There are an estimated 270 million guns in the hands of civilians in the United States, making Americans the most heavily armed people in the world per capita. Yemen, a tribal nation with no history of strong central government or the rule of law, comes in a distant second.
From Washington to the well-stocked shelves of Walmart stores nationwide, guns are regarded in the United States as a commonplace if controversial consumer item for millions of law-abiding hunters, collectors and citizens concerned about their safety. They are also in the hands of thousands of killers too; a Washington-based anti-gun lobby says those guns shoot more than 100,000 people a year. In 2010, there were more than 30,000 deaths caused by firearms when the number of homicides, suicides and accidental deaths are tallied.