Number of guns vs gun deaths – How bad is it in the USA?

Guns and gun deaths in

I post a lot of charts that go up and to the right, and unfortunately this one doesn’t break the mold. There is a strong positive correlation between the number of guns per capita and the number of gun deaths per capita. The US currently has 121 guns for every 100 people. The second highest among developed nations is Switzerland with 41. The US suffers 12.2 gun related deaths per year per 100,000 population. The second highest is Chile with 2.79. Switzerland is 4th with 2.64.

Of course correlation doesn’t automatically mean causation. It’s a complex and difficult topic, but the fact that America is so wildly out of line with every other developed nation cannot be ignored.

I personally don’t own a gun. But I’m not against gun ownership. The reason is that I don’t own one is I believe having a gun in my house would mean I’m way more likely to kill myself or someone I know than actually stop a bad guy. (Studies generally back this up).

If I did decide to buy a gun, it would be a big responsibility. Being in control of a killing machine shouldn’t be taken lightly. I do own another killing machine: my car. In order to use it, I had to get a license, pass a test, register the killing machine yearly, renew my license regularly, and generally be subject strict scrutiny in regards to its use. Drink while using it? Break other driving rules? License gets suspended or revoked.

Do I feel less free because of these regulations around driving? No. I feel pretty darn free. And I’m generally thankful for those common sense measures put in place that reduce the likelihood of someone crossing the double yellow and taking me out. We can celebrate safe and responsible gun ownership in the US, while putting regulations in place to give us a chance to catch up to Chile in gun deaths. Please vote for politicians who will make that happen.

-Jeremy

Sources: Wikipedia countries by firearm-related death rate, developed nations

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