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Time for some gun stuff.

Slackers. The lot of you. Good lord, I'm carrying the load for 166 of you!

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The headline from Reuters:

U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people.

The headline from Fox News:

Study: There Are 9 Guns for Every 10 Americans.

From Reuters:

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

"There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.

Interestingly, the report does not go all Pollyanna on the subject.

From the Fox News report:

The figures dispel the idea that gun ownership and high levels of violence necessarily go hand in hand, he said.

"There's no clear relationship between more guns and higher levels of violence," Krause said, pointing to low ownership and high crime rates in Latin America.

He said studies had shown that gun violence often occurred in places undergoing rapid urban growth, and when lawless areas are created by extreme poverty and the absence of effective policing.

The problem is worsened when members of government or police forces sell ammunition on the black market, Krause said.

In Rio de Janeiro, "a combination of factors suggest that state security forces — most notably the police — are the source of much of the assault rifle ammunition in the hands of criminal gangs," the report said.

Amusingly, Reuters didn't see fit to print *that* part. As close as they got to it was...

"Weapons ownership may be correlated with rising levels of wealth, and that means we need to think about future demand in parts of the world where economic growth is giving people larger disposable income," he told a Geneva news conference.

Guess it didn't fit their preferred narrative.

Fox also had this bit:

The problem is worsened when members of government or police forces sell ammunition on the black market, Krause said.

In Rio de Janeiro, "a combination of factors suggest that state security forces — most notably the police — are the source of much of the assault rifle ammunition in the hands of criminal gangs," the report said.

Thousands of arms supplied to Iraq by the United States are believed to have been acquired by insurgents through rogue elements in the Iraqi security forces.

Sudan, meanwhile, has purchased more than 25 million firearms in recent years — mostly from China and Iran — despite well-documented human rights violations committed by government-backed militias.

Krause said wealthy countries with lower crime rates, such as those in the 27-nation European Union, are dealing with an increased flow of small arms across borders where controls have been loosened.

Recent shootings in Britain — where ownership is severely restricted and the gun crime rate is low — highlight the need for greater police cooperation in Europe, he said.

As has been noted elsewhere, the greatest threat *most* people in the world face from firearms is from firearms in the hands of government personnel, or people who *want* to be government personnel (i.e., revolutionaries and their ilk). But, just as that statement paints with a ludicrously broad brush, lumping everything into the same pot, so too do the number comparisons in the study, as reported by those media outlets - a caveat I put in because I've not yet read the actual report, it doesn't appear on the Institute's website (at least I couldn't find it).

Think of your circle of friends - d'you think the number holds true as a broad comparison? Given the readership of this blog, it might well - though if you feel like you know me... then I'm skewing the hell out of the number - because I'm carrying 166 slackers living somewhere... and I know two other collectors, in town, who between the three of us are carrying 500 of you guys.

What's the point? The number, while interesting, is still a bit misleading, because what's missing is that there probably aren't 90 weapons *available* to every 100 people (leave aside local laws and other impacts on ownership). It's still instructive that it does punch a hole in the "more guns, more violence" argument and supports a more nuanced view of the problem and more useful approaches to containing gun violence.

Of course, that won't be popular, because it's easier to demonize the tool, than acknowledge that there might be societal sub-groups who's behavior is the root problem. No, much easier to demonize and attack the law-abiding societal group who aren't the major component of the problem... law-abiding gun owners.

As always - you should read the articles yourself, and draw your own conclusions based on the full context, not what I excerpt. That's the power of the web - use it!


19 Comments

Hmmm.... down to about a dozen, myself- from a high of mebbe three dozen at one time when I collected first-generation military semi-auto pistols. Perhaps I'll bump the numbers with one of those StG 44s....
 
Let's see - carrying others, why is that familiar? Oh yeah, taxes. Not only do I support a bunch of no-job, drug-taking criminal lay-a-bouts with my taxes now my mini-arsenal is part of the 90 guns for every 100 people statistic. BTW, I have two guns I've never fired. One is a sporterized Arisaka that no one around here seems to have ammo for and the other is a Turkish Mauser that I have been getting ready for mumblety-mumble weeks. I really have to get that front sight soldered on and get that out to the range. If I feel rich enough one of these days I'll even spring for some of that high-dollar ammo for the Arisaka
 
hmmm... if that averages out to nine free citizens for every subject, one is forced to wonder why we can't get good laws made (and only the few laws that are necessary) ...
 
How many Americans have taken advantage of their right to own expended TOW tubes? Darned few. I figger I'm carrying -- ummmmmmm -- divide by *mumblemumble* -- carry the 'lebenteen -- fifty million of ya. Oooop. Forgot the three in the shed...
 
Thanks for carrying the load for me!
 
I'm carrying how many? leemme see now...divide by zero error. Ahh yes i think I'm one of those unarmed 9 in 10 of the non US Americans.
 
Between my father and myself about 40. But 35 of those are of the hunting variety in various forms of shotguns and rifles. The rest being hand guns of various applications.
 
Keith's taking up the slack for me. And some other things, but that's another story.
 
I only have five, but one is a black powder muzzle loader (replica .45 Hawken), does it count?
 
I see I must accumulate more and better carry my share of the load...
 
Only three, here. But two are in calibers that start with the digit "4", at least.
 
we're a little above the ratio (grin) and are determined to do more to carry our fair share [GRIN]
 
I need to get one... I've been thinking about it for a while now. But first I've gotta find a safety class and figure out what paperwork I need. If I'm gonna do it, I want to do it right. Suggestions for a SWF first time owner? Any other advice? Should I just stick with pepper spray?
 
I'm happy to be picking up the slack for several of my neighbors as well. This so-called "study" is so blatantly aimed at gun owners insinuating that a high ratio of gun ownership is somehow wrong. Time to lug my range bag out to the range again this weekend.
 
One of many Tracys: Take a shooting class, it covers gun safety but also gives you shooting time which is important. You need to feel comfortable shooting the gun. Look around for a class that will let you shoot various caliber pistols and rifles to see what you might want to buy. Most gun stores can point you in the right direction. I bought myself a nice Kimber .45 semi-automatic - that is one smooth shooter - and want to expand my arsenal to include some nice rifles. I took a shooting class with my daughter to get her comfortable around firearms. Continue to carry the pepper spray (otherwise you need to jump through all the hoops for a concealed carry permit - in which case you should probably go with a smaller caliber) but make time to shoot regularly in case you are forced to defend your home/family.
 
Oh, sweet Broomhandle! But when is bazooka season in your state?
 
Right after mortar season and before heavy machinegun season, of course. Why? When is it in *your* state?
 
Trias, The wife and I are looking after your interests! We have enough for a number of Americans, even. When the revolution comes, all right minded people get a .303 and some chargers to start them off - and are supposed to bring back more goodies!
 
That's the spirit Geoff!