. That’s just the way the world works.

        • Recoil106

          53,000 people were killed in mexico in the last 3 years, Mexico has one of the strickest gun laws, imagine that. Why would anyone want to give up their rights to own guns when our Govenment can’t even protect us from the people comming across our borders, and the crooks that we codle when they are caught. You Librals are a big problem , you want to make excuses for peoples wrong doings and not to be accountable for their own actions. And yes there are a several accounts where law biding gun carriers have saved lives, look up the Slidal MS. school shooting where the School Principle went to his car and got his gun and shot the shooter, or in Colorado where a lady that just got of work and whent to church but had her weapon on her shot and killed a gunman before he had a chance to kill any one, there are many more also, but your libral media dont want you to hear about them.

        • Squirmy1

          Here we go with the musket thing again Libtard What are founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment for. Yes the citizens have a musket and guess what so did the British military they had a musket to. The Second Amendment was designed for the people To have the same Weapons as the military to ensure that the government should never have power over the people Flash forward to 2012 The semi automatic Ar 15 weapons we have today Pale in comparison to the modern military machinegun. But it beats the hell out of having nothing. If you want the government to have full power over your Move to England Australia China There is a bunch of countries you can go to feel safe While the government takes care of you.

      • skater60

        Alcohol is something you do to yourself, whereas gun murders are something you do to somebody else. I know the difference is hard to distinguish, but do try.

    • conan

      do you also want to ban automobiles? Because gun related homicides in 2011 was 9,146 deaths. DUI related deaths in 2010 was 10,228.

      • ccm800

        at elast you pass a test, lose the privilege and require insurance.

        • conan

          and you have to register to own a gun and have a criminal background check.

          • david

            It could be argued that cars are necessary for travel. Guns are not a necessity and do not help the human race.

          • Cf3006

            cars are not necessary for travel. you can walk, ride a bike and many more examples. society has just become dependent on automobiles for transportation. therefore, cars aren’t necessary, just a priviledge.

      • your an idiot. It’s mentalities like that, why were in this quagmire.

        • Cf3006

          who you calling an idiot? someone who knows the laws or someone just rushing to a conclusion?

    • Gggggg

      the reason for the shoe thing is because the TSA is useless and clueless. if you disagree with that statement, why did they initially ban all lighters and matches in the cabin space, then allow matches but not lighters and now they allow lighters but not matches?

    • Ken E Ballard

      cars kill more people lets get rid of those. How about the 400,000 deaths related to obesity, I call for a ban on eating…

      • Adamjaxgood

        no stupid people in cars kill people

    • Gerald

      Based on your logic, since there were 32,367 vehicle deaths in 2011 and 9,146 gun related deaths, we should not allow any vehicles first. Guns don’t kill anymore than pencils misspell. Guns aren’t the problem. The people who are allowed to buy them without in depth background checks with an emphasis on prior drug, mental and behavioral issues are the problem. Switzerland issues every citizen a firearm and trains them on proper use. They also have the lowest gun related deaths in the world. If our citizens had no guns, we very likely would end up as most of the third world countries where the citizens cannot protect themselves from a tyrannical government. That has been the case in all but two countries that imposed anti-gun policies. The most dangerous thing are uninformed people that become narrow minded and influenced by radical behavior. Become informed and educate yourself on an issue before forming an opinion just because someone has told you how to think.

    • Isis

      the tabacco industry pays for ads that show the consequences of smoking. the NRA and all those that sell guns should also pay for ads that show the consequences of killing people with guns. it’s time to create a consciousness for the consequences of your actions.

    • Squirmy1

      Libtard Lori

  • Johnnyquest715

    The number of alcohol related deaths by far outweighs the number of gun related homicides yet, there is nothing on the table to reduce alcohol consumption in bars and restaurants.

    • obviously

      When I walk down the street at night, I don’t have to fear that a bottle of Heineken will jump out and kill me.

      • obviously

        Also FYI we do regulate alcohol sales, and motor vehicles require licenses/training. When something is dangerous, it makes sense to restrict access to it to a certain extent. If you agree with this statement, then you believe in gun control.

        • Conan

          We don’t regulate alcohol sales. But to own guns, you do have to have criminal background check.

          • C Powers50

            when it comes to these mass murders,90% of the time the shooter obtained the firearms just background checks is not workn.its not ex-felons doing this shit.Its legal gun owners.

          • Cf3006

            Legally!!! You really think the shooter on Friday legally obtained the firearms that accounted for 28 deaths. He killed his mother with her guns and used those guns in a terrible act. He didn’t own those guns, so legally they weren’t his. Do your homework before you speak.

        • We the people

          Actually the comparison is null. Teenagers (aged 15-16 in most states) allow the operation of motor vehicles while the legal age of buying and owning a fire arm is at the minimum of the age of 18 (21 if buying a handgun). Also a background check, a probationary period (after gun sale) and also registration of the sale is required in order to legally own a fire arm. Also sales of a fire arm to a individual who has a history of violent crime or mental health disorders are prohibited.

          Compare this with motor vehicles and its obvious that fire arm laws are far more restrictive then that of motor vehicles. Include the high mortality rate from vehicle crashes, vehicular homicide due to DUI’s or negligence, and its easy to see vehicles are far deadlier then fire arms.

          Lastly fire arms are tools. Just as vehicles, they are both easily capable (and has proven) to take lives. The individual behind the wheel/fire arm is what needs to be accounted for. So I will leave this with you all: Stop blaming the fire arm and stop protecting the criminal who committed the crime. Stop dodging the fact another human being did it, and use the damn thing called common sense.

      • Mark Webster

        Actually you do. It may be behind the wheel of a car but you are more likely to die from that than a gunshot.

  • GunsSaveLives

    Funny how guns save lives and our country from invasion yet alcohol “murders” more people than guns do in a ten year period but you don’t hear blind liberals calling for alcohol banning!

    • GunsSapLives

      I know, I saw a bottle of Tequila go on a rampage just last week. It was horrible…there were shots everywhere. Perhaps the worst were the body shots. People were throwing up…it was disgusting. I think every Tequila bottle needs to be locked up post haste!

  • Conan

    If anyone thinks taking guns away from law abiding citzens is the answer, they are total morons. Most of these crimes are done with guns not registered to the shooter. Everyone jumps on the bandwagon and says to ban all guns, that’ll fix everything. But do they actually think that the real criminals really care if guns are illegal. Trust me, I am sickened by the events that occurred on Friday. But eliminating firearms is not the answer.

    • guest

      Moron = Man who ignores that 3 quarters of crimes are done with legally registered guns. If it’s not the owner committing the crime, perhaps they should be at fault for keeping it in an unsafe place.

      • DJ301

        Making gun owners responsible for the guns they own is a good first step. Owning a gun is a big responsibility. A gun can be and is a powerful weapon, with not only the ability to defend but to inflict great harm on the innocent. I see no reason why laws requiring gun owners to control their guns is a bad thing. If a gun owner is not using his or her gun for a legal activity. It should be locked up and not usable by anyone else. You buy the gun you are responsible for it, and what it is used for. No one should be allowed to own a gun without the ability to secure it when not in use. Securing your weapon is the responsible thing to do and it should be required. This should not even be open for debate. Reducing the possibility of a weapon being used by other individuals without the gun owners knowledge or in the weapon being stolen and used in a crime is just common sense.

        • Conan

          I am a gun owner and I agree that guns should be locked up if not in use. But like anything else, if someone wants it and knows where it’s at, they’ll get it by any means. You can’t punish someone if their property is stolen. If you believe the gun owners should be responsible, then any car that is stolen and used in a crime or involved in an accident, then you’re saying it’s the car owners responsibility.

      • Cf3006

        If you can’t put your name to a statement, then you shouldn’t speak. Again, someone hiding behind what the real problem is.

      • Conan

        You are a moron. Do some homework next time you talk. The Bureau of Justice Statistics shows “Incidents involving a firearm represented 7% of the 5.1 million violent crimes of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault in 2008.” It seems you exaggerated your 3 quarters of crimes by almost 70%!!!!

  • Shivakumar Gurumurthy

    Well.. Gun culture shows the cultural degradation.

    A derailed young man of divorced parents and a controlling mother kills a few kids.

    US needs culture control and family life rather than Gun Control.


    • DJ301

      Women still get stoned to death in India for having an affair, or shaming the family. That is more of a cultural problem. I don’t think anyone weather married or not would agree that killing innocent children is culturally acceptable in the US.

  • Kt

    United States is a very safe country considering the amount of guns.
    People tend to overreact toward guns during episodes like this. But few remember episodes like Bath school, when the perpetrator used explosives.

  • Cf3006

    One of the real problems with this country is the help and aid given to people with mental disorders. The young man who committed these horrible tragedies sufferred from mental illness. But this country will continue to decrease the spending on mental illness. People with mental illnessess and their families may not seek help because of the stereotype and consequences they may feel will occur if they seek help.

  • Bcaztx

    In the right to bear arms debate, pro-gun Americans point to Switzerland, where almost every adult male is legally required to possess a gun. One of the few nations with a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States, Switzerland has virtually no gun crime. Therefore, argue the pro-gunners, America doesn’t need gun control. When we watch all the crap on tv, movies, and glorify this type of behavior no wonder we have jacked up citizens that are desensitize to violence.


    Lets KILL ALL SHARKS because of a few SHARK ATTACKS

  • Old timer

    According to MSNBC, 75,000 deaths per year are linked to alcohol. Where is the outrage over that? Alcohol is the 3rd largest cause of premature death in the United States after smoking and poor diet/lack of excercise. Why aren’t the TV cameras rolling at the grave side of every teenager or child who is killed by a drunk driver..?

  • Tenntony183

    Unfortunately we as people fail to realize laws are made as a basis to punish .. At no time has a law ever stopped wrong doing .. Only the fear of punishment stops a person.. If crimes actually punished in this country then you would see a decrease in evils ..but not a total removal because man is at his core able to do evil

  • Nope

    Why did you leave out Mexico? Is it because they have extremely strict gun laws and their murder by firearm rate would make your graph not as pretty?

  • Freedom Defender

    If anyone doubts that education has had to dumb down because of the decline in IQ, all he or she would need to do is read what passes for news in America for his or her worst fears to be confirmed. This is poorly researched, biased, liberal-spawned drivel, and Mr. Green would do well to actually spend time actually researching a topic before he shows his ignorance to one and all. For example, the number of legal guns isn’t relevant because the ratio isn’t 1 gun to 1 gun owner; and more importantly, contrary to what Green would have readers believe, violent crimes committed by legal gun owners is virtually non-existent—unless the uninformed ignorantly attempt to include defense of home, self and family as a crime! Similarly, it is laughable that he uses Great Britain as an example of superiority because of their gun control policies without acknowledging the number of violent deaths from stabbing. (I guess those poor souls who died from screwdriver punctures to their head and eyes are insignificant).

    According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control there were 613 deaths from accidental gunshot wounds in 2007 from firearms which was less than two per day nationwide and down 29 from 2006. This is the most recent data from the CDC.

    Compare these numbers to accidental deaths by Burns 3,375, Drowning 3,443, Falls 22,631, Poisoning 29,864, and Traffic Accident 42.031.

    Homicides are not even in the fifteen causes of death in the U.S.

    2008 non-fatal injuries from firearms 17,215, Burns 400,032, Drowning/Near Drown 5,127, Falls 8,551,037, Poisoning 732,316, and All Transportation 4,156,759.

    The burgeoning number of Americans born with low IQ continues to skyrocket right along with the “bailout, handout” mentality; drug use, and rate of mental illness; all more prevalent in areas of poverty. As the economy worsens further, there will be an increase in crime, and more individuals will be forced to defend themselves or be victimized. (The number of drug offenders being released back into the community is especially alarming and escalates potential risk to the public).

    We may, indeed, see an increase in the murder rate by law abiding citizens forced to defend themselves, their family, or their property. Yet elimination of that refuse is infinitely preferable than being saddled by the financial burden for prosecuting and imprisoning offenders, only to release them to re-offend again and again. Any concerned, law-abiding American would want to be informed and do whatever is possible to ensure safety for himself/herself and loved ones.

  • jwo

    Civilians don’t need combat-grade guns. No one needs to protect their home and family or kill their food with a semi-automatic weapon that shoots 30 bullets in less than a minute. I believe in the right to own a gun, but it’s a first step to make the mass-destruction, maximum damage, combat guns illegal. Let’s just see what that does. If nothing else, it will minimize the damage done by the people who snap and want to kill the world.

    • Jami Oyler441

      The president(technically a citizen)is protected by combat weapons… let him give up his protection first.

    • Kpickering907

      Semi-automatic weapons have been around since the 1800s. You can only shoot 30 rounds in less than a minute if that is how fast your finger goes. I believe you are talking about automatic weapons, which have been banned since 1934.

  • Isis

    According to this article it says: “And while America certainly does not have the highest firearm-related homicide rate in the world (it ranks 28th)”….
    I’d like to know who are the other 27 countries and are they statistics of homicide by guns due to the fact that they are at war, or at peace?

  • guest1

    Everyone here is bickering about whether you should or shouldn’t have guns.

    I think the overall consensus that everyone should agree with is that assault riffles and large magazines are what need to be banned. It’s too big a task to ask to ban guns from everyone in america, but the best way to stop these mass killings is to make it harder to do, and the easiest way to do that is to take away the larger assault riffles and magazines that really aren’t needed to protect a home or person. I honestly don’t know why someone would feel the need to be able to buy one of these guns let alone own one. They are the sort of guns that should be owned by highly trained army men and police officers, not the average citizen.

    I think that anyone that argues against what Obama is trying to do in banning assault riffles and large clips of magazines after the tragedy that occurred in Conn. has lost their way, there comes a point in time when you need to realize that these more powerful guns should not be in the reach of the average untrained and unskilled individual. Military and police men and woman have physiological tests before they are allowed to carry these types of guns to use and yet the average citizen can just walk into the shop and buy one? That is incredible backwards.

  • Painted_desert_horse

    Did any of you stop to think your blaming an inanimate object. 22 kids in China viciously attacked by a knife wielding assailant, 20+ more kids dead from knife attacks. Man stabs dad’s girlfriend, goes to dad’s school kills colleague & dad with knife & bow/arrow. A tool is inanimate object that can not do anything without a person to wield it. You take my hammer away, I will just use a different tool. Oklahoma City Buildings – bomb, 9/11 planes & boxcutters, Unibomber, London Subway. How bout riots, the destruction & terror that people go through….. LA riots, most destroyed without ever using a gun.

  • dkjoller

    As usual the gun freak comments and replies here have all the logical merit embodied in a moron’s thoughts. Attempting to deliver statistical proof with these slope heads is like teaching a wall safe how to open itself.

    In simple terms, gun freaks are incapable of reason or logic.

    Until and unless the civilized people of this country eradicate this insane obsession with guns we are going to be regarded as we are – one the most dangerous places to live on planet earth.

    As for the NRA, it should be crushed and its power destroyed.

    And the gun freaks: send them to Afghanistan where they can get ample opportunity to fire their weapons. If they’re lucky they may survive a day or two.

    • Recoil106

      Most of those so called gun freaks as you call them have been to war. I’ve been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and a few more Hell holes in the years that I served in the Military, What have you done to protect the freedoms that you enjoy, or are you one of the those that just sit back and enjoys it at the cost of others sweat and blood.

  • Ralph Reinhold

    If you own a gun, you are 28 times as likely to commit murder as you are to kill someone in sefl defense. You are 3 to 5 times as likely to die by gunshot than a person without a gun. Most gun murderers are law abiding citizens who would never think of shooting somebody….until they did.

    Australia instituted strict gun controls in 1996 and went from having about twice our death rate from guns to 1/20th. Having more guns means more gun deaths.

  • Mlclay

    Over the past several years the use of a gun in a homicide is about 2 out of 3. Take away all the gun homicides and we still have most other “civilized” countries homicide rate. We have a cultural problem not a gun problem. True the gun does make violence easier but we here far too little about the times the gun saves a victim. The “mass”(FBI figures mass means 4 or more) shootings ended by police is 18.something while mass shooters stopped by civilian only 2.something. I believe in responsible gun ownership with proper instruction and practice. Not everyone should have a gun. While not as optimistic as in my youth I still believe that the vast majority of people are good people. One other issue to consider in the high percentage of the mass shooters who were on drugs. A few years back in a string of 16 shootings 13 of the shooters were on prozac or like type drug. That’s just the legal drugs. No easy answers, lots of issues to understand.


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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