The Evangelical Universalist Forum

How To Live Under An Unqualified President by John Piper


Compare with:

The AJM attributes this grim statistic to high levels of gun ownership in the U.S., but the authors fail to point out that two of the safest nations in the world (Switzerland and Finland) rank 3rd and 4th in per capita gun ownership.

The U.S. has almost double the gun ownership rate of Finland and (according to a table in the AJM article) 12 times the gun homicide rate. Does this mean there is a “critical mass” for gun ownership where the murder rate increases exponentially? If this is true, why do heartland states with the highest levels of gun ownership have some of the lowest murder rates in the U.S.?

Since the link between gun ownership and homicide is unclear, what other factors are at play? How else does the U.S. stand out from all these Western nations other than in gun ownership and homicides?

According to data from WHO, the adolescent fertility rate in the U.S. far exceeds that of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Teenage mothers in Western nations often raise their children without fathers, and fatherlessness has been liked to violent crime in young men. When comparing the U.S. to other Western nations with higher levels of teenage pregnancy (Eastern Europe and Latin America), the U.S. murder rate is nowhere near the top (Fig. 1). This graph excludes 10 countries where the homicide rate exceeds 20 per 100,000. Beyond this murder rate the effect of adolescent fertility is less evident, possibly because other factors such as drug trafficking and poor governance start to play a larger role. At the top of the list of nations excluded from the graph is El Salvador, where the murder rate was 108 per 100,000 in 2015. This is over 20 times the murder rate in the U.S during the same year.

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DaveB, there are some big differences between the US and Switzerland. First, all able bodied men are required to be in the Swiss militia. That of course entails gun safety training. Private citizens are not allowed to store ammo at home And even though the private ownership rate is high for Europe, Switzerland’s rate is still only about a quarter of the US’. Less than a third of militia members keep their gun at home since 2005, and the number has been going down.
Also, privately owned guns are registered with the cantons.


Your conclusion?


Contrary to popular belief, Switzerland has stricter gun control than the US and a lot less guns. IMO there are too many guns in the US. They’re too easy to obtain, which means murder is too easy to commit. As long as keeping guns for self defense remains an American concept, we’ll have monthly mass shootings.


Without guns, only the criminals will have them, and we are at their mercy.
I know that is a simplistic argument, but I will defend it.
Taking guns away from the responsible people is the most irresponsible thing we can do.
Killing in America is by far a problem of family structure, no fathers in the homes, the Left stirring up racial fires as quickly as they can, etc. Guns are not the problem.
Anyway, Q, that’s how I see it. The society needs to change.
But I will not be at the mercy of some bastard with a gun.


Conservatives stress how dangerous is Western Europe’s relative lack of guns, her leftist socialism, her lack of married parents, universal healthcare, Etc! But I find that each time the data on the results are cited, the reply is that it’s not fair to compares actual outcomes of differing approaches among the affluent nations.

My impression is that we all only tend to like statistical facts when they support our already held beliefs.


The US annual proliferation of home-grown gun related deaths and what comes across as a somewhat blinkered response to this, as opposed to the highly emotionally charged reaction to terrorism deaths, and the actual numbers on either side of that equation seems oddly, poles apart — quite bizarre; at least to this non-US observer.


There’s not much doubt that our country is on a downward slope, with a cliff ahead of us, on many fronts.
The gun violence, especially in the big Democrat-run cities, is really messed up, and it is a political issue, if you can believe it. Sorry to say, those cities - Detroit, Chicago - are centers of black-on-black homicide; and it is frequently pointed out that fatherless families, single mothers raising a number of children, and disaffected young black men are the main contributing factors. Some of those cities have very strict gun ownership laws, by the way, Chicago foremost.
Those issues are not being addressed very quickly. Ben Carson, I understand, is doing some good things, but talk of a huge effort to address fatherless families is called, by the lefties, ‘racist’.
Anyway, terrorists we feel we can do something about - not enough - but the plight of inner cities and families is heartbreaking and those sons-of-B’s in Washington need to stop playing in their boy’s club and do something with the trillions of tax dollars they rip from us.
That of course is only my $.02 :slight_smile:


I’ve heard an argument along those lines many times, that if someone wants to commit murder, and guns aren’t readily available, he’ll just use some other means. But if that were the case, I would expect a more uniform murder rate between the US and other high income countries. IOW the ease with which guns make murdering not just one person but numerous people certainly seems to be a factor in the US violent death rate. People in other high income countries aren’t stabbing and committing vehicular homicide at the rate Americans are shooting each other.


Regardless, IF we take guns away from citizens that we know have them, there are still 100 millions guns left in the country (it is estimated) and guns are VERY easy to get for those bad actors that think they need one. Like gang members in big cities.
And the good citizens are then HELPLESS.
IMO the only answer is restoration of families, and the easing of racial tensions, allow more freedom of speech, allow conservatives to speak on campus (free speech - but Universities have been blocking conservatives - many examples), work hard for good education for all etc.
But mainly, families families families - and black men need to step up and take responsibility as fathers (don’t flame me on this - you know I’m not talking about all black men).
I would feel SAFEST if EVERYONE in my town had a self-defense gun. No one is going to successfully shoot up a movie theater if everyone in there is packing.
It’s not a gun problem.


:question: :question: :question:



When I was in graduate school…there was a male member there, from the US Marshal’s office. He said that they should provide free shooting lessons - to gang members. This way they could shoot each other, rather than innocent bystanders.

And nobody will ever insult your mule…if you ride one, instead of a car!

And here’s an interesting BBC article today:

Let me quote a bit:

In the words of YouGov, “half of Americans wouldn’t be able to tell that a Briton is calling them an idiot”.


IF this is what makes the difference, do Western European nations that take far more guns away have far lower homicide rates because these more de-Christianized societies actually have stronger family structures and marriages and less Leftists than America? Some conservatives would be surprised at such a superior view of the culture in these more irreligious and socialist European nations.


Could you just say what you mean - what are your implications, spell it out?


The evidence does NOT actually point in the direction that the horrific difference in homicide rates among affluent nations is a poorer level of family structure or the presence of Leftists. To almost everyone except Republican Americans, the obvious correlation is the greater abundance of unregulated guns in our system.

(As I said above: Conservatives stress how dangerous is Western Europe’s relative lack of guns, her leftist socialism, her lack of married parents, universal healthcare, Etc! But I find that each time the data on the results are cited, the reply is that it’s not fair to compares actual outcomes of differing approaches among the affluent nations.

My impression is that we all only tend to like statistical facts when they support our already held beliefs.)


ALL of us, Bob? :slight_smile:
I think you are wrong in your ‘correlation’ theory. More below.
A few things for you to think about, but let me stress first that I am not a racist in any form, as far as I can tell. White families are dysfunctional as well, but the following facts do NOT point to the ease of obtaining guns.
Also let me point out that NOONE that I know of is against sensible gun control!!
– FACT : Despite making up just 13% of the population, blacks commit around half of homicides in the United States. DOJ statistics show that between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed 52% of homicides, compared to 45% of homicides committed by whites.

More up to date FBI statistics tell a similar story. In 2013, black criminals carried out 38% of murders, compared to 31.1% for whites, again despite the fact that there are five times more white people in the U.S.

– FACT : From 2011 to 2013, 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. This figure is three times higher than the 13% black population figure. When you account for the fact that black males aged 15-34, who account for around 3% of the population, are responsible for the vast majority of these crimes, the figures are even more staggering.

– FACT : Despite the fact that black people commit an equal or greater number of violent crimes than whites, whites are almost TWICE as likely to be killed by police officers.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2011, 2,151 whites died as a result of being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.

Critics argue that black people are overrepresented in these figures because they only represent 13% of the population, but they are underrepresented if you factor in violent crime offenders. In other words, you would expect the number of blacks and whites killed by police to be roughly equal given that they commit a roughly equal number of violent crimes, but that’s not the case. Whites are nearly 100% more likely to be victims.

And what about black on white violence in general?

– FACT : Despite being outnumbered by whites five to one, blacks commit eight times more crimes against whites than vice-versa, according to FBI statistics from 2007. A black male is 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse. These figures also show that interracial rape is almost exclusively black on white.

“Even allowing for the existence of discrimination in the criminal justice system, the higher rates of crime among black Americans cannot be denied,” wrote James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein in their widely cited 1985 study, “Crime and Human Nature.” “Every study of crime using official data shows blacks to be overrepresented among persons arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for street crimes.”

It’s clear that the greater propensity for black people to commit violent crimes is a driving factor as to why blacks are becoming involved in more violent confrontations with police than their 13% population figure suggests they should be. If the 911 calls are coming from black areas and are related to black people committing violent crimes, then of course black people are more likely to be involved in violent confrontations with cops.

So -That’s analysis, not racism. The question is - why? We’re all about the same regardless of skin color, obviously. AND we all have access to guns, and always will have - no Utopian dream of a gun-free society is ever going to happen, nor should it - but with equal access, YET one group has a vastly higher rate of gun crime that others groups. Why? It is not the gun. It is not skin color.

There’s your correlation. It is a culture that is in need of our compassion and help, not knee-jerking liberal gun-grabbing. Gun control yes of course, but commonsensical.

(AS an aside - In any case, guns are used for other things, not ‘just killing people’ as lefties try to point out. Hunting, the fun of target practice (which I enjoy, whether bow and arrow or firearm), self-defense (an armed citizenry has stopped many crimes without firing a shot), and collecting - which I would do if I had the money.
So to take guns away also takes away a lot of pleasure for law-abiding citizenry. Not to mention the 2nd amendment)

You are comparing apples to oranges. I’m talking about America, not Western Europe or ‘affluent nations.’ They’ve got their own problems, if the EVIDENCE is considered. I find that liberals tend to minimize any facts that go against their perceptions as well.
Our nation has its own culture, leftists are not the same everywhere, love of family is not a Christian monopoly. America has Christians in it, but itself is not "Christian’.

I got some of the statistics from


Regardless, IF we take guns away from citizens that we know have them, there are still 100 millions guns left in the country (it is estimated) and guns are VERY easy to get for those bad actors that think they need one.

Any legislation to significantly reduce gun violence in the US would need to include a buyback at above market value. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s political capital for that. But a buyback combined with registration and licensing would cause a decent drop in murder IMO.


I guess we differ a bit there in our take on things. I suggest that:

  1. There will always be an abundance of guns. As there should be
  2. Given that, taking away a means of defense from good citizens does nothing to affect the crime rate. In fact, armed citizenry is a deterrent.
  3. It is well known that criminals want to know which households have guns, so they can stay away

Maybe keep in mind that 60 million abortions figure - should we BAN ABORTIONS???.

I might add that there WILL always be an abundance of guns. No government program can stop that, nor should they. So any idea of a gun-free society is unconstitutional, naive, and illogical.
Am I wrong in that? Does anyone believe that taking guns from good citizens is right in any way, or that guns can be eradicated to the extent that they would not be available cheaply on the black market from Mexico or south America, from cartels, from any number of sources?


Dave B replying to qaz.

And what would happen, if the tribulation and Z-Hell (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) occurred tomorrow…and we had no guns, to defend ourselves?


That should end the debate right there!!! :slight_smile: