Earlier this week, I saw a reference to a story about the most armed countries in the world and so I went Googling to find the source. Sure enough, there it was in a Reuters story from three-and-a-half years ago.
It seems that the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies had completed a Small Arms Survey of the world and had found that U.S. citizens owned 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms. This made the United States far and away the most armed country in the world. That worked out to 90 guns for every 100 people.
That was 2007. During much of the time since then, some Americans have been in a frenzy of gun-buying. I feel sure that if a survey were done now, it would show us even more out in front in the arms race - maybe 95 guns per 100 people would be more like it.
Yemen was the second most heavily armed country on a per capita basis. They had 61 guns per 100 citizens. Slackers!
Falling even farther behind were countries like Finland (56 guns per 100 people), Switzerland (46), Iraq (39 - Iraq, for heaven's sake!), and Serbia (38).
This country also has one of the highest rates of homicides by gun of any country in the world and most of those are committed with handguns. In 2005, for example, there were 10,100 gun-related homicides, 75% of which were committed with handguns.
Since the murders in Tucson last Saturday, Bloomberg News reports that there has been a run on Glocks in Arizona. It seems that everybody and his sister wants to own one of the guns that killed six people including a Federal judge and a nine-year-old child and almost killed a sitting Congresswoman. Allegedly, they are anxious to buy the guns now because they are afraid Congress will ban them!
They should have no fears. This Congress would never have the courage to stand up to the NRA and do something as sensible as banning semi-automatic handguns whose sole purpose is to kill a lot of people quickly.
Where do you suppose the next mass murder by handgun will be?