Harvard Study Finds Violent Crime Rises As Gun Ownership Falls


Harvard University has released a study on whether it’s possible to discern patterns of cause and effect between gun ownership and the incidence of violent crime.

Study authors Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser did find such a relationship: an inverse one.

The study, called “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” compares data on “intentional” deaths in European countries with American data, and finds that in locations where gun control proliferates, the murder rate goes up.

The murder rate in Russia, where handguns are banned, was 20.52 per 100,000 people in 2002. But in Finland, where gun ownership stands near 40 percent of the population, there were only 1.98 murders per 100,000 residents during the same period.

Russia’s present murder rate of 30.6 deaths per 100,000 also dwarfs the 7.8 per 100,000 murder rate in the U.S.

From the study:

[T]he burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra. To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • Guy Smith

    As reported here, the “study” is meaningless.

    • independent thinker

      No it is NOT. If you would bother to pay attention the link to the study is provided at the beginning of the article.

    • chocopot

      Yes, facts are meaningless diversions to Lefties with an agenda.

  • Dajeno

    Send a copy to the guy in the White House.

  • Laurence Tribe

    History suggests the chief reason for weapon ownership and proficiency is to protect you and yours from your own government.

    • Robert Messmer

      That seems to be a pretty darn good reason!

  • Motov

    Gee I hope this makes front page news!,…
    Can you imagine that,…. more guns means less crime, I know I’m not stating this as written, but it is the logical conclusion. And it totally supports the so called “propaganda” we “spew” forth about “gun free zones” being playgrounds for loony toons who ignore gun laws (thus meeting the criteria of being a criminal). Who have a “field day” mowing down the defenceless population, because he knows they are unarmed.
    So,.. Libtards,…Stop drinking your “Fool’s aid”,.. and wake up to the facts of life.

    • chocopot

      Front page? Not in the MSM. They have an agenda, and providing truth and facts to their readership is not part of it.


    so Harvard now knows what we have known for decades!!?

    • chocopot

      Yes, and now they will almost certainly look for a way to discredit their own findings since that does not coincide with their agenda.

      • mnkysnkle

        Maybe they had to follow up on the release of the recent W.H. study on gun “voilence”. It came up with the same results.

  • HueyDude

    The best example is Switzerland. Ben, I believe you should have added in at least one fact about their gun laws. Switzerland has a social system of support for gun safety and responsibility that starts kids getting into shooting clubs and organizations at the age of 12. (I may not be 100% on this one) Every military age male is required to own a firearm, I believe a semi-auto rifle. Although their laws limit their purchases to three, they do own semi-automatic rifles and pistols, you know, the scary black ones. Anyway, their murder rate was .5 per 100,000 in 2010, and their only shooting-spree killings in recent history were in 2001, where a gunman killed 14 and wounded another 14. Switzerland is the best example, along with two cities here in GA, that gun ownership works!!!

    • Robert Messmer

      If you are correct about the military age males then it sounds like they used our Militia Act of 1792 as their guideline.

    • nabiru

      @HueyDude. I can give you some data of the Swiss system but they are a few years old. First of all being armed in Switzerland is not your rights but your duty. People lose their rights faster than their duties. The Swiss( men and women) are members of the Peoples Army of the Land. After military service you have to keep your Sig (full)automatic rifle with 500 ammo. You can give back the rifle but than you have to buy your own. (Semi auto.) Every month the armed population have to go to the military ranges and qualify .
      Also : mothers with kids don’t have to go out to work . They are getting $30 – 50 000 per year + all benefits from the government. But their system is Direct Democracy ( like Libya had ) not like ours ( Representative Democracy )

  • Elevenarrows

    But here’s the thing, it isn’t about reducing deaths caused by guns. The powers that be are not interested in that at all. It is really about power and control. Pure and simple: an armed people make power accountable and power doesn’t like that. Gun control is just another name for population control.

    We ought to stop arguing the talking points they give us and demand that they admit what they really want…oh, wait! Obama and his cronies spelled it all out pretty clearly, but no one cared to listen…they just wanted free phones, free healthcare, Doritos and a good game on TV.

    • Robert Messmer

      Wait a minute – Doritos?? The highly Jacked kind? I want some. LOL

  • Mixedbabies123

    Wow….duhhhhh we only need a couple people from Harvard to state the obvious.

  • mnkysnkle

    Don’t throw facts at me!!! I might have to believe them…………..Sheesh!