Gun ownership has been the subject of much debate for a while, thanks to a number firearm related deaths in recent times.
However, a new study published in The American Journal of Medicine suggests that countries with higher levels of gun ownerships aren’t any safer than those without as many guns.
Researchers, after looking at data from almost 27 developed countries, surmise that there is little validity to the fact that more guns make a country safer, in saying, “Although correlation is not the same as causation, it seems conceivable that abundant gun availability facilitates firearm-related deaths. Conversely, high crime rates may instigate widespread anxiety and fear, thereby motivating people to arm themselves and give rise to increased gun ownership, which, in turn, increases availability. The resulting vicious cycle could, bit by bit, lead to the polarized status that is now the case with the US.”
While the gun ownership data was obtained from the Small Arms Survey, the data for firearm related-deaths was taken from the National Center for Health Statistics and a WHO European mortality database.
As for the safety of a nation, this was determined by the crime rates collated by the United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends.
What the researchers found was that gun ownership rate was a strong but “independent predictor of firearm-related death”, with the United States and South Africa heading the list with 10.2 and 9.4 people out 100000 owning guns. Japan, alternatively, showed the lowest correlation between the number of firearms per 100000 people and related deaths.
However, there was no link between mental link and firearm-related deaths found by this study.