Figures don’t lie: America doesn’t have a gun problem; America has a gun-grabber problem.
Each time America experiences a tragedy — especially one resulting in multiple deaths — gun critics respond with a call to limit our Second Amendment guarantees.
Although Orlando, San Bernardino, Fort Hood and other massacres were rooted in radical Islam, and Sandy Hook involved a perpetrator with serious mental health issues, gun control groups immediately latched on to them as reasons to restrict gun ownership.
The reaction became so knee-jerk that Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America launched into a theatrical diatribe after photos were published depicting protesters openly carrying firearms in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Although a 32-year-old woman tragically lost her life at the hands of a white supremacist at that event, a firearm wasn’t involved. In fact, no one reported a single shot being fired.
Groups such as Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun violence often point to America’s high rate of firearm ownership as the prime contributor to gun violence.
But that assessment is only half-true — the half about gun ownership.
The United States leads all other nations in gun ownership, according to the most recent data compiled by the Small Arms Survey. In fact, it reports that there are 88.8 firearms per 100 people in America — nearly one for every man, woman and child.
The next highest is Yemen, where the rate plummets all the way down to 54.8 guns per 100.
But our high private gun ownership rate doesn’t translate to an equally high rate of firearms-related homicides, as reported by the same group.
Again, using its latest data, the Small Arms Survey found that the United States experienced 8,592 firearm homicides annually in a five-year average, giving us a firearm homicide rate of 2.70 gun homicides per 100,000 people.
That rate placed us at number 59. Honduras led the pack in that survey, at an alarming 67.19 firearm-related homicides per 100,000 in population — nearly 25 times the U.S. rate.
On the other hand, Honduras came in at number 88 for gun ownership — a paltry 6.2 privately-owned guns per 100 people.
Still not convinced? Ready to pack your bags and move to some idyllic tropical island? You’re in luck. Unlike the United States, private citizens have no right to possess firearms in the Bahamas, so it comes in at number 98 for gun ownership.
But its low gun ownership doesn’t help. Its 24.82 firearm homicides per 100,000 residents places it at number-nine for gun homicide rates. Maybe they should rethink their signature catchphrase, “It’s better in the Bahamas.”
1994 ushered in a quirky little comedy titled “Barcelona,” depicting the adventures of two American cousins seeking love and sex in that Mediterranean Spanish city during the final days of the Cold War.
In one memorable scene, a woman argues with one of the cousins, a U.S. Naval officer named Fred Boynton, about the state of violence in America.
“You can't say Americans are not more violent than other people?” she says. When Fred denies that Americans are violent, she continues.
“All those people killed in shootings in America?” she asks.
“Oh, shootings, yes,” Fred agrees. “But that doesn't mean Americans are more violent than other people. We're just better shots.”
Recent events in that same Spanish city — Barcelona — suggest gun ownership has nothing to do with violence. At last count, dozens were seriously injured and 14 people were killed — including one American — in last week’s terrorist attacks there.
In addition, statistics prove that gun ownership doesn’t predispose one to gun violence. Guns and violence are wholly independent of one another.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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