Small Arms Survey:
Biased Reporting, Anti-Freedom Goals



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By Nicki Kenyon, April 7th 2014
JPFO writer contributor, © 2014.

What is the Small Arms Survey? It claims it is an independent, impartial source of information on small arms and armed violence. According to its website one of its objectives is to "act as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists in terms of information and research on small arms and armed violence issues."

The research project is located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland and is supposed to be an objective source of information for governments, but a closer look at its mission reveals a distinct anti-gun agenda that threatens to endanger our rights.

The proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security. The unchecked spread of these weapons has exacerbated inter- and intra-state conflicts, contributed to human rights violations, undermined political and economic development, destabilized communities, and devastated the lives of millions of people. The future success of efforts to deal with small arms and light weapons depends in large part on the development of accurate information concerning the global flow of these weapons and on reliable analyses of the causes and consequences of their proliferation.

How could anyone possibly mistake the political goal behind this plainly-stated background on the project's site?

1) Gun availability is a "grave threat" to human security

2) Lack of gun control has caused human misery, destabilized economies, resulted in human rights violations and violence.

3) Future efforts to control guns cannot be successful without "accurate information" and "reliable analysis."

There's your translation of the Survey's seemingly "benevolent" mission, which turns out to be malignant, freedom-sapping tripe.

The Small Arms Survey aims to provide said information and analysis... in order to promote gun control. AGAIN... in order to promote gun control. The code is not complicated. A brief look at the project's mission reveals its true goal. "Efforts to deal with small arms and light weapons" cannot possibly mean anything other than "gun control."

Worse yet, the project shows its decided lack of impartiality by immediately naming the availability of firearms as a "grave threat," instead of acknowledging that the purchase and ownership of the tool in and of itself cannot represent a threat, let alone a "grave" one.

So just how "impartial" is the Small Arms Survey research?

John Lott has recently published an article that reveals stark flaws in the Survey's methodology - methodology that governments use to disarm their people and make them vulnerable to armed predators.

Much of the debate is focused on gun ownership rate data for 109 countries from the Small Arms Survey. There are real problems with this survey. For example, the rates of gun ownership for Switzerland (supposedly 47 guns per 100 people) and Israel (7 per 100 people) are ridiculously low. This survey excludes all the military weapons kept in Swiss homes in 2007 because they were technically owned by the government. At that time, all able bodied males between the age of 18 and 42 would keep their military weapons in their homes. After age 42, they could apply for permission to continue to keep their military weapons. Israeli guns are also excluded for the same reason. The vast majority of guns in Israel are technically owned by the government, but if people have possession of guns in their homes for decades, the issue should be that public possession, not who technically owned the guns.

The Small Arms Survey claims that the United States has by far the highest level of gun ownership, with 88.8 guns per 100 people. Both Israel and Switzerland probably have much higher gun ownership rates, but including them the way the Small Arms Survey does biases the results to The US gun ownership is so high compared to other countries that it drives any regression results.

There are also other problems with the survey. For example, a much better measure of gun ownership would be the percentage of the population owning guns, and not the number of guns per 100 people as used by the Small Arms Survey. Presumably the issue is whether people have access to guns, not the number of guns greater than one that an individual has access to.

Dr. Lott explains in detail how the Small Arms Survey's data deceives the reader by eliminating nations with gun ownership that is obviously higher than the United States.


If we had to wager an educated guess, it would be because including nations such as Switzerland and Israel, as well as Mexico, with its tragically high homicide rates, would show results contrary to those the Small Arms Survey wants to demonstrate.

Of course, this data alone will not prove the point that more guns actually lead to fewer homicides. It is simply a statistical cross section, and does not take into consideration other factors that may lead to a higher homicide rate, how the presence of firearms changes over time, who owns firearms, how controls were implemented and the resulting effects of said controls.

The Small Arms Survey does not examine these factors. It merely shows gun ownership - in the most disingenuous way it can - and makes the claim that proliferation of firearms is the cause of human misery worldwide.

If you are not convinced of the Small Arms Survey's bias against guns, maybe the fact that it is funded in part by various United Nations agencies, programmes and institutes will convince you. You are only as objective as the political goals of those who fund you, and the U.N. has time and time again proven itself to be anything but pro-gun or pro-freedom.(

A wise man once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." The Small Arms Survey is using the latter to further tyrannical disarmament goals worldwide, while falsely claiming impartiality, even as it plainly admits its mission is to give governments the tools they need to control the availability of firearms.

And U.S. politicians will use the Survey's data as justification for citizen disarmament. For the "common good," of course.

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