CNN Counters UN: Claims U.S. Gun Deaths ‘One of the World’s Highest’

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The 2008 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) shows the U.S. as the 92nd highest for homicides among 192 other countries around the world. This agrees with a 2012 Congressional Research Services (CRS) report showing the firearm-related homicide rate in the U.S. fell sharply as private gun ownership began soaring post-1994.

More recently–on October 22–The Telegraph reported that the U.S. is number one on the list of Top 10 countries for private gun ownership, yet the U.S. does not even crack the Top 10 list for countries with most firearm deaths.

Synopsis: UNODC presents U.S. as approximately 92nd in the world for homicides, CRS reports rate of homicides in U.S. began falling sharply as gun ownership expanded post-1994, and the Telegraph shows U.S. does not even crack the Top 10 of countries with most firearm deaths.

But here comes CNN, countering all this information by claiming the U.S. has “one of the highest rates of death by firearm in the developed world.” They try to bolster this claim with a link to an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) chart based on the work of debunked Harvard researcher David Hemenway. And John Lott Jr. points out that CNN relies on the Small Arms Survey as well, which means the number of guns owned in the U.S. versus other countries is skewed to begin with.

Moreover, Lott’s Crime Research Prevention Center (CRPC) points out that CNN’s total of U.S. gun deaths includes suicides, which makes the actual number of homicides appear “70%” higher than they really are.

CRPC reports:

CNN makes the completely false claim that the US has “one of the world’s highest rates of death by firearms.”  Note most countries don’t report their firearm homicide rates, and there are many other problems that make the US’s rate look worse compared to other countries…Admittedly the CNN claim is based on total firearm deaths and most of those are suicides in the US, but the firearm homicide rates are so massive in other parts of the world that they swamp firearm suicides in the US.

CRPC explains, “If you use murders (not homicides that include justifiable homicides), suicides account for about 70% of firearm deaths in the US.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at 


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