Guns and gore galore: Hard truths about America's gun problem – Durham Herald Sun

Americans comprise only 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but own 42 percent of the world’s guns (about 300 million).

This means we have slightly less than one gun for every citizen – and the U.S. tops the list for gun death percentages. More than 38,000 people died from gunshot wounds in 2016 (no statistics are available yet for 2017 or 2018) and over 30,000 annually since 2012.

To put it in perspective, you can sit back and expect a shooting death about every 15 minutes. Put another way, there are 88.8 guns in the U.S. for every 100 Americans.

When it comes to developed countries like Canada, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, England, France, Spain, Australia, and Japan, the closest to us is Switzerland, with a rate 45.7 guns per 100 residents. But while the Swiss own about half as many guns per capita as Americans, their death rate is less than one percent of the U.S. rate.

Japan has the lowest percentage of gun ownership at 0.6 percent of the population. It is also at the bottom of the list on gun deaths – typically fewer than 10 a year. Some feel that violent video games spur violence, and the Japanese are known for playing those games, but it looks like that contributes little, if anything, to gun violence.

So which country comes the closest to us with gun deaths?

It’s Yemen, a Third World country home to the world’s second-largest gun-owning population. It also has the highest rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people. This war-torn, disease-ridden, poverty-stricken country on the brink of catastrophic famine, which the United Nations billed in 2017 as the world’s “number one humanitarian crisis,” is our closest competitor.

Obviously, it‘s really sad that we are worse off than

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