Judith Zionts Fox
The UN Study omits Switzerland from its comparative analysis. The Swiss example contradicts the Study's hypothesis that a high incidence of firearm ownership correlates with high violent crime.
The Swiss Federal Police Office reports that, in 1997, there were 87 intentional homicides and 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. Some 91 of these 189 murders and attempts involved firearms (the statistics do not distinguish firearm use in consummated murders from attempts). With its population of seven million (which includes 1.2 million foreigners), Switzerland had a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. There were 2,498 robberies (and attempted robberies), of which 546 involved firearms, giving a robbery rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half of these criminal acts were committed by non-resident foreigners, which is why one hears reference in casual talk to "criminal tourists."
Sometimes, the data sounds too good to be true. In 1993, not a single armed robbery was reported in Geneva.
In a word, Switzerland, which is awash in guns, has substantially lower murder and robbery rates than England, where most guns are banned.