If you pay attention to politics via social media, it’s not likely that you go long without seeing something stupid coming from the far right. Many liberal writers try to sugarcoat this, but I’m of the opinion that stupidity should be called out. That’s probably why I compiled several scientific studies that prove Republicans are stupid. Their latest meme, though, does much more than reinforce that belief.
HONDURAS VS SWITZERLAND GUN RIGHTS MEME
Steve Reichert is a former Marine and proof that individuals with IQ scores below 50 can slip through the cracks and land in our military. On Sept 24, he shared the following meme on Facebook along with a request that his 299,000
imbecilic loyal followers share it. As of this writing, nearly 43,000 had done so.
As you can see, the meme makes a compelling argument as to why gun control doesn’t work. Well… compelling if you have no idea what you’re talking about and would rather share an inaccurate meme that agrees with you rather than doing 30 seconds of online research.
HONDURAS AND SWITZERLAND GUN RIGHTS
There are two things on this meme that are true. First, the populations of the two countries, though not exact here, are fairly close to each other. That’s where the truth ends for a while. The meme makes a direct — and easily researchable — claim that Honduras bans its citizens from owning guns.
That’s where we first call shenanigans on this “gun rights” meme. In fact, take a look at Honduran law as it pertains to gun ownership:
“It is recognized the right of ownership and possession of firearms to citizens and foreign residents who are in full joy of their civil rights and comply with the requirements established by this Law and its regulations.”
In Honduras, even foreign residents are allowed to have guns. The country lets individuals own five guns, and the only real restriction is related to open carry. Citizens can only open carry under certain circumstances, but having them concealed? You can do that all day long in Honduras.
Which leads us to Switzerland. Do they really require citizens to own guns? Hell no. In fact, if you go to the actual post, you’ll see a real Swiss citizen calling them on this BS. The truth that conservatives are trying to warp here is that men between the ages of 20 and 30 are usually required to undergo military training in the country.
Through this training, they’re given weapons. So in reality, what
idiots conservatives are trying to say is that “nearly all men between 20 and 30 own guns because they’re in the military,” not “gun ownership is required.”
Additionally, for a person to carry guns in public, concealed or not, they must obtain a permit. Unfortunately for conservative arguments, these permits are usually only issued to those working in security occupations. Oh, and they also must first pass firearm knowledge and handling exams. Wouldn’t it be nice if we did that in America? Lastly, transporting guns, even by the military, can only be done when they’re unloaded (opens PDF).
SWITZERLAND AND HONDURAS HOMICIDE RATES
In this section, we get another little taste of truth — with a lot of lies. To start, Honduras really does have the highest intentional homicide rate in the world. Of course, it’s obviously not due to their government banning firearms — mostly because, as described above, their government doesn’t ban firearms.
What of Switzerland? Do they have the lowest homicide rate in the world? Again, hell no. Granted, it’s pretty low, but countries like Monaco, Iceland and Japan all have lower homicide rates. Oh wait… did we mention that Japan has some of the most restrictive firearm laws in the world? Because they do. To hear this meme tell it, their murder rate should be higher, right? Ah, we’ll let them slide on that one!
IF NOT GUN RIGHTS ISSUES, THEN WHAT?
There’s obviously something causing the huge disparity in homicide rates between the two countries. Of course, it’s not what this meme implies since the entire premise of the meme, along with nearly everything in it, is complete
No… you know what? Screw the formalities. It’s bullshit. It’s complete bullshit. Fortunately, explaining the homicide rates is very easy without even considering gun rights.
It’s all about poverty. Countless statistics show that crime rates are higher in areas with higher levels of poverty. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that:
“Persons in poor households at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)… had more than double the rate of violent victimization as persons in high-income households.”
This means areas experiencing more poverty also experience more violent crime. So let’s take a look at the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of Honduras. It’s $2,434. To those of us who aren’t economists, it may not be obvious whether this is high or low. Turns out, it’s extremely low. The GDP per capital in Switzerland? $84,733. These numbers may vary slightly depending on the dates reviewed, but the differences are all just as significant.
Oh, and one last thing to look at. Although Switzerland does have one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, it doesn’t beat out America. The United States, Serbia and Yemen all have higher gun ownership rates. Funnily enough, each of them also have higher intentional homicide rates.
So there you have it. The differences in the homicide rates of these two countries have nothing to do with their gun laws, but this meme still weaves easily-disproven lies to those sharing it. Why? Because the person who made it knew that the more than 43,600 people who shared it — yes, it jumped up that much since I started writing this — wouldn’t give a damn whether it was true or not.
They literally didn’t even try to sound reasonable or reputable when making this meme. Because considering their followers, they knew they didn’t have to.