Chart of the day

Ezra brings some more charts:

Americans don’t just have more guns that anyone else – 270 million privately held firearms. They also have the highest gun ownership per capita rate in the world, with an average of about nine guns for every 10 Americans. The second highest gun ownership rate in the world is Yemen; yes, Americans have nearly twice as many guns per person as do Yemenis, who live in a conflict-torn Arab nation still dealing with poverty, political unrest, a separatist Shia insurgency, an al-Qaeda branch, and the aftereffects of a 1994 civil war.

This next chart just shows the gun ownership per capita rate for the “developed” countries, or the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). That basically means the world’s rich countries. Some of them, such as Switzerland and Finland, are actually among the highest-ranking countries in the world by gun ownership rates. But the U.S. is still way, way ahead. Keep this chart in mind the next time someone compares U.S. gun ownership to Switzerland or to Israel.

Israel has only 7.3 privately owned guns for every 100 people, which means that the American rate is 12 times as large. For comparison’s sake, Israel’s gun ownership rate is about 12 times that of Japan. That means that the difference between America and Israel, in terms of gun ownership per capita, is about the same as the difference between Israel and Japan, which has perhaps the strictest gun control regime in the world.

But I’m sure that the fact that we have the highest homicide rate in the developed world and easily the highest rate of mass shootings has nothing to do with all the guns.  Just an odd coincidence.  Nothing to see here.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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