Gun scholar John Lott suggests that the murder rate in Baghdad is lower than the murder rate in Washington DC. He explains why, and gives some convincing data to support his numbers and show that that numbers used by hysterical critics are vastly (and deliberately) inflated by up to 3000%.
This despite the fact that Iraqis can own machine guns, and are in the middle of a guerilla war.
Tim Lambert thinks Lott is full of it, but Mr. Lambert's analysis seems to leave a lot to be desired as well. For instance, he bases his numbers on the single month with the most gunshot deaths, rather than an average number. He also seems to think that every dead body ends up in the city morgue, which is nonsensical.
Anyway, in a city where residents routinely fire automatic weapons into the air to celebrate birthdays and soccer games, statistics about gunshot deaths alone won't get anyone very far in determining a murder rate.