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The world abounds in instruments with which people can kill each other. Is the widespread availability of one of these instruments, firearms, a crucial determinant of the incidence of murder? Or do patterns of murder and/or violent crime reflect basic socio-economic and/or cultural factors to which the mere availability of one particular form of weaponry is irrelevant? This article examines a broad range of international data that bear on two distinct but interrelated questions: first, whetherdoi:10.2139/ssrn.998893 fatcat:mmgfpk5emzfytnvj7l7fkbjsdy