It’s A Start

Americans like their guns:

The Small Arms Survey estimates there are 393,300,000 civilian-owned firearms in the United States. The survey, performed by the Graduate Institute of Geneva, estimated the United States military has about 4.5 million firearms. It put the number of firearms owned by police throughout the United States at just over 1 million.

That means American civilians own nearly 100 times as many firearms as the U.S. military and nearly 400 times as many as law enforcement.

Let’s do the math:  there are 8,000 homicides a year, divided among 400 million guns.   That means roughly one gun out of 50,000 is used in a homicide per year (assuming each gun is used once, which is far from true.

Amerian guns are actually safer, crime-wise, than American citizens are.

3 thoughts on “It’s A Start

  1. I’m amused by the folks who are surprised that civilians own so many guns.

    Liberal nutty cousin: “Why would anyone need more than one gun?!”
    Me: “Why does anyone need more than one pair of shoes?”
    LNC: “What?! I need a pair for work, others for exercise, dress up shoes…”
    Me: “Some folks hunt deer, some hunt rabbits. Some folks shoot targets, some want to carry concealed. The right tool for the task.”

    Soldiers have very defined tasks in their units, so they need relatively few guns for their jobs. Cops are the same. But ask any cop if the only guns they have are the ones that they’re issued and it’s virtually certain that they have far, far more.

  2. 393 million guns, 150 million motor vehicles. Assuming about 35,000 deaths from each, we would assume that motor vehicles are about 2-2.5x more likely to kill than a gun. It’s what we already knew about Teddy Kennedy’s Oldsmobile, just on a nationwide basis.

    It’s also about 3-5 guns per gun owner, and interestingly, that’s also about the same ratio of guns/infantryman that you’ll see in the armed services. It is as if sometimes a spare is a good idea.

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