Well, European countries certainly have lower -- often, much lower -- murder rates than the U.S., but we tend to exaggerate their disarmed status. That's because most mainstream media comparisons of gun ownership dwell on official figures. How many guns Americans legally own vs. how many Germans legally own. That makes sense to American eyes, because most guns here are perfectly legal. That's exactly what gets gun control advocates so hot and bothered when they start crunching numbers. They want guns further restricted and made less common.
But less common isn't always what you get. Those official gun ownership numbers actually compare apples and oranges. That's because Europeans own an awful lot of guns outside the law. As of 2003, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, 'Contrary to widely-accepted national myths, public gun ownership is commonplace in most European states.' The survey adds, 'public officials readily admit that unlicensed owners and unregistered guns greatly outnumber legal ones.'
Monday, December 22, 2008
Guns in Europe
An interesting article from J.D. Tuccille: Those peaceful Europeans own more guns than you think: