This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
We have an entirely different system in Canada, and murder rates and
perception of murder rates have been more closely related to economic
conditions than laws and imprisonment/execution policies, let alone "gun
control". As long as you had no criminal record, you used to be able to
legally acquire nearly any kind of firearm in Canada, and there was no
permit needed to buy most shotguns and rifles, yet the murder rate was
half what it is now. (People could legally acquire and own fully
automatic firearms -- machine guns -- until 1978, and some 4500
Canadians still have that right recognised by the federal government,
yet no registered FA has ever been used in a violent crime in Canada.
Yet, they banned them from the majority of Canadians.)
Each state in the USA has it's own laws. Generally, states with
strict firearm laws also have higher crime and homicide rates (and vice
versa). That doesn't mean that "gun control" leads to murder and crime,
but it doesn't seem to have ever lowered rates, either.
Many states, with similar population densities, have less "gun control"
than Canada, while having similar homicide rates.
The US has higher firearm- and non-firearm-related homicide rates. If
"gun control" made the difference between Canadian and US murder rates,
then our non-firearm homicide rates should be similar, and they aren't.
The difference may be whatever cause increases the risk of being murdered
by a stranger. In the US (as a whole), one is slightly more likely to
be killed by a stranger than some acquaintance. In Canada, the figure
is less than 20%.
It's also interesting to note that from 1985 to 1995, roughly 20 states
instituted non-discretionary Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) laws, and not
one has experienced the "blood bath" predicted by many "gun control"
More on this in
``The Long List of "Gun-Control" Myths'', available from:
There are now some 31 states that have non-discretionary CCW laws and
those states have enjoyed lower crime and murder rates. See the study
by Lott and Mustard for more detail.