Going Underground

If the rest of the world is any indication, Americans shouldn’t be worried about registering firearms or having them confiscated. Nobody takes such laws seriously.

While spelunking through a somewhat dated version of the Small Arms Survey, I ran across a master table that assessed how many guns were registered in countries that had firearm registration, and how many guns were held by people without the benefit of such paperwork. The numbers are compelling in a way that would make Hillary Clinton sputter.

The Meme and the Meat

Depending on which gun registering country you examine, the percent of unregistered guns to registered ones ranges from 1/10th to 150 fold. A large set of European nations have more unregistered guns than those the government deigns to allow (Greece, France, Germany, Belgium). Even Merry Old England has about as many guns off the books as on.

Which goes against everything gun control industry candidates say.

Take for example the meme that claims strict gun control countries have lower crime rates than the United States. Despite this being basically wrong, and American violence being heavily influenced by outsized gang participation and with members showing abnormally sociopathic tendencies, we must ask “with so many unregistered guns, which by definition are in criminal hands, why would the crime rates be so low?” Greece, a rather laid back nation [when the socialists are not rioting over austerity measures] has a rate of unregistered guns 25 times higher than South Africa, but a homicide rate that is 1/18th. Conversely Canada has roughly the same homicide rate as Greece but a registration ratio 1/35th that of the Cradle of European Civilization.

Meaning, Not Memes

There are several reasonable conclusions we can draw from all this:

Country Registered Est. low unreg­istered Est. high unreg­istered Percent Unreg­istered
(average low/high)
Homicide rate
Greece 100,000 1,500,000 1,500,000 1500% 1.7
France 2,802,057 15,000,000 17,000,000 571% 1.0
New Zealand 335,000 850,000 1,000,000 276% 0.9
Germany 7,200,000 13,000,000 23,000,000 250% 0.8
Brazil 5,240,000 14,840,000 9,600,000 233% 25.2
Mexico 4,490,000 10,000,000 10,000,000 223% 18.9
Turkey 3,000,000 4,000,000 8,000,000 200% 2.6
Belgium 870,000 600,000 1,200,000 103% 1.6
England & Wales 1,742,300 300,000 3,000,000 95% 1.0
Montenegro 86,000 40,000 89,000 75% 2.7
Poland 314,641 200,000 200,000 64% 0.8
South Africa 3,737,676 500,000 4,000,000 60% 31.0
Spain 3,051,588 1,500,000 1,500,000 49% 0.8
Finland 1,600,000 50,000 1,500,000 48% 1.6
Canada 7,000,000 900,000 5,000,000 42% 1.4
Netherlands 330,000 125,000 125,000 38% 0.9
Sweden 2,096,798 50,000 1,500,000 37% 0.7
Australia 2,500,000 400,000 700,000 22% 1.1
Norway 1,320,000 125,000 125,000 9% 2.2

NOBODY OBEYS: Even our Canadian friends, a rather law abiding bunch, seem to think registration laws are merely advisory. If the human condition is one of denying government the power to know you have a gun, would registration and confiscation ever succeed in toto? We know criminals elsewhere (think Mexican cartels) get guns. People who are otherwise law abiding citizens appear to do the same.

CRIME ISN’T: Once again we see other variables – culture, government corruption, economics – define crime rates more than gun ownership, legal or otherwise. If registration doesn’t impede gun ownership nor affect crime, what is its purpose? Apparently none.

NOTE OF CAUTION:The precise nature of what needs to be registered in each country (handguns vs. long guns) and the degree of strictness in enforcement likely skew the non-registration numbers a bit. The Small Arms Survey did not mention in context if the adjusted for this.
FIREARMS: Small Arms Survey, 2003
CRIME: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


Going Underground — 1 Comment

  1. Great article. Gun grabbers love the idea of gun registration, but no gun control advocate has ever been able to explain how or why this would be beneficial. We hear the argument…”well, you have to register your car…so you should have to register your guns too.” The problem with that argument is flawed logic. The reason we register cars is to pay fees and taxes to help pay for the roads all cars use. Are these bozos suggesting we register firearms to pay fees and taxes to help pay for gun ranges – which are privately owned? No…the only reason they want to register firearms is to know who owns them, what type, how many, and most importantly, where the gun owner lives. It’s simply the ground work necessary to pave the way to execute legislation to confiscate.

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