You’re going to want to read all of this (PDF).
“Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence” in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy is the stuff of gun grabber’s nightmares. Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser have compiled a heavily foot-noted academic report that is nonetheless very compelling and relatively easy to digest.
Small Government Times offers a summary:
The Harvard study attempts to answer the question of whether or not banning firearms would reduce murders and suicides. Researchers looked at crime data from several European countries and found that countries with HIGHER gun ownership often had LOWER murder rates.
Russia, for example, enforces very strict gun control on its people, but its murder rate remains quite high. In fact, the murder rate in Russia is four times higher tahn in the “gun-ridden” United States, cites the study. ”Homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.” In other words, the elimination of guns does not eliminate murder, and in the case of gun-controlled Russia, murder rates are quite high.
The study revealed several European countries with significant gun ownership, like Norway, Finland, Germany and France – had remarkably low murder rates. Contrast that with Luxembourg, “where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002.
The study found no evidence to suggest that the availability of guns contributes to higher murder rates anywhere in the world. “Of course, it may be speculated that murder rates around the world would be higher if guns were more available. But there is simply no evidence to support this.”
The authors also took a look at the effect of gun control laws in various U.S. states, gun ownership in rural and urban areas, and across racial lines. The long and short of it is that a small number of extremely active criminals with lengthy criminal records are responsible for the overwhelming super-majority of all gun crimes, and these criminals are psychopaths that ignore all laws.
The study also cited a previous report that was unable to find a single gun control law implemented in the United States that is proven to have reduced violent crime.