Small Arms Survey 2007

YLE reports on this year's Small Arms Survey:

On a per-capita basis, the United States has the world's most heavily armed citizenry, with 90 guns per 100 people, followed by Yemen with 61 per 100 people, and then Finland [with 56].

[...] Other countries with high per capita levels of private firearms are Switzerland (46), Iraq (39), Canada (31), Sweden (31) and Germany (30).

Blam! Blam! Once again we give it to the wussy Swiss with both barrels. Suomi! Suomi! Suomi! ...

Ahem. To make a serious point for a change, it seems to me that there are two leading causes for high incidence of private firearms: either the place is a mess to the point that the option of shooting at other people starts to look good, or lots of hunters live there. It can be both, of course.

Another thing the figures show is that high per capita gun levels can be reached in countries with fairly strict gun control laws.

1 comment:

America Jones said...

Here in Americana, we have plenty of hunters. They are important for controlling certain animal populations, as development has eradicated many natural predators.

We also have 16,000 gun homicides annually, and about as many accidental gun deaths. Although Iraq is our top national security priority.

Many Americans believe the right to bear arms, in the Second Amendment, offers the citizenry protection against tyranny. It seems, however, only Fourth Branch of Government Cheney can get away with shooting at ruthless aristocrats.


As I understand it, the history of the Second Amendment has more to do with property rights than protection from tyranny (the Pentagon has all sorts of brainwashing and ray guns these days anyhow). Back in the day, guns were handmade craft objects passed from generation to generation, whether or not they were actually in working order.

My personal belief (and I don't know how popular or common this belief is among my fellow citizens) is that handguns are a big problem. A rifle for hunting or a shotgun for the defense of one's home are much more difficult to conceal while walking down the street than a handgun. You know that chk-chk sound a shotgun makes when you load a round into the chamber? That can be ample deterrent for many home invaders...

There is a bit of a "security theater" chicken-and-egg problem with increased handgun regulation, however: there are lots of handguns already floating around, and people want the ability to defend themselves.