It’s circular to use gun ownership as a criteria.
Not when there’s no reasonable mathematical way to change the gun ownership rate. It’s not circular at all, because there is no circle. We are stuck with the guns, whether we like it or not.
The Magic Gun Evaporation Fairy
Three Reasons Why Gun Ownership Rates From Other Countries Don’t Matter
I’d propose (and did propose) Western industrial nations.
On what basis? The United States is very divergent from all other westernized nations on many important social scales, and also has a very different history.
Our political system is far more dysfunctional, our economic system is far more oligarchic, our imprisonment ratio is off the charts, our ethnic mix is far more diverse, and we have a history of slavery and internment of our own citizenry.
Another huge one that nobody thinks about, is we have a lot more citizens who have killed people. I was speaking yesterday with a familial relation of mine who is deeply connected to the military, and he stated that of his 100 closest male friends, he believes they’ve almost all killed at least one person. I’d honestly never considered the thought, but it’s a fascinating experiment. If you include the military and police in the numbers, we as a nation probably have more literal “killers” than any other country on the planet by a very wide margin.
If you want to limit our comps to central and western European nations, you should deeply consider why you think that’s an appropriate comparison.