The dishonest “gun-related” statistic

I have mentioned it in some of the pages on this site, but I thought I’d elaborate a bit… Why do gun-control advocates insist on citing statistics involving “gun homicide” — are we concerned with the choice of weapon used to kill people, or whether people are killed?

So, more guns means more gun deaths? Like Japan, where there are virtually no guns, so nobody is killed using guns? Duh. But what does this have to do with public safety? There are many African and Carribean countries with near-zero gun ownership, and consequently ultra-low gun death rates, but with catastrophically high murder rates.

Gun-related homicides per capita? It’s a meaningless and deceptive statistic. We may rank much higher than Australia and England, but we’re also way higher than Bosnia, Uganda, and The Congo! Is anyone seriously suggesting that Kinshasa is far safer than Los Angeles?


Here’s a thought experiment: suppose we knew with certainty that guns, although they can kill people, actually stop more murders than they enable. Some people say this is so, and of course we can never know; but for this thought experiment let’s suppose it is. Then would it make sense to ban guns and increase the murder rate? Of course not, but it would lower the “gun death” rate. It is a meaningless number.

I have lost two friends to murder. Neither was killed using a gun, but that does not give me any comfort.

Statistics on “gun-related homicide” are misleading. Perhaps that’s not an accident.


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