1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What's with the "30,000 Gun Deaths" per year number?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by BB93YJ, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. BB93YJ

    BB93YJ Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Since the recent Virginia Tech shootings, I've seen or read of 30,000 firearms related deaths per year in the U.S., trotted out by the anti-gun, pro gun-control talking heads.

    Where do they come up with this number?

    I did a quick google search and can't seem to match that number:

    These list accidental firearms deaths,




    This one: http://gunsafe.org/position%20statements/Guns%20and%20crime.htm


    Accidental, suicide, and homicide deaths by firearm

    Total accidental deaths per year (all causes), U.S....96,000

    Motor vehicle accidental deaths per year...43,000

    Fatal firearms accidents per year...1,100

    (The firearms accidents figure is an all-time low, even though the U.S. population is at an all-time high, and gun ownership is at an all-time high.)

    Fatal firearms accidents age 0-5...17

    Fatal firearms accidents age 5-14...121

    Fatal firearms accidents age 15-24...401

    Fraction of all Emergency Room visits that involve firearms accidents...0.2%

    [Centers for Disease Control, all figures]

    Accidents of all kinds (not just firearms) constitute the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, but the other four leading causes combined account for 16 times as many deaths as accidents. Accidents constitute a relatively small but easily prevented cause of death.

    Suicides by firearm, per year...18.000

    Murders by firearm, per year...14,000

    [Centers for Disease Control, both figures]

    Researchers have studied the figures on firearms ownership, firearms accidents, suicides, and murders, during the period from 1959 to the present. Purpose: To find out whether accidents, suicides, or murders by firearm increase or decrease as the supply of firearms increases or decreases. Result: The rates of accidents and murders by firearms do not show any relationship to the number of guns owned by civilians. The gun supply has increased and decreased without affecting the accident or murder rates. Suicides by firearms have increased when more guns have been available, but the total suicide rate hasn’t changed; when guns are less available, people find other ways to commit suicide.

    This one: http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2003/10/29/medical_system_is_leading_cause_of_death_and_injury_in_us.htm
    states, among other things that: "the total number of iatrogenic deaths shown in the following table is 783,936. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States."

    In other words, you have a lot higher chance of death from being personally involved with the U.S. healthcare system than you do from guns. ( I note that I have nothing against the healthcare system, my father was a surgeon...)

    I guess my question is, after reading/seeing that number bandied about this last week, where did they come up with that number, and, how best to refute it when it is thrown out there for the masses to read and take as the gospel, according to Sarah Brady, and her ilk?
  2. sumpnz

    sumpnz Senior Member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Sedro-Woolley, WA
    Use the WISQARS tool from the CDC. It shows something on the order of 32k annual gunshot related deaths. That includes suicides (at a little over 50% usually), homicides, accidents, and other/undetermined intent gunshot deaths.
  3. WoofersInc

    WoofersInc Participating Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Las Vegas
    You have to remember that the anti-gun people are also counting self defense shootings in there. They just don't tell anyone that small little bit of information. A gun death is a gun death to them. Doesn't matter if the person being shot deserved it or not.
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Google for "homicide rates" and you'll find some Department of Justice numbers. Lotsa other stuff, of course; some of it's contradictory.

    Last year, there were around 15,000 homicides in the US. That's down from a peak of around 24,000 in 1993-ish. "Homicide" includes self-defense shootings by Good Guys whether LEO or not. I've not found statistics on "good shoots".

    A lot of suicdes are via firearm, which are added to homicides to come up with the exaggerated total.

    Similar sort of BS game with accidental deaths for children. To me, "children" means no more tha 14. For those fourteen and under, the number is around 100 a year; 130 was a high year, back around 1993 or 1994. Total annual accidental deaths via firearm runs about 1,000 to 1,200 at most.

    The Center for Disease Control has a breakdown for homicides and injuries by race and sex as well as other categories. Similarly for the DOJ.

  5. AirPower

    AirPower Active Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    It's certain that almost half of death by gun is suicide. Antigunner love to include these numbers since these are "easy deaths" to count. The truth is that if the people didn't have guns, they'd have killed themselves anyway, such as driving car off bridge, or use carbon monoxide or sleeping pills.
  6. The Good

    The Good New Member

    May 24, 2006
    ok using that tool here is 2004:
    Homicides: 17,357
    Homicides by Firearm: 11,624
    Unintentional Injury: 112,012
    Unintentional Firearm related: 649
    Suicide: 32,349
    Suicide by Firearm: 16, 750
    Total Firearm with Suicide: 29,023

    So not including suicides, since its not hard to think of another way to off oneself, firearm deaths: 12,273
    Keep in mind some of these homicides were not criminal; as was stated previously homicides include self defense shootings by citizens and police. Can anyone find the number of people killed by police in 2004 so we can subtract that as it is not relevant to a figure that is supposed to promote gun control? Also, it is not clear on the site whether those accidental deaths are also counted under homicide as an accidental shooting is usually a homicide, right?

    Ok, thanks to illspirits link I found there was 9,385 MURDERS by firearm that year. Now we have a real figure.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  7. illspirit

    illspirit Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Apparently the FBI now tabulates justifiable homicides separate from murders. In 2005, there were 337 justifiable, fatal shoots by the LEOs (source), and 143 by private citizens (source). Murder, by weapon, is here.
  8. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Participating Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Firearm Death 2005 (2004) U.S.

    1;2Justifiable Homicide Total 480
    By Law Enforcement 337 ​
    By Private Citizen 143 ​

    3Murder 10,100

    4Suicide (2004 Data) 16,750

    4Accident (2004 Data) 649

    1 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_13.html
    2 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_14.html
    3 http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_07.html
    4 http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_sy.html

    General info on the FBI UCR Program: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/index.html

    I wonder how many of those murder victims were innocent folk disarmed by foul legislation.
  9. Deanimator

    Deanimator Elder

    Mar 30, 2006
    Rocky River, Ohio
    Last week, some lunatic in usenet was claiming that there were 500,000 shootings a YEAR in the United States...
  10. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Another interesting comparison would be percentage of homicide by firearm to overall population. With a population of 300,000,000, 11,624 is about 0.00004% (is my math right?) which some could say is an insignificant blip unless you happen to be one of those 11,000.

    Or, if geographical size could be a main comparative point, since each State with our Union is sometimes the size of an entire nation in EU or elsewhere, one could compare (pick and choose based on size and pop count) CA or FL w/ Germany, France or Syria (choose your comparison states w/ qualifying justification). But I question the validity of comparing 50 united states in the Republic to, say, the Netherlands or even the Swiss.

    Then there's always the comparison of a homogenous society to a "melting pot" be it racial or affluence; how many really poor, people of differing ethnicity or education are there in Switzerland or Norway? (just to pick two)

    So 30,000 gun deaths is a lot. Or is it?
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    As Baba Louie points out, as a gross number 30,000 firearms related deaths certainly looks alarming, but on a percentage basis it is pretty small (unless you are closely associated with one of the people that are killed).

    What is relevent for determining risk is the rate of firearms deaths. If you adjust to a per 100,000 population the rate for 30,000 firearms deaths in a population of 300,000,000 is pretty small (10/100,000 population [0.1/1,000]). When the 10,000 murders are calculated the rate becomes 3.3/100,000 [0.03/1,000] or 3.3 murders commited with a firearm per 100,000 people in this country.

    It would be good to parse those muders that are criminal on criminal murders (occupational murders???) from the rest.
  12. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Senior Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    There are those who think that the slow agonizing death by strangling that accompanies many suicide hangings is preferable to the quick demise from a self-imposed gun shot.

    That is why they toss in the suicide using firearms numbers when they are talking about deaths by "evil" firearms.
  13. #shooter

    #shooter Active Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Thanks sumpnz for that link.

    It is often mentioned that X nation has gun control and less firearm related homicides. I am curious to know:
    1. What are other nation’s overall homicide rate per 100k?
    2. What are other nation’s non-firearm related homicide rates?

    What I would like to know is if the US has more, less, or the same level of non-firearm homicides than other equivalent nations? My guess is yes, but I would like to see data to confirm or deny my opinion.
  14. barman

    barman Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Versailles, France
    I think that in France, the homicide rate is about half the one of the USA. These numbers don't make any difference between gun-related murders and the others.

    One would be brought to think that the difference between the 2 countries would be much higher given the excessive gun control we have over here (however, it is still very easy to legally own a firearm in France, you just have to cope with a very annoying bureaucracy), but this is reality.

    More gun control in the US wouldn't make the homicide rate fall down to such an extent advocated by the angry left. From a personnal perspective, I think it's much safer to have an armed population.
  15. RNB65

    RNB65 Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Richmond, VA
    One of the news shows last week put the number at about 17,000 homicides per year in the US with "the majority" caused by guns. I believe they said the CDC was the source for their numbers, but I'm not positive.

    Another show said that the homicide rate in the US is 6 people per 100,000 each year. If you do the math, that number corresponds closely to the 17,000-18,000 total per year.
  16. Mongo the Mutterer

    Mongo the Mutterer Participating Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    St. Louis
    It is a bit obvious where they come up with the number if you look at CDC WISCARS... They LIE. Period.

    The Brady bunch uses 3,800 "children" killed. A quick check of CDC with show you that less than 400 children aged 0 - 14 were killed. The rest are 15 to 19. Can you spell "gang banger"?

    Lies, Obfuscation, and cover from like minded "official sounding" groups and spokespersons. Same ole song, comrade...:cuss:
  17. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Participating Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    Fort Myers, Florida
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN

    Unfortunately not all nations collect gun crime data to compare with US data.

    You will see that murder rates for the US are high when compared with most developed nations, but violent crime rates are relatively low when compared to Canada, the UK and Australia.
  19. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311 member

    Jun 26, 2005
    Planet Earth
    Medical malparctice kills over 40,000 people a year. You are safer around a total moron with a junk gun than a doctor.:evil:
  20. JohnL2

    JohnL2 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Great. I'd like to coin a new term here folks.

    Statistical padding. :rolleyes:

Share This Page