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Candles honoring the 20 deceased victims of the El Paso mass shooting sit in St Pius X Church following a vigil. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

International research has found that U.S. mass shootings cannot be explained by a violent culture, racial divisions or mental health, the N.Y. Times' Max Fisher and Josh Keller write in "The Interpreter" column.

It's simply the "astronomical number of guns."

  • "The United States has 270 million guns and had 90 mass shooters from 1966 to 2012."
  • "No other country has more than 46 million guns or 18 mass shooters" — the U.S. is way worse than the Philippines, Russia, China or India.
  • Americans alone own 40% of all guns in the world, more than all civilians combined in 25 other countries.

Countries with the highest gun ownership rate, per a survey by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva:

  1. United States: 120.5 per 100 people
  2. Yemen: 52.8 per 100 people
  3. Montenegro: 39.1 per 100 people
  4. Serbia: 39.1 per 100 people
  5. Canada: 34.7 per 100 people
  6. Uruguay: 34.7 per 100 people
  7. Cyprus: 34.0 per 100 people
  8. Finland: 32.4 per 100 people
  9. Lebanon: 31.9 per 100 people
  10. Iceland: 31.7 per 100 people

Japan and Indonesia, meanwhile, have fewer than 1 firearm per 100.

A back-to-school Saturday in America ...

Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images
Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images
Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images
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Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

5 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.