Infographic: U.S. Gun Usage and Death Statistics


Don’t you hate it when someone pulls a statistic out of their rear end and doesn’t give it any context whatsoever? Me too. Context is what it’s all about. Without context, any figure could be bent to serve any purpose. Which is why this infographic (full version after the jump) is such a powerful tool. It puts numbers in perspective and allows you to see more of the picture than the raw statistics could convey. This one is particularly well put together. Enjoy!

[h/t Infographicjournal]




About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

46 Responses to Infographic: U.S. Gun Usage and Death Statistics

  1. avatarBLAMMO says:


  2. avatarGov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I thought the numbers were a little high on that first graphic until I read the fine print – “excluding natural death”. Most people die of natural causes. It would be interesting to throw those in, how “gun violence” stacks up to heart disease and cancer, etc.

    • avatarSbake says:

      “Gun violence” pales in comparison. About 600,000 deaths per year from cancer, another 550,000 from heart disease. See CDC stats.

      This is a great infographic.

      • avatarDon says:

        Also, I would think some cancer would be included in the tobacco deaths.

        • avatarGov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          They’d have to overlap both cancer and heart disease with tobacco on the graph. Or just lump them all into degenerative diseases and infectious diseases.

          Also, the truth about guns, at least globally is that they’re a lot less dangerous than mosquitoes.

  3. avatarGregolas says:

    Outstanding resource Nick! Thank you.

  4. I would like the first graphic better if I wasn’t skeptical about the “gun homicide” vs “non-gun homicide” numbers.

    How, with U.S. statistics, do you get non-gun homicides to be 50% greater than homicides with guns?

    FBI statistics for 2010

    Firearms were used in 67.5% of murders.

    The graphics are decent, but the facts have to be supportable for me to use the resource.

    • avatarRalph says:

      I don’t know how to interpret the statistics, but I do know that homicide and murder are not the same.

      • avatarHobbez says:

        I asked the lawyer handling a current lawsuit that I am involved in about this just recently. He said that in court, Homicide includes “avoidable incidents that lead to death” and Murder is classified as “intent to kill” So, in the short of it, if you meant to do it, its murder, if you screwed up and someone died, it falls under the blanket of homicide. Murder is Homicide, but Homicide is not always Murder.

        Homicide rate statistics tend to include “prevetable” killings, IE: self defense, deaths from neglegent discharges, improperly inspected buildings falling on people, storing a school lunch program’s food supply in old pesticide barrels, etc.

        • avatarWildWest says:

          Homicide is also other caused deaths (compared to murder). That would include defensive gun uses or being shot in a justified way by police.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          “… storing a school lunch program’s food supply in old pesticide barrels …”

          Hey, it was all I had available, and Tupperware is expensive.

        • avatarRalph says:

          @Hobbez, your attorney was correct: the death of a person caused by another is homicide, but not all homicide is murder. Which is why comparing “homicide” figures to “murder” figures would be like comparing “fruit” to “apples.”

    • avatarPascal says:

      Nothing is stopping you from making your own and then supporting your argument here on TTAG.

    • avatarCharles5 says:

      The short version is that there are several types of homicide; justified, unjustified, preventable, etc. If someone breaks into your home and you shoot and kill them in self-defense (to the satisfaction of the DA of course) the shooting may still be ruled a homicide, but it will be considered justified and will therefore not be included in the murder rate. Killing someone in non-self defense would be a unjustified homicide and would be included in the murder rate (after conviction of course). If you fall asleep at the wheel and hit another car, killing the occupants, that would be preventable homicide. The FBI stat of a gun being used to 67.5% of all murders is only considering unjustified homicides. The graphic above includes all homicides.

  5. avatarSkyMan77 says:

    If these statistics are correct it really highlights the fact that the gun grabbers aren’t about saving innocent lives at all. It’s about power and control at the expense of innocent Americans including the 200 thousand women that defend them themselves every year… Thanks for passing this along…

    • avatarPascal says:

      Gun grabbing is about a political agenda and nothing more. if they can make you scared, and you believe the lie, then you will vote for the guy with the imaginary solution to the imaginary problem. Those people just want to be in office for the power. If you watch “House of cards”, you see it played out very well in that series. Money is nothing, power can get you so much more. It is a fallacy to believe that most politicians do it for the public good.

  6. avatarJus Bill says:

    Pure gold! One factoid jumps out at me. and would be a good emotional argument to use against the Infringement Lobby:
    Your doctor is nearly 20 times more likely to kill you than a gun user.
    Fun with statistics…

    • avatarRalph says:

      The number of deaths caused by medical error is far higher than the chart admits. Which shows that the NRA is nowhere as powerful as the AMA.

  7. avatarMojoRonin says:

    Made of awesome.

  8. avatarjkp says:

    Nice graphics, terrible sources. Wtf is that? And op eds from THE WEEK and Brietbart?

    Doesn’t anyone look at sources before passing this stuff around?

    • avatarJus Bill says:

      They’re just as good as the Unicorn poop sources that the Infringement Lobby uses for their propaganda. 90% and all…

  9. avatarPaul53 says:

    Guns are used in 100% of all shootings! And 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot!

    • avatarRuss Bixby says:

      Not at all.

      Use of a bow and arrow also constitutes a shooting, and as I’ve been involved in one DBU (well, steel crossbow) I can attest that it does happen.

      Neener, neener and likewise neener.

  10. avatarDshim83 says:

    Dates and years are important. The sexual abuse statistic is from 1979, so it may not be an apples-to-apples comparison with current numbers, particularly if violent crime is down overall.

  11. avatarRuss Bixby says:


    While I knew that guns were fairly low on the list, and that medical error was fairly high, I’d no idea just HOW high.

    As an EMT, one is especially aware of the potential for error due to the usually chaotic nature of the setting — no time for lab work, a burning building next door et cetera — but the actual rate of error in the field was always quite low.

    I’ve been out of the fertilizer for a while, and haven’t a recent number, but I shouldn’t thing things would’ve changed overmuch. How say you, RF?

    I’m now even more scared of hospitals than I was before.


    • avatarRalph says:

      The CDC estimates that there are about 1.7 million hospital-associated infections annually and that they cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year.

      • avatarLouis says:

        I had one of those infections last year. Luckily, I’m still here.

      • avatarRuss Bixby says:

        “Medical error” doesn’t sound like nosocomial infection; it sounds like an error on the part of a person.

        I stand by my “Yikes!”

  12. avatarShawn says:

    Instead of tooting TTAG’s horn and giving them the nice warm fuzzy feeling by posting here, post this image on all the anti’s social media sites.

  13. avatartfunk says:

    Something doesn’t seem right with these numbers to me. It lists auto deaths as 3%, but of 2.5million that would be 75,000 auto deaths each year. I’m pretty sure that’s about double what actually occurs. And the 1% for guns would be 25,000, which again I think is higher than the actual data, but not quite as far off.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Looks like a great representation, but the stats seem a little wonky. I don’t want to post wonky facts on other sites.

  14. avatarMaltwit says:

    I love anything that can silence an argument with gun grabbers.

    But, the graphic leaves out one very important statistic i.e. homicides by handguns!

    According to the FBI web site, there were 6,284 homicides in 2010. If we use those stats for rifles, fists, clubs, etc. from the graphic (1,465) we’re left with 4,819 homicides with handguns.

    That’s way too big a number to ignore in our discussions.

    • avatarrandy says:

      Not really, 5000 hand gun deaths is not a big deal in a country of 300 000 000. Especially when majority are gun crimes by criminals vs other criminals.

  15. avatarXbonesrider says:

    I would be curious to know how many of those gun murders are gang-related. I would bet at least half if not more

  16. avatarMichael says:

    It is why I quit smoking,and buying more ammo. Plus there is the added bonus that the the taxes are lower on ammo,than cigarettes and don’t go to such things such as sCHiPs (socialized children health care for parents(or as I call it, parents who are bums and mooch off of my money)).

  17. avatarCWil says:

    Did you see in Table 20 of the FBI stats that in Illinois “Limited supplemental homicide data were received.”? Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

  18. avatarLance says:

    Obama and Di Fi and the rest of the fascist must turn this screen off and yell no no no when the facts show that gun crime is down ARs and other gun sales up and there views and fascism is full of crap.

  19. avatarR Hampton says:

    This will have 10x the impact then any macho pro-gun sloganeering. Just saying.

  20. avatarImam Baksh says:

    Why is SUICIDE not on this list?

    Don’t get me wrong, I want a graphic like this to show comparisons since gun killings are relatively insignificant, but I need reliable numbers to go into battle with.

  21. avatarGun_Chris says:

    So I checked out the gun homicide versus non-gun homicide data with the CDC, and it seems that for 2010, the CDC’s data is largely inline with the FBI’s; #16 cause of death with 16,259 homicides where about 2/3rd are by firearm.

    I think this infographic is great, but would be even more powerful with proper citations and stats. Unfortunately as it is, it’s unshareable in a serious setting.

  22. avatarSouthern Cross says:

    I’ll trade you this infographic from Australia:

    Here is an article on the causes of death for 143,473 Australians in 2010.

    Firearms in all categories accounted for 30(!). To find this I had dig through Accidents and Assaults (8925), Other causes (3516), Assault (218, intentional self-harm was 2359), and the 30 was an combination of the following:

    Other and unspecified firearm discharge: 15
    Rifle, shotgun, and large firearm: 13
    Handgun: 2

    More people died from cycling (39).

    After this I wonder what all the effort in banning firearms is all for! It is certainly not a major cause of death in the country.

    (NB: I checked the link and it is still valid.)

  23. avatarg says:

    x1,000 like.

  24. avatarZach says:

    I hat to burst your bubble. But firearms are the #1 murder weapon in America. I don’t have the source or article name but I remember a Fox News article that said 66.9% of all homocides were committed with a firearm. Maybe the stat included justified homocides? Ill double check the poster source with FBI data. Just to be clear I’m not arguing that guns aren’t the problem here but im pretty sure the gun homocides should be larger than non gun related homocides.

    EDIT: FBI data disagrees with their source. Everything else looks about right.

  25. avatarDerryM says:

    Pretty interesting.

  26. avatarnorm says:

    17% from medical errors! Holy cow, that’s huge! We need more government regulations or at least more lawsuits to protect us from medical errors! Look at how much increased government regulations have reduced violent gun crimes: from 1.3 million to 350K! Think of what more regulations could do to curb tobacco-related deaths and medical error-related deaths.

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