of all, for those outside the USA, this may not apply to you, or interest you. My apologies; we have a worldwide site but we're predominantly "American", so forgive our self-centered conversation here. But, I like facts, I like guns, and I'll participate as long as we follow the site rules. Second
, you will note that I'm not quoting silly politically-charged website sources here; I'm using credible sources like the AMA, FBI, BLS, CDC, etc
. I am not trying to taint or otherwise skew data. I am using well-established, trustworthy sources for my facts. I am leaving my opinions (of which I have many strong ones) out of this, and so should you all. I have no objection if you bring FACTS to this conversation, but that is where it should end. Don't speak of things you cannot prove, because it's likely your "feelings" seeping through, and you'll be about an inch away from going "political", which is a no-no. Third
, this data is about three years old now, but it does not range-shift greatly year-over-year, so it's relevant. Data taken in such large quantities often takes a couple of years to compile and tabulate so it's typical and normal to see data that is two+ years old being cited. You'll never see credible data that is so "fresh" that it's current year or last year info; it simply takes longer than that to collect and run the numbers. Fourth
, this takes a while to follow all the data. If you want to KNOW (rather than guess or feel your way through this topic) the reality of the subject matter, then you need to set aside the time to research the following stuff I'm about to present. I beg of you, don't take my word for it; prove it to yourself!
We need to be careful here and stick to facts and use proper descriptions and terminology.
Let's start here:http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats/
It's also important to understand how the FBI defines "violent crime" for what it is, and isn't ...In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force
taken from here:http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/cri...e/violent-crime
Please note that not all violent crime uses firearms, and in fact, the definition is not predicated on the use of any weapon. While predominant, weapons of any sort are not a requirement for quantification of the event in the "violent crime" definition. For example, forcible rape may not have any weapon present at all; it may be achieved by physical brute force. Same goes for "aggravated assault"; physical beatings do not necessitate a weapon, or could be a non-firearm weapon such as a baseball bat. Roberies can also be committed with a knife as well as a gun. Etc, etc. ... The thing to understand here is that not all violent crimes encompass a firearm. Firearms are inclusive in the group, but they are not exclusive to other methods of inflicting "violent crime".
In addition, few folks know about the BJS, which actually has even "better" data:http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=31
There is GREAT data here:http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4616
Did you know that slightly less than 60% (it varies a bit year to year) of ALL
gun-related deaths are suicides? Yes - well more than half of ALL deaths caused by firearms are self-inflicted
. And of those, the majority are Caucasian elderly men. Suicide is sad to be sure; any loss of life is undesirable. But it kind of puts things in perspective, does it not? If the firearm were not available to the person, they likely would have found another cause to inflict fatal harm.
There are always some notable gun-related crimes that make newsworthy events; typically the school shootings, etc. Often those are committed with guns that were procured legally at least in the first-person cycle. You'd never know it by news promotional standards, but violent crime committed with "assault weapons" is a VERY SMALL fraction of "violent crime". Super-duper small, in fact.
And what of accidental gun-related deaths? This is one of my favorite topics because it is simply S-H-O-C-K-I-N-G when folks see the math for the reality of what it is. Hold on to your seats, because I'm going to take you on a wild ride here ...
You are way more likely to die from interaction with the medical profession than you are to be shot to death from an accidental discharge of a weapon. Think I'm wrong? Then you don't know me well, because data rules in my world; facts are what I live my reality by. Consider these facts:
(A) Number of physicians in the US are around 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000. (This number could be larger according to the AMA article, but I used the conservative number.)
(C) Accidental deaths per physician rate is about 0.171
Statistics courtesy of several sources: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos074.htm#emply http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm
JAMA vol 284, #4; B. Starfield – MD/MPH
(A) Number of gun owners are around 80,000,000. (Yes, that's 80 million)
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, for all age groups, is 1,500 events. The number of homicides via firearms per year is about 12,000. Suicides account for nearly 57% of all gun deaths, per the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
(C) Accidental deaths per gun owner are .0000187
(D) Intentional deaths per gun handler are .00015
Statistics courtesy of multiple sources:http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00046149.htmhttp://www.tincher.to/deaths.htmhttp://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/violent_crime/murder_homicide.html
Now let's do the math:
Iatrogenic death divided by accidental gun death = exposure risk factor
.171 / .0000178 = 9144
And so, statistically, the medical profession is approximately 9,000+ times more dangerous than gun owners when you look at accidental deaths
. Even if you consider homicide by guns, you are MUCH, MUCH
more likely to be killed by a health-care provider than a gun. Homicide (as well as violent crime) has been going down for 20+ years, and does not even make the top 15 causes of death annually in the US! Yet, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is iatrogenesis
! (Iatrogenic causation is that which is induced in a patient by a physician’s action, treatment or therapy.)
- If you fear the thought of going into a theater or restaurant where someone may be carrying a handgun, then you need a serious reality check, because you're so very much more likely to be killed accidentally by the guys and gals with the stethoscope hanging around their neck than the person with the Colt on their hip or Glock in their purse.
- If you fear that more guns and gun permits means more crime will occur, then you need a serious reality check, because violent crime has been on a downward trend for decades while personal protective rights being exercised have been on the continual rise.
- If you fear that access to guns means more kids will die, then you should really concern yourself with the white, older, man who seeks to end his own life.
- If you fear being a victim of a gun crime and live in an area with very strict gun laws, you should move because you are also statistically in an area with higher crime rates. The states/cities with the tightest gun laws also tend to have higher incidents of gun-related crimes (CA, IL, NY, NJ, MD ...).
Use these links to find TRUTH about the topics, and leave the lies and distortion to the media, folks. The best weapon may well be an informed mind!
Thus endeth the lesson in reality.
I now return you to your regularly scheduled rhetoric.