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Gun Control: An International Comparison

by Heather Rogers, published

The United States has the loosest gun control laws of all developed countries. In the US, there are virtually as many guns as there are people. According to FBI crime statistics, 8,775 of the 12,996 murders that occurred in the U.S. in 2010 were caused by firearms.

With a gun being the weapon of choice in so many of the homicides in the United States, consider other countries, with stricter gun control laws, and how murders involving firearms there are much lower.

Japan - In Japan, most kinds of guns are illegal, and almost no one owns a gun. Japan is known as one of the strictest gun controlling nation in the world, with only 0.6 firearms per every 100 people. In 2006, there were only two homicides caused by guns in Japan. In 2008 there were 11. The country has nearly eliminated murder by firearms.

United Kingdom - The rate of private gun ownership in the United Kingdom is 6.72 firearms per 100 people. In 2009, only 18 people were murdered with a firearm. Within the last 14 years, the year with the highest number of gun caused homicides was 2004, with 52 people killed.

Australia - Ranked at No. 25 in comparison of number of privately owned guns in 178 other countries, about 15 out of every 100 Australians owns a firearm. Annual homicide rates involving firearms in the country is relatively low, at 0.1% per every 10,000 in 2009.

Germany - Ranked No. 4, in a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 other countries, approx. 30 out of every 100 people in Germany own a firearm. Germany experiences far fewer gun related homicides annually than the United States. In 2010, there was a total of 158 homicides committed with a firearm.

United States - The United States is ranked at No. 1 for civilian gun ownership in comparison with all other industrialized countries. There are approximately 88.8 firearms for every 100 people in the U.S. In the past 14 years, the year with the greatest number of homicides caused by a firearm occurred in 2006, when 10,225 people were killed by the use of a gun. Annual firearm suicides within the United States are high as well. In 2005, 17,002 suicides were committed using a firearm.

The United States far surpasses other countries in terms of gun related violence and death. The numbers above tend to indicate that fewer gun-related homicides is a direct result of stricter gun control laws.

A particular quote by Benjamin Franklin says,

Although the freedoms enjoyed in this country must be protected and upheld, statistics show that personal security within the United States is greatly hampered by lenient gun control laws.

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