What Makes Turkish culture unique?
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.
This chart next shows the 10 countries with the highest per capita gun ownership rates in the world. It's a pretty motley bunch. Recent war zones such as Yemen, Serbia, and Iraq are on there, but so are relatively developed (and peaceful) Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden. The fact that Swiss gun murder rates are much lower than Iraq's are a reminder that, yes, there is a lot more to determining a national rate of gun-related homicides than just firearm ownership. Still, as we saw in a previous post, Switzerland also has an unusually high rate of gun-related murders. It's not as high as America's, but then again neither is their gun ownership rate.