There are many who bemoan the 12,000 homicides that are committed by citizens with firearms in the United States each year. These citizens ignore the fact that the private ownership of firearms cause far fewer deaths than governments with firearms.
The megamurdering states of the 20th century have been:
U.S.S.R. (1917-1987), 61,911,000;
Communist China (1949-1987), 35,236,000;
Nazi Germany (1933-1945), 20,946,000;
Nationalist (or Kuomintang) China (1928-1949), 10,076,000
These are followed by the “lesser” megamurdering states:
Japan (1936-1945), 5,964,000;
Cambodia (1975-1979), 2,035,000;
Turkey (1909-1918), 1,883,000;
Vietnam (1945-1987), 1,678,000;
North Korea (1948-1987), 1,663,000;
Poland (1945-1948), 1,585,000;
Pakistan (1958-1987), 1,503,000;
Mexico (1900-1920), 1,417,000;
Yugoslavia (1944-1987), 1,072,000;
Czarist Russia (1900-1917), 1,066,000.
For the 20th century, 169 million civilians were killed by government action. If you include combat deaths, that number rises to 203 million.
The world population in 1991 is estimated to have been approximately 5,423,000,000. In 1991, Europe’s population was about 502,000,000. The United States in 1990 had a population of about 249,000,000. This means that governments killed about 3.7 percent of the human race in this century, or an equivalent of over 40 percent of all the people in Europe, or a number equal to over 80 percent of all the people in the U.S.
So European governments killed 87 million citizens in the 20th century, largely because the citizens couldn’t fight back. The armed citizens in the US, where large scale government massacres were almost unheard of, killed fewer than 600,000 during the same time period. Which system works better?
I have heard “What if they gave a war, and no one showed up?’ When the real question should be “What if the government gives a war, and they are the only ones with weapons?”