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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