Wednesday, 12 January 2011


When I was looking into sources for stats on gun ownership in different countries around the world, I was struck that Switzerland does in fact rank very, exactly as some defenders of US gun ownership claim. There are various sources for such statistics, and there may very well be some sources out there that contradict each other, and some may rank Switzerland higher than the US as far as gun ownership.

Some sources indicate that gun violence has escalated in Europe during the last two decades. Experts blame everything from waves of illegal immigrants to narcotics and other illegal activities, to high unemployment, rising socioeconomic gap and a value system rooted in self-indulgence and materialism.

Interestingly, Switzerland has a population of around 6 million, and it seems that one-third are gun owners - 600,000 of whom own automatic riffles and 500,000 pistols, according to one source at least. Let us assume for the sake of argument that indeed this is the case - let even say that Switzerland has more weapons per capita than the US, how do we explain that Switzerland as a very low crime rate not according to US standards, but any standard in the world? In a previous posting I argued the only rational explanation is the deeply-rooted culture of violence in America that is absent in Switzerland.

As far as weapons ownership in private hands, in 2007 US population just under 5% of the world's population is estimated to own between 35 and 50% of the world's population. This is according to the SMALL ARMS SURVEY. The following chart list the top five gun-ownership countries in the world.

No.↓ Country↓ Guns per
100 residents↓
Year Comment
1  United States 90.0 2007
2  Yemen 61.0 2007
3  Switzerland 46.0 2007
4  Iraq 39.0 2007
5  Serbia 37.5 2007

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