Monday, December 10, 2012

Swiss Gun Murders Lower Than Reported

Whenever international comparisons of homicide rates are studied, it is mandatory to consider Switzerland. Not only does Switzerland have very low homicide rates, it has one of the highest levels of gun ownership in the world.

As I attempted to find out what the gun homicide rate for Switzerland was, I ran into a curious phenomena. The most commonly quoted figures for gun homicides were for both gun homicides and attempted gun homicides. In one source, this led to the startling conclusion that gun homicides for a given year were greater than total homicides. At the site, the total homicides for 2009 are listed as 51. The total gun homicides are listed as 55.

Though a little research, I found that what most writers are seeing is the composite figure for both attempted and fatal gun homicides. As the attempted gun homicides outnumber the fatal gun homicides, this has a large impact on the number of total gun homicides claimed and on the rate of firearm homicides claimed in Switzerland.

Because of the referendum on gun control held in 2010, figures were published giving the actual gun homicides for four years. These were 1998, 2007, 2008, and 2009. The number of attempted homicides with firearms was given for 2009.

Here are the numbers:

In 1998, 53 homicides with firearms for a rate of .75/100,000

In 2007 27 homicides with firearms for a rate of .35/100,000

In 2008, 20 homicides with firearms for a rate of .26/100,000

In 2009, 24 homicides with firearms for a rate of .31/100,000

In 2009 the number of attempted homicides with firearms was 31.

These are exceptionally low rates. They are lower than the rates of Australia and Canada, both of which have much more restrictive gun control schemes. They are slightly higher than France and Sweden, though the overall homicide rate (Which, after all, is the more important number) is slightly higher in those countries, again, with much more restrictive gun control.

Here is a link to the source for the actual number of homicides with firearms. You have to subtract the suicides with firearms from the total number of homicides and suicides with firearms to find the actual number of fatal firearm homicides.

1 comment:

Joe said...

It's because the Swiss have a much lower percentage of obamunists in their population.