Per Capita Canadian Guns

Date updated: November 29, 2019 [Up]
Material is free to copy, use, and modify.

Is actor Ron Perlman correct? Are these statistics accurate?

Description in caption

Ron Perlman tweet (text below)

As I was saying, shooting a little indie in Canada and just learned something interesting. Did you know that Canadians own more guns per capita than anyone in the US? And did you know that the human death rate here is zero? So what’s the difference? No automatic guns. Muthafuckas (from @perlmutations)

Beware of search term bias, but let's start here, searching on the terms Canadians own more guns per capita.

Description in caption

Right click searching Canadians own more guns per capita

After searching, we see a chart up top from Wikipedia. But it makes it look like Canada is  actually 7th. Perhaps the U.S. is even lower? Let's click through.

Description in caption

Google knowledge card from WIkipedia with chart of per capita gun ownership

Nope, the U.S. appears to be #1 here, and not by a little bit. By a lot. There are 35 guns per 100 persons in Canada But in the U.S. there are actually more guns than people.

Description in caption

Ranking of gun ownership per capita from Wikipedia

Is Perlman citing some other figure? Scanning the information about how the chart was compiled, we do note that this computation covers both licit and illicit guns, but it's hard to believe that that can account for a nearly 4:1 difference.

Description in caption

Top of Wikipedia page noting how term was defined.

Trying to figure out where Perlman got this idea (and whether he might have another figure in mind) we head back to the Google SERP, and see a fact-check. Let's check it out.

Description in caption

Link titled "Fact-checking Michael Moore: Does Canada have more guns..."

The figures in this article are slightly different but more or less the same -- the U.S. is number one in per capita gun ownership, with Canada far behind. However, we likely know where this misinformation originated from. Let's not spread it further.

Description in caption

Snapshot of Global News fact-check of claim.