Friday, December 21, 2012

Where Do They Get Their Numbers?

I am wondering where people get their numbers about gun related deaths. Any ideas? I heard someone on the news claiming there were 80,000 people killed per year... but it certainly wasn't here in the USA.

The CDC web-site has all the official statistics. Looking at the most recent data - which is from 2011 - here's all I can find. (Check for yourself - http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf)

Total deaths by all causes for the year - 2,512,873

Total accidental deaths - 122,777
Accidental deaths by firearms - 851 (lowest of all accidental causes)

Total suicidal deaths - 38,285
Suicides by firearms - 19,766 (slightly more than half)

Total homicides - 15,953
Homicides by firearm - 11,101

Legal intervention - 258 (I'm guessing these are by firearms...)
Discharge of firearms for undetermined reasons - 222

So add all the firearm deaths together - 851+19,766+11,101+258+222 = 32,198

That is 1.2% of deaths in America.
It is less than the total of accidental deaths by poisoning (33,554)
It is only slightly more than accidental deaths from falls (26,631)

The murder of children is horrific. If I could really be convinced that giving up my guns would keep people from being killed by maniacs, I would turn them in immediately.

But the fact is that the numbers don't add up. Even the "homicides by firearm" number may well include people who were shot in self defense. My guns might contribute to the death of someone who attacks me, but save my life and the lives of my family.

But to say this is the biggest problem in America is silly. Therefore you have to wonder what the real motive is for pushing gun control. It cannot possibly stop homicidal maniacs - but it might make some people more vulnerable to homicidal maniacs.


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