Non-gun crime is higher in the US as well, just like gun crime is, so blaming it all on the presence or absence of guns seems like a red herring. I think the real answer is that we've got higher poverty rates and inferior social services and less-pervasive law enforcement, all of which contributes to higher rates of crime in general. The "guns deter crime" argument should not be taken as a magic bullet (if people own guns, nobody commits crime)--it's obviously not that simple--but as a specific inquiry on one person's situation. If you live somewhere where police response times are an hour, are you better off with a 12-gauge in your house or without one? If you live somewhere where police response times are an hour, are you better off with a .357 on your person or without one?