Applauding “bipartisan” unity on certain gun control issues in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times editorialized “This country has been drowning in guns forever, translating directly into one of the highest murder rates in the world. And it’s getting worse.”
True, violent crime—including crimes involving firearms—has been on the rise with a number of factors to blame, not the least of which appear to be lenient judges, soft-on-crime prosecutors, a defund police movement resulting in staffing shortages at many law enforcement agencies, and policies that appear to favor criminals over law-abiding citizens.
But does the United States have one of the highest murder rates on the planet? Maybe not.
According to the World Population Review, which ranks the murder rate by country, the USA does not make the Top Ten countries with the highest homicide rates. Those nations are, as listed on the WPR website:
- El Salvador(52.02 per 100k people)
- Jamaica(43.85 per 100k people)
- Lesotho(43.56 per 100k people)
- Honduras(38.93 per 100k people)
- Belize(37.79 per 100k people)
- Venezuela(36.69 per 100k people)
- Saint Vincent And the Grenadines(36.54 per 100k people)
- South Africa(36.40 per 100k people)
- Saint Kitts And Nevis(36.09 per 100k people)
- Nigeria(34.52 per 100k people)
Switching to the World Atlas website, visitors will find the United States comes in at No. 89 on the list of national murder rates, tied with Zambia, which came in at No. 88. Both countries, according to this website, have 5.3 homicides per 100,000 population. Granted, the U.S. is in the “Top 100” on a list of 230 identified nations.
CNBC recently reported on the number of murders in 2021, but the headline suggested the “trend may be reversing” this year.
The Tampa Bay editorial also said “More Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any year on record, according to the Pew Research Center, which analyzed the most recent federal data. The sad tally includes a record number of murders using guns, as well as a near-record number of gun-related suicides.”
The gun prohibition lobby has, for many years, combined the number of murders and suicides, accidents and self-defense fatal shootings under the all-encompassing “gun violence” umbrella in order to make the problem of criminal homicide look much worse. Roughly two-thirds of all the gun-related deaths in this country in any given year are suicides. The editorial acknowledges the two separate categories.
Newspaper editorials are supposed to encourage public debate while taking stands that may be unpopular with many readers. In this case, critics might suggest the newspaper’s position is based on a faulty, if not misleading perspective not supported by available information.