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
|England & Wales||1,742,300||300,000||3,000,000||95%||1.0|
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