Curious Case of Guns in America: A Quantitative Analysis


According to CNN, America’s population accounts to only 5 percent of the world population but owns 50 percent of the Guns on Earth. United States has  a population of around 300 million and has roughly about the same number of weapons.


Deaths of Americans in War

Revolutionary War
War of 1812
Mexican War
Civil War (Union and Confederate, estimate)
Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Persian Gulf War
Total (excluding war on terror)
Afghanistan War
Iraq War
Other wars (includes Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia and Haiti)
Total death in war of terror 
Total Deaths in War  1396733


Deaths of Americans due to Guns 1968-2015

The data for Gun deaths incl. suicides is available from 1968 onward.

Years Firearm-related deaths
1968 to 1980 377000
1981 to 1998 620525
1999 to 2013 464033
2014(estimated based on rate from 2011-2013) 33183
2015 22122
Total  1516863


Total number of American Deaths more by guns = 1516863 – 1396733= 120130

120130 more American have died due to Guns since 1968 than by war. Combining data before 1968 would might increase the number in multiples of 10x or more.  7217 Americans died in War on Terror which includes WTC attack, a USD 2 trillion war which has killed or displaced  more than 10,00,000 people in Asia.

In 2013 according to CDC data, 63 percent of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 percent were from homicides, and roughly 1 percent each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.

“Pesticides, hanging and fireman’s are the most common methods used for suicide used globally.” WHO

Injury is the leading cause of death for persons aged 1-44 years in the United States. More than half (55%) of all injury-related deaths are caused by motor vehicles and firearms. Over 8,00,000 people die due to suicides every year. One death every 40 seconds.


 Year      Deaths by Terrorism       Gun homicide deaths Total
2001       2689 11348 14037
2002        25 11829 11854
2003        35 11920 11955
2004         74 11624 11698
2005         56 12352 12408
2006         28 12791 12819
2007         19 12632 12651
2008         33 12179 12212
2009         9 11493 11502
2010        15 11078 11093
2011        17 11101 11118


Gun lobby uses the second amendment to justify unregulated gun access in America.

The 2nd Amendment states; “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The amendment was passed in the bill of rights around 1791. Then, there was no police or state cover. With colonies far apart, civilians were prone to rogues creating havoc and turmoil in the system as civilization took its modern roots in America.

Australia implement very strict gun laws and brought down suicides drastically.  

“Tightened legislation in Australia after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre banned semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns. Owners of firearms must provide a reason to obtain these. The country has had no mass shooting since the legislation went into effect. Most important, suicides by guns, which cause 60 percent of adult firearm deaths, declined in Australia after the legislation.” Refer The Big Melt by Philip Alpers on the transformation in Australia. 

CANADA, is a paragon of peace and harmony since it has tough gun control laws. “Canada requires third-party character references for gun ownership, and officials conduct interviews with an applicant’s spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a license. That’s before the person is required to pass a firearm safety and law class and take a practical training course. Gun-owners are required to reapply and re-quality for their licenses every five years.”

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