There is absolutely no correlation between firearms and homicides as the following chart suggests:
For instance, in El Salvador, gun possession is just under 8% and homicides per annum are close to 0,07% of the population, whereas in Switzerland, gun possession is just under 50% but homicides per annum are much lower close to 0.001%.
In a similar chart, based on statistics from developed countries, the results are confirmed.
When it comes to law and regulation, we should be very cautious and aware of democracy’s inherent defect. Dismissing reality and numbers in favour of “popular beliefs” or as democracy defines it “popular vote”, is a mistake. I am not dismissing popular vote, however popular beliefs should be based on numbers and reality, not instinct and misinformation. Hiding a problem behind a misguided and uneducated popular belief, just to enact an easily digested restriction, is only worsening people’s quality of life and lowering their chances of further development. In simple terms, over regulation with no real effect becomes a self fulfilling prophesy of even more evils.
In Cyprus we have many examples of this approach.
The inability of regulators in Cyprus, to understand, control and regulate drug-use together with the uneducated resistance to face the reality on legalising drags, serves only the outlaws and punishes the victims. Decent people, victims of drug addiction, are dragged to court everyday and forced to turn to the outlaws for their fix.
The inability of regulators in Cyprus to keep up with information technology, control and regulate gaming properly, led to the recent complete ban on gaming. Besides the tax benefits the society looses, the ban now forces decent people to resort to an outlaw gaming community and the turkish and turkish – cypriot casinos.
On gun crimes the real numbers are daunting and alerting for yet another field regulators in Cyprus are unable to do something right. The chart below shows the reality, with Cyprus ranking the worst in annual gun related crimes in Europe.
The complete ban and strict restrictions in bearing firearms is not working. The abolition of the “special policeman” regime in 2002 and the collection of all firearms from the ones in need of protection, is certainly giving the upper hand to outlaws, having unregistered – illegal guns in their possession. Maybe giving such an advantage to the perpetrator, is not the best way to go about.
Maybe it’s time for Cyprus regulators to face the reality, instead of being misguided by popular belief. Gun possession is not correlated to gun homicides. Registered firearms don’t kill. Registered firearms in the hands of a victim, deter the prospective offender. Registered firearms give fair chance to the victim to protect his/her life.