In the wake of the tragic attack in Orlando, anyone on social media will see statistics about how much worse gun violence is in the USA than in other places in the world. By one measure, the US has almost 6x more deaths from gun violence as our northern neighbor, Canada and many other developed countries. So how can we solve this problem?
Many advocate for tougher restrictions on the purchase of guns. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these policies will have a large impact on gun violence in the US. The US has a world-leading 112.6 guns per 100 people. That puts us about 4x higher than the next closest developed countries, Sweden, Norway, France and Canada, which are hovering at just above 31 firearms per 100 people. Even if we were to ban the sale of all guns altogether in the USA, it’d still take us decades to get down to 31 firearms per 100 people. But a firearms sale ban isn’t even on the table, let alone a government seizure of weapons from those who already have them. What’s on the table right now are a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases. Continue reading