There are many on the more control side of the gun debate that like to point out that Canada has a lower murder rate, and claim that the difference is due to the strict gun laws of our northern neighbors. Comparing the US crime rates to Canada is an apples and oranges comparison.
The entire nation of Canada has a population that is smaller than the
state of California, yet Canada's population is spread over an area that
is roughly the same as that of the entire United States. That results in a
population density that is much lower than the United States. (Canada
has a population density of 9.7 people per square mile, the US 79 people
per square mile.) This is evidenced by the fact that Canada only has 3
cities with a population over 2 million people.
Even so, violent crime rates (per 100,000 population) between Canada and the US will surprise you. The violent crime rate in Canada is 1282 per 100,000. The violent crime rate in the US is 386 per 100,000.
The murder rate in Canada is lower overall, until you exclude the large urban areas from the US statistics, and compare the areas of the US
with similar population density areas of Canada. Exclude US cities with
a population of over 3 million, and in this apples to apples
comparison, the US actually has a lower murder rate than does Canada.
I believe that this indicates that we have a problem with culture in our large cities more than it indicates a gun problem, being that our suburban and rural communities have a higher rate of firearms ownership than
do the cities. At any rate, the scientific method dictates that in
examining and comparing different data sets, one must eliminate all
variables, except the one that is being compared. For that reason, a
straight comparison of the US murder rate and the murder rate of any
other country is not a valid comparison.
FBI Uniform crime report:
Canada Crime report: