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Argument: Worldwide the ownership of handguns has been correlated with higher homicide rates

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Supporting Evidence

  • Nicholas Dixon, from “Why We Should Ban Handguns in the United States,” Public Law Review (1993) "More generally, I argue that any country’s handgun ownership rate is a major determinant of its handgun homicide rate. [T]able 2 is based on information from government agencies, including police departments, in the respective countries. . . . The numbers refer to estimates of the total number of handguns owned by civilians in each country, both legally and illegally.The close coincidence between the rank ordering of handgun ownership and handgun homicide rates in these six diverse countries is most plausibly explained by the causal connection I assert. The multiplicity of causes of handgun homicide which opponents of handgun control are eager to assert, and which I accept, make a perfect correlation most unlikely. The one anomaly is default slugline the relative position of Australia and Canada; but the actual handgun homicide numbers (13 and 8, respectively) are so small as to make the difference in homicide rate of little importance. Of more interest than the rank ordering of individual nations, . . . is the emergence of three clear categories in which handgun owners and handgun homicide rates coincide: low (Canada, Australia, and Great Britain), moderate (Israel and Sweden), and high (United States). The most significant fact of all is the vast disparity between the United States and all the comparison countries in both the handgun ownership and handgun homicide rates. I conclude that a dramatic reduction in the handgun ownership rate in this country would substantially reduce handgun homicide rates."

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