International Gun Debate: U.S. Has More Guns, But Russia Has More Homicides

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The U.S. and Russia have been going back and forth about a number of issues over the past few weeks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed in The New York Times where he ripped President Obama's plan for a military strike in Syria, and warned that American “exceptionalism” was dangerous for the rest of the world. In response, Sen. John McCain published his own op-ed in the Russian paper Pravda, entitled, “Russia Deserves Better Than Putin.”

It didn’t end there.

Following last Monday’s shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Russia’s parliament, went on Twitter to poke fun at the situation. Twelve people were killed in the Navy Yard shooting.

“A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington — a lone gunman and seven corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore. A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism,” Puskoy tweeted.

Even though the chairman certainly picked a classless way to mock the issue of gun violence, he brought up an interesting point.

According to, there are fewer than 13 million firearms in circulation in Russia, compared with an estimated 300 million in the United States. To put that in perspective, those figures would mean that there are about nine guns per 100 people in Russia and close to 100 guns per 100 people in America.

However, those numbers don’t equate to more American homicides, NPR reported. There were 21,603 killings in Russia in 2009 compared to 13,636 homicides in the United States during the same year. The U.S. population is more than twice as large.

Sources: NPR, Gunplicity