Don Kates on international comparisons
Don Kates has an excellent article on international comparisons, at the Independent Institute. A few excepts:
"Anti-gun advocacy is built on decades of erroneous claims that the United States, with the world's highest gun ownership rate (true), has the highest murder rate (false). Russia’s recently disclosed murder rates since 1965 have consistently exceeded U.S. rates despite Russia’ ban of handguns and strict control of long guns. Since the 1990s Russian murder rates have remained almost four times greater than American.
If more guns mean more violence, nations with high gun-ownership rates should have high murder rates. But two international studies comparing gun ownership with murder rates in 36 and 21 nations (respectively) found “no significant correlations.”
Anti-gun advocates never mention these facts. Nor do they mention all the European nations with high gun ownership rates but very low murder. Norway, with the highest gun ownership rate in Western Europe, has the lowest murder rate—far below England's. The only European nation that bans all guns, Luxembourg, has the highest murder rate (except for Russia): 30 percent higher than the U.S. and ten times that of gun-dense Norway. Holland, with Western Europe's lowest rate of gun ownership, has a 50 percent higher murder rate than Norway. Greece has much higher gun ownership than the Czech Republic but much less murder. Finland has 14 times more gun ownership than neighboring Estonia but much lower murder rates."