Fatal Firearms Accident Rate Reaches Record Low

The rate of fatal firearm accidents is at an all time low. The chart above says it all. Given the antis’ anti-gun animus, I’m going to list all the sources for all the data that went into the chart. If you’re not mathematically minded, here’s some ammo to use against those who say guns (a right) should be regulated likes driving (a privilege). Because safety. Since 1933, the fatal firearms accident rate has dropped 94 percent. That compares favorably to vehicular deaths, which have dropped 52 percent in the same time period. So . . .

I used three sources for this chart. I drew rates and numbers from 1933-1987 Kleck, Point Blank Page 306 Table 7.1. I found numbers of 1981-2000 in An Analysis of Firearm-Related Accidents in the United States(pdf). I calculated rates using Census figures. From 1999-2015 numbers were available in WISQARS, population for per capita rates was taken from U.S. Census figures.

I used the later source for the overlap cases. The overlap from 1981 to 1987 had one anomaly. In 1982, Kleck listed 1757 accidental firearm fatalities; the Analysis of Firearm-Related Accidents listed 1756. The 1999 and 2000 numbers for the Analysis and WISQARS numbers were the same.

The 1967 data point stands out as slightly bucking the long term trend of lower and lower fatal firearm accident rates.  Curiously, it was the year before the Gun Control Act of 1968 went into effect.

The numbers are sparse in the early years. There are gaps in the data. The first number is from 1933, then 1935, 1940, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1960, and 1965.  After 1965 the data is available for each year.

Between 1945 (the earliest figure available for per capita firearms, Kleck) to 2014 ( the latest figure, using BATFE numbers and Kleck’s methodology), the number of per capita firearms has risen from .351 to 1.176. That is more than a three-fold increase.

During the same period, the per capita rate of fatal firearm accidents has declined from 1.84 per 100,000 to .15 per 100,000, over a 91% drop.  Using the earliest number in 1933, the drop has been nearly 94%.

In comparison, fatal vehicular accident rates have dropped from 23.687 per 100,000 in 1933 to 11.324 per 100,000 in 2015, or a drop of 52%. That is a substantial drop, but not as impressive as the drop in fatal firearm accidents.

We know that the number of miles driven has increased significantly; we do not have figures for the amount of ammunition consumed.

The figure of 489 fatal firearm accidents in 2015 is the lowest undisputed number on record.  In 2014, the CDC record shows a coding error. The number is stated as 586, but John Lott, who detected the error and informed the CDC, says the number should be 486.

The rate of fatal firearms accidents in 2015 was .15 per 100,000. If the 486 figure for 2014 is correct, that would also be .15 fatal firearm accidents per 100,000.

For those who wish the individual numbers by year, to create your own graphics, the numbers for all three sources may be found at the link below.

Data for Rate of Fatal Firearm Accidents.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Think of how people used and stored guns 50-60 years ago.

    Shooters and hunters often shot afield without hearing protection and more often with no eye pro. That’s unheard of nowadays. Certainly not fatal but it’s a manifestation of the culture of safety that has grown within the industry and the shooting community.

    People kept guns in drawers, closets, leaning against the wall in the corner or even displayed openly on gun racks. If you had a bit o’ money and some nice guns, you might have displayed them in a wood and glass gun cabinet. You probably kept it locked with the key on top of the cabinet behind the cornice. Real secure, huh?

    Do you know any gun owner today who doesn’t own a gun safe or at least a locked gun cabinet? You probably do but you might just think he’s a bit of an asshole. And if he has any children or low-life friends, he certainly is.

    Every gun owner knows the four rules. They’re posted in every gun shop and range in one form or another. We’ve all become safety Nazis and we’re proud of it.

  2. avatar 2Asux says:

    This is a bit of a disappointment. Had thought at least the leaders of TTAG knew the truth about firearms fatal accidents. How about a bit of focus on a single word, “FATAL”. That means dead. If you read the article, you are not included in “FATAL”, how grand for you. Simple enough to puff the chest, thump your braces and strut around telling yourself how superior you are because only 486 people you don’t know were killed by some bumpkin with a gun. Since your fine self was not included in the select group, why isn’t that just dandy? Since your fine self was not the bumpkin responsible of one of those 486 deaths, isn’t that even more grand?

    let us suppose that each of those 486 would have spawned X-number of children (2, you say? Right, then.) What is the growth of that over a generation (20 years)? How easy to think only 486, year after year, how can that amount to much? And there, right there is the problem. We are no longer talking about lives, people, but numbers, statistics, which have no real meaning to we the living.

    Being unable to calculate all the possible perturbations of any grouping of individuals, I made a very simple calculation: presume those 486 would each have two children; extend that number over 20 years. The result at five years is 15,552 people not born. At ten years the number is 497,664. At fifteen it is 15.925.248. And at the end of the generation, the total number never allowed life is 509,607,938. But as I said, there is no way to arrive at a number that can’t be criticized. What if we decide that the rate of growth is only half? At the end of the generation we see that number reflecting 254,803,969. Growth at a third? 16,986,931. Now the number of fatal firearm accidents is not so trivial, eh?

    You can reduce the deaths by any method you choose, but nothing renders the result trivial. Deaths that could have been easily avoided. Futures we can never benefit from. Loved ones who will never again see, touch or talk to the ones removed by stray bullets. Lived irreparably damaged.

    And the worst of the article is the reduction to comparing guns to cars. Well, I have some more for you to consider, more that gun owners love to use to divert attention away from their own dirty nest:
    CDC data for 2014 – Deaths per 100,000 population

    Cancers = 185.6
    Drug induced = 15.6
    Accidental poisioning = 13.2
    Sepsis = 12.2
    Motor Vehicle = 11.1
    Falls = 10.0
    Intentional self-harm (suicide) firearms = 6.7
    Intentional self-harm (suicide) other = 6.7
    Assualt (homicide) by firearm = 3.4
    Assault (homicide) by other means = 1.5
    Accidental drowning = 1.1
    Accidential exposure to smoke, fire, flame = .08
    Alcohol = 0.6
    Accidental discharge of firearms = .02

    It is a weak argument, it is, that falls to the poor chant, “Well, we aren’t as bad as….”

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “Simple enough to puff the chest, thump your braces and strut around telling yourself how superior you are because only 486 people you don’t know were killed by some bumpkin with a gun.”

      Try again Sparky.

      Gangbangers, not bumpkins, are responsible for most deaths that result from negligent handling and storage of firearms. Of the remaining number, most of those are self-inflicted.

      Please tell us how gangbangers are going to “step up to the plate” and embrace education, safe handling, and safe storage.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        Those are generally not counted as “negligent” or “accidental” because they are almost always the result of “criminal activity”.

        But there is somebody here who’s acting superior and it’s not the responsible gun owners. It appears we’ve really peed in his Cheerios.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Blammo,

          I was actually referring to negligent deaths, not intentional murders. My understanding is that gangbangers frequently handle and store firearms in a negligent manner that directly causes a LOT of deaths and injuries. Included in that category would be gangbangers who leave handguns laying around that young children find and discharge causing someone’s death.

        2. avatar BLAMMO says:

          That’s still a result of criminal activity (i.e., it’s a crime just for them to possess a gun). When an innocent bystander is shot and killed in a drive-by, it’s a murder, not an accident.

        3. avatar BLAMMO says:

          If a child in a gangbanger’s household finds an illegal gun and shoots himself, the owner can be charged with manslaughter (at least).

      2. avatar 2Asux says:

        “Gangbangers, not bumpkins, are responsible for most deaths…”

        Have you a citation at hand for your facts?

        1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

          Do you have a citation that says the Sun rises in the East? You don’t need to provide a citation to prove the evidence of your own eyes. Go back to bed.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Gangbangers, not bumpkins, are responsible for most deaths…” Have you a citation at hand for your facts?

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          2ASux,

          Do YOU have a citation for your assertion that “bumpkins” are responsible for most negligent deaths with a firearm?

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Do YOU have a citation for your assertion that “bumpkins” are responsible for most negligent deaths with a firearm?”

          Yes. My term. My description. Bumpkin, as in someone careless and irresponsible, lacking common sense, indifferent to the risk to others evidenced by negligent gun handling. Social, financial and educational status matter not.

          As asked before, do you have any evidence that “Gangbangers, not bumpkins, are responsible for most (accidental) deaths…” ?

        5. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: “Yes. My term. My description. Bumpkin, as in someone careless and irresponsible, lacking common sense, indifferent to the risk to others evidenced by negligent gun handling. Social, financial and educational status matter not. ”

          Not your term; you didn’t make it up, so you don’t get to define it.

          http://www.google.com/search?q=Bumpkin&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Not your term; you didn’t make it up, so you don’t get to define it.”

          Yes, badly stated. So, “My usage. My description.”

        7. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: ““Not your term; you didn’t make it up, so you don’t get to define it.”

          Yes, badly stated. So, “My usage. My description.””

          Thank you.
          Now, we would appreciate it if you are going to use a word with a description that doesn’t match your intended usage, it would be nice of you to make that description clear, instead of expecting your reader to understand that you meant something other than what you said.
          Not doing so makes the reader wonder if you mean what you say on purpose, or just out of laziness.

        8. avatar 2Asux says:

          “…it would be nice of you to make that description clear, instead of expecting your reader to understand that you meant something other than what you said.”

          You mean avoid statements like, ‘sometimes the gene pool needs cleansing’, as justification, excuse, for fatal firearm accidents?

    2. avatar Ing says:

      Another factor to consider: how many of those other causes of death can actually SAVE lives? Firearms and vehicles don’t only have death rates (accidental or otherwise), they also have lifesaving benefits.

      Comparing guns to a biological disease is utterly fallacious (in layman’s terms: pointless, irrelevant, and stupid).

      Even comparing guns to cars doesn’t bolster the anti-gun argument. If guns are so dangerous, why are they involved in vastly *fewer* accidental deaths than cars? You have to include murder AND suicide to get the gun death rate up to the *accidental* vehicle death rate.

      That being the case, why don’t we think vehicles are dangerous enough to be taken away from the average Joe and entrusted only to highly trained professionals?

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “That being the case, why don’t we think vehicles are dangerous enough to be taken away from the average Joe…”

        A rather intelligent question, don’t you think?

    3. avatar strych9 says:

      Wow. A wall made completely of fail.

      Impressive.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        Many, many comments. No facts. Sounding like your “oppo”, eh?

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          I was referring to you post which I’m not going to bother eviscerating.

          Suffice to say you need to look into how arguments are properly structured and how to avoid common (and uncommon) logical fallacies.

          Good job on the numbers though. At a glace they’d appear to be the accurate CDC stats.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Good job on the numbers though. At a glace they’d appear to be the accurate CDC stats.”

          CDC served two purposes: easily obtained; acceptable because CDC data were used for to support the original post.

          As to the other, the logical fail is using automobile deaths as some sort of “control group” against which to compare needless gun deaths. The logic that must follow such comparison is to identify other, common, sources of unintended death with which to compare automobile deaths and fatal firearms deaths.

          There is no logical comparison, because neither is dependent on the other

    4. avatar Desertdug08 says:

      So what u are saying is less accidental death is a bad thing? Also, what your facts indicate is that if we ban alcohol we could save more lives. Not ban, that would be silly because it’s a constitutional right. Right? We could however do back ground checks, wait periods, limit quantities you can purchase, ban carry and concealment, no sales on weekends or after 10pm. Think of all the lives we could save.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “So what u are saying is less accidental death is a bad thing?”
        No, I am saying it is not a good enough thing. One death by “accident”, or to use the correct word applied to gun owners….”careless”, is too many. There is no threat imanginable that justifies innocent people gunned down because of irresponsible gun owners.

        “Also, what your facts indicate is that if we ban alcohol we could save more lives” Let’s look at this, and draw your own conclusion: Exactly how many fatal firearm accidents do you imagine would be registered if guns could be 100% eliminated from society? Precisely how many?

        Is a number of accidental deaths that is lower than last year a good thing? Partially. Good for the few who weren’t killed. Point is you people keep brushing off unnecessary deaths as a matter of no concern, simply because you are alive to read the numbers. Each time we broach this subject, gun owners take no care for the victims, always demanding that accidental deaths be accepted by an unwilling public simply so you can play with dangerous things. It is the utter concern and compassion for needless, senseless, useless loss of live that is the badge of the cowboy culture.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          You make the point that gun owners “keep brushing off unnecessary deaths as a matter of no concern, simply because you are alive to read the numbers.”
          You know better than this, but use this rhetoric just to cause trouble, and get responses.
          You are, in a word, a troll.
          I know it, you know it.
          You yourself brush off all other deaths by accident, and consider only deaths by gun to be significant.
          How about deaths by medical misadventure? You missed them entirely. About 98,000 accidental deaths, all preventable. You really take your life into your own hands when you see a doctor. Yet, doctors have years of training, and there are far fewer doctors than guns. And doctors are looked up to as being the good guys, the guys you go to when you need care. Aren’t the deaths they cause, because they are all preventable, worse than accidental gun deaths? Obviously, the number of accidental deaths per doctor is much higher than per gun owners.
          I applaud your concern for victims. But you miss entirely the reason for being proud of the low rate. The reason is that we have worked hard to reduce the number of tragedies, and we’ve done a good job of it. We have demonstrated that gun owners are far more responsible than, say, doctors. Any accidental death is a tragedy, and it’s a good thing that we are responsible for so few.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “You yourself brush off all other deaths by accident, and consider only deaths by gun to be significant.”

          Actually, no. I have always maintained that all the other causes of unnecessary death are important conditions to address; just not in a forum on insane proliferation of guns. Please stick to the subject: unnecessary deaths caused by negligent gun handling.

          Incredibly, gun lovers do not see that eliminating accidental gun deaths shuts off an avenue of attack by people seeking common sense solutions to those deaths. That is what makes gun owners uncaring. The old, “Oh well, what the hell” is not an answer. Look at the efforts of gun rights organisations over the last 10 years. How much is spent on spreading safety, how much is spent on opposition to
          reasonable safety restrictions? Instead of NRA advertising how government are trying to confiscate guns, it would be refreshing (and disadvantageous to us) to see NRA exhorting gun owners to sign-up for annual gun safety courses at local shooting galleries. Frequent NRA (and other groups) pleas for safe and sound gun ownership. A clarion call for all gun owners to re-double efforts at ensuring they
          and their mates are not contributing to “fatal firearms accidents”. Instead, the focus is on one “right” or another, leaving the annual accidental gun death total at approximately 500, per year.

          That is uncaring, and dismissive of life.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux, you missed the rest of my post.
          Even small numbers of unnecessary deaths are tragic. In no way did you see anyone say anything different.
          I don’t know where you are from, but I will bet that there, any unnecessary death is tragic. To make the claim, as you have done several times, that gun owners here just brush off any unnecessary death, is to not understand what’s being said.
          Any reduction in unnecessary deaths is something to celebrate. That is not the same as celebrating the remaining unnecessary deaths.
          Please try to understand that.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          When you read the responses to my frequent requests to improve gun handling, you see all too often replies that try to avoid any, that is any, discussion on improving the situation. You would read much about comparisons with other accidental death sources, as if it is necessary to eliminate every other source before even a discussion of improving safety is to be had. In my opinion, that is being dismissive. You also will read many responses claiming “shall not be infringed” means nothing is to be done because it infringes on a natural, civil and human right to have a gun and do with it as one pleases. Further examination will reveal multitudinous ravings about my intelligence, character, evil intent, hidden agenda, etc. In my opinion, such represent evidence of callousness regarding innocents killed by irresponsible, self-righteous gun owners. Would you really conclude that POTG are willing to engage in a meaningful discussion? And why is it upon me, the non-gun owner, to devise a perfect plan to reduce those negligent deaths?

          Taken on the whole, based on the bulk of responses, gun owners are dismissive of accidental deaths, and unwilling to entertain any, any notion of improving the matter. That said, the, the few who do calmly want to discuss the matter are to be commended for their maturity of thought and personality.

        5. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

          “There is no threat imanginable that justifies innocent people gunned down because of irresponsible gun owners.”

          Do you really – REALLY need me to point out that fallacy? HINT: Don’t use absolutes, unless you are admitting to be an absolutely incompetent debater.

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          Yes, indeed, point out the fallacy. But mind you, stay on point. Explain which likely threat you can imagine that justifies death of innocents by irresponsible gun handling.

        7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          2ASux,

          “There is no threat imanginable that justifies innocent people gunned down because of irresponsible gun owners.”

          Go watch the movie Defiance and tell me there is no threat imaginable that justifies ubiquitous firearm ownership … even when ubiquitous firearm ownership entails incredibly stupid and tragic negligent deaths.

          And thumbs up to Button Gwinnett.

        8. avatar 2Asux says:

          Well, yes. One can certainly conjure up imaginary visions. I yield that point. However, such has not happened to justify the accidental deaths to date, now have they?

          Notwithstanding video games and fantasy movies, one cannot conjure up a situation in actual (peacetime) reality to justify shooting innocents. Even your rules of war require releasing a captured 12 year old goatherd who might (and did) bring the enemy down on a commando team.

          No matter the stress, every gun owner is responsible for every bullet, regardless of circumstance. Allowing for the odd court that would dismiss a case of accidental homicide, gun owners are responsible for every shooting they commit.

        9. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          “There is no threat imanginable that justifies innocent people gunned down because of irresponsible gun owners.”

          can you find the word mangina in that sentence? does the 2 in 2asux equate with deuce, as in bigelow?

        10. avatar 2Asux says:

          Struggling a bit with the language barrier here. Could you have another go at it to see if I can follow along?

      2. avatar Dan Z says:

        You said “back ground checks, wait periods, limit quantities you can purchase, ban carry and concealment, no sales on weekends or after 10pm.”

        Obviously you choose not to understand the words “shall not be infringed” in the 2nd Amendment. Perhaps the items you list should also apply to pens, printers, computers and smartphones. The 1st Amendment does NOT say “shall not be infringed.”

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Shall not be infringed”…except for….? We are back to that tired notion that some infringement is permissible, but not infringements you personally do not endorse. The word “infringe” means what it says. Thus, if any government, under any guise,
          enables, endorses, enforces any control whatsoever, under any circumstance, that “infringement” violates the constitution. Either 2A is absolute, or it is not; it is a binary proposition, not subject to, “yeah, but….common sense…”. If society allows any infringement on a constitutional right, then the situation is one of whose preference for limitations has the most political power at the moment. Your courts allow numerous infringements on guns. They have almost always been held to be constitutional. If the courts permit infringement, where do you turn next? Why hasn’t that happened? Are you saying that there are yet more infringements necessary
          before you turn to the court of last resort? Fine. How many, and what are, those infringements?

    5. avatar Bill says:

      Where have you been? I thought you had a heart attack at your cry-in on the day Trump took your beloveded federal government from you.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “Where have you been? I thought you had a heart attack at your cry-in on the day Trump took your beloveded federal government from you.”

        Not at all. The movement lives on, growing stronger. Look how well the public supported the Berkeley incident. Only Alt Right and Faux News were upset.

        Oh, indeed…we still control to federal government. No flash in the pan TV star can uproot our substantial control of the wheels of government. There is no way you can move fast enough to have a noticeable number of us removed.

        By the by, have you looked up Pyrrhic victory?

        1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          2ASux reveals himself to be a Fascist thug. No surprise there. Despite your fantasis there was no public support for the Fascist actions at Berkeley as reported by Steven Hayward who was on the scene. His students, especially the left leaning ones were appalled at what happened.

          http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/02/berkeley-today-after-action-report.php

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          Are you so poorly read? Fascism is based on the right. Hooliganism is based on the left. But to your commentary….

          I am somewhat hampered by broadcast media, which seems to be highlighting the riots, with little cautionary commentary. Some people are reported as being appalled, but the heavy volume is the overall silence of thought leaders on the political left, and the public they represent. Would you not say that silence is endorsement? Look how the public is rising up and slamming Trump for immigration crimes.

          But we digress. I am not here to advocate severe government action in support of gun safety, but to debate the issue with people most familiar (and one would hope most sensitive to safety) with firearms. Which would mean that the only way you can conclude someone a fascist is to wildly apply that name to anyone with a different opinion (as in the way your lot ultimately fall to shouting “Troll” because of want of an echo chamber, a safe place).

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          2Asux,

          “… we still control to federal government. No flash in the pan TV star can uproot our substantial control of the wheels of government. There is no way you can move fast enough to have a noticeable number of us removed.”

          And THAT is why so many people want to own firearms in the United States. For the contingency, no make that the certainty, that Fedzilla acts in contravention of law and human decency.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          “For the contingency, no make that the certainty, that Fedzilla acts in contravention of law and human decency.”

          From what I read here, that is the true imaginary scenario. As discussed numerous times, you had your chance in your civil war. Federal power prevailed in that one. As it happens, government has taken on many obligations abandoned by the citizenry. Once upon the random time, people of the nation would have risen up in armed rebellion for what are called “intrusions”, “infringements”, “overreach”, “unconstitutional power grabs”. Where has that gotten you? No, the day for armed revolt are long gone, never to return.

          Life has become too comfortable, too long (advantage us). However, to be charitable, even holding firearms against that fictional, righteous uprising against tyrants and dictators does not justify or excuse reckless, negligent and irresponsible gun handling that results in the death of innocents. You cannot toss up enough pretend events to justify even one death at the hand of someone incompetent to have firearm.

        5. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: “As discussed numerous times, you had your chance in your civil war. Federal power prevailed in that one.”
          You seem to have misunderstood the concept of our civil war.
          No matter which side won, federal power would have still existed.
          If the Confederacy had won, there would have been TWO federal powers instead of one, so federal power would have still won, just a different one.

          “Once upon the random time, people of the nation would have risen up in armed rebellion for what are called “intrusions”, “infringements”, “overreach”, “unconstitutional power grabs”. Where has that gotten you? No, the day for armed revolt are long gone, never to return. ”
          I fail to see anyone (other than the odd fantasy player) actually wishing for an armed coup.
          Oh, wait, that’s not quite true; I have seen several such pleas from the butthurt left, and the FBI and Secret Service are on that.

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          “If the Confederacy had won, there would have been TWO federal powers “.
          Yes, but until victory, confederates were rebels, citizens rebelling against a tyrannical (federal) government, though they were an organized rebellion, unlike those calling for same on this blog (and they are numerous). When someone claims they have guns to protect against a rogue government, the implication is those someones intend to use their guns to destroy that rogue. Given that, and given what your side considers unconstitutional intrusion into their gun rights (apparently intrusion into other rights does not raise the hackles), the question remains, “If you truly believe you can and will go to war against the federal government, where is “the red line”? It was crossed in ancestral time at a threshold much, much lower than what you claim are “infringements”.

          “I have seen several such pleas from the butthurt left, and the FBI and Secret Service are on that.”
          You have me there, because I am unaware of any calls for an armed coup of the federal government from those who believe government has a major role to play in defense of the minority. Which may be due to the fact that when I recognize crazies” over here, I refuse to read their screeds. On the surface, armed coup from our side simply makes no sense.

        7. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asxu: “However, to be charitable, even holding firearms against that fictional, righteous uprising against tyrants and dictators does not justify or excuse reckless, negligent and irresponsible gun handling that results in the death of innocents. You cannot toss up enough pretend events to justify even one death at the hand of someone incompetent to have firearm.”
          You’re right.
          However, as your handle suggests, you are very focused on only one thing here, and that one thing is guns, and how bad they are.
          As I have already pointed out, your fixation on the fantasy that accidental deaths of any sort are being celebrated is just that: fantasy.
          As for “justification,” accidental deaths are justified all the time (different from celebration); accidental deaths from autos (far higher than from guns) is justified constantly as “but autos serve a necessary function!” Accidental deaths of children (THE CHILDREN!!!) in swimming pools: “But I was only on the phone a minute!” “I just went inside for a few seconds to check on the crying baby!” “I can’t afford a fence (after affording the pool).”
          I understand (we all do) that you’re a hoplophobe, but your insistence that gun owners are callous about needless deaths is just wrong. A fantasy. Something you made up (or got from your hoplophobe friends).

        8. avatar 2Asux says:

          We may be using the same term differently. What you describe as “justification” is actually “excused”. Entirely different. What is described here as “accidental” is simply negligence (which is inexcusable).

          When someone possess a gun, they intend to use it. That brings extraordinary responsibility. Bullets know nothing of intent, so a person who launches one is entirely culpable for any unnecessary injury or death. (Yes, that means in a self-defense situation, the state is entirely correct to prosecute the shooter for any injury or death that was “unintended”. The intent behind having a gun is to do damage and/or death (excepting the random collector). The intent behind driving a car is not (excepting the random “crazie” who uses the car as a weapon).

        9. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: ” The intent behind having a gun is to do damage and/or death (excepting the random collector). The intent behind driving a car is not (excepting the random “crazie” who uses the car as a weapon).”

          This is a common trope, but it’s entirely wrong. I even covered it in another of my responses.

          First, the intent behind owning a gun can’t be said to be to cause damage and/or death. The vast majority (the number not in that majority can be numbered in the hundreds out of tens of millions) are used for pleasure shooting; competition, target shooting, or just plinking. The only damage done is to targets designed to be shot. Then there are the hunters, who strive to harvest their animals in humane fashion, with the meat being used as food.
          As far as I can see, the only group that actually uses guns to injure/kill is the military, and here in the US, the military is still under civilian control.

          You are right about the intent of owning a car.
          However, injuries/deaths from autos is for the most part “accidental,” but actually is much more due to driver error as a simple “act of God” accident. Thus, the accidental death numbers from guns and autos is directly comparable. The cause of both is the same: negligence.

          Another way to put it: the intent of owning a car is to use it to go from one place to another. That’s kind of hard to argue with (even if you want to include collectors who don’t drive their cars). And the cars do that intended function quite well, as a whole.
          But, if you consider the intent of owning a gun is to damage/kill, then even you would have to admit that they do that extremely poorly, given the number of guns owned, and how often they function. If your car fulfilled it’s “function” as poorly as guns do, you’d be seriously pissed.

        10. avatar 2Asuc says:

          We agree that the reason for owning guns is damage or death. Damage to range targets is/was included in “damage” in my reply. So, excepting collectors who do not actually shoot guns, the intent of owning is damage/death. Thus, any “accident” should be viewed as utter negligence, with corresponding out come. Guns and cars are apples and oranges.

          Let us review other comparisons between guns and automobiles:
          – the majority of guns are usable for multiple decades after production
          – the majority of cars are not usable for multiple decades after production
          – there are more gun owners than car owners
          – more guns are stolen each year than are automobiles
          – more stolen guns are used in crime than stolen automobiles
          – guns are not the cause of drug induced death
          – guns are not the cause of drowning in the family swimming pool

          So, there you have a few considerations when comparing guns and motor vehicles. Presuming there were statistics included with each line above, what, precisely does that tell us about guns or automobiles? More or less automobile safety has no effect on gun safety. More or less gun safety has no effect on drowning in family pools. More or less gun safety has no effect on the number of years a gun or automobile will continue to be operational. There is no correlation, nor causation relationship between guns and any other mode of death and injury.

          The common claim is that all other sources of death and injury must be eradicated before even holding a conversation about improving gun safety; reducing the number of fatal firearm accidents. The same is true in reverse. Eliminate accidental death by gunfire, then we can begin to work on eliminating accidental deaths due to any, and all, other causation. Point being this is a blog about guns, not risk reduction in every area of life.

          – more guns are used in self-defense than are automobiles

    6. avatar NorincoJay says:

      Do you believe in abortion rights? You tally the number that would have been born if an individual lived. So I’m curious if you apply that same hypothetical?

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        I noted that the numbers were based on not being able to factor in every possible variation of incident that would reduce the number of offspring over time. Thus the selection of 1/2 and 1/3 the full (unmitigated) projection. You can pick any variations you like, but over a generation, the number of people who will not be born will not be statistically insignificant (as those who are killed are not insignificant, no matter how few).

        1. avatar Bugman says:

          Are you really trying to make an argument that these people not reproducing is a bad thing? All pools can benefit from some chlorine, especially the gene pool.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Are you really trying to make an argument that these people not reproducing is a bad thing? All pools can benefit from some chlorine, especially the gene pool.”

          Thank you. Now we have gun owners taking down the mask, and admitting they see other people as scum to be eradicated. Maybewe can get to the heart of the matter….gun owners do not care about anything but playing with guns, the rest be damned.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux:”Thank you. Now we have gun owners taking down the mask, and admitting they see other people as scum to be eradicated. Maybewe can get to the heart of the matter….gun owners do not care about anything but playing with guns, the rest be damned.”

          Thank you. You are unmasked (again).
          You have no concern for twisting what’s said to support your fixation against guns.
          Bugman did not say we see other people as scum. He said nothing that could be interpreted that way.
          What he said is that there are some people who deserve whatever befalls them because of their own actions. Do you disagree?

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          “What he said is that there are some people who deserve whatever befalls them because of their own actions.”

          Cannot agree. Bugman is implying that someone killed by a negligent gun owner is somehow receiving just reward. Your attempt to cover for Bugnam is laudable (and better stated, were that his intent). However, the statement remains that some people accidentally killed by an irresponsible gun owner deserve that end because somewhere, somehow, one or more of those people have already done something that warrants a death sentence, and just needed killing, anyway.

          Even if the theory is accepted, there is no way to know ahead of time which of those might “merit” Bugman’s justice.

          Oh yes, I am aware of the Darwin Awards.

        5. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: ““What he said is that there are some people who deserve whatever befalls them because of their own actions.”

          Cannot agree. Bugman is implying that someone killed by a negligent gun owner is somehow receiving just reward.”

          No, that’s not what he said. You edited it in your mind to make it read the way you wanted to.
          What he was “implying” is that some people deserve what they get, because actions have consequences.
          Shooting someone who is in the act of committing a violent felony is not a negligent shooting. There is no way to put such a gun use in that category is completely ridiculous. Taking things out of context, and even twisting them to say something they don’t say, even out of context, is not arguing in good faith.
          Doing so makes you look like a troll.
          Are you a troll?

        6. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Shooting someone who is in the act of committing a violent felony is not a negligent shooting. ”

          Who made that connection? Negligent, accidental, call it as you will is the subject. For someone to say being shot by negligence or accident deserves their fate is just crude, crass and callous. Now, if the comment was meant to say that people who do stupid things with guns, and thereby shoot themselves are those deserving their fate, that is entirely different. Taking the words at face value does not lead to the reasoning in the prior sentence. I begin by accepting that everyone who is posting here means precisely what they “say”. Unless statements clearly indicate they are meant to spark contemplative inference, that are what they say they are; declarative sentences, of obvious meaning.

          To answer your question, yes, I am a “troll”. A “troll” being anyone with contrary opinion, viewpoint, priorities. A someone who is a member of the echo chamber. Someone who challenges the “conventional wisdom”. Someone who attempts to engage the thinking population of gun owners. Yes, then, a “troll”.

        7. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

          Typical liberal bullshit… able to twist the meaning of words to his/her/its desired result, no matter how convoluted it may be! And here, a perfect example; redefining the meaning of the word “troll” in such a way as to make it appear to be normal, even desirable…

          I don’t understand how you guys can even try to debate such a turd. It’s not worth the time & effort – or the headache caused by trying to think in such convoluted ways.

        8. avatar Sam I Am says:

          THANK YOU !!!!!

          You made my case; validated my statement regarding “troll”…anyone who is not part of the echo chamber, challenges “conventional wisdom”, makes one uncomfortable wit one’s prejudices, debates the issue rather than repeat the club theme song. So, to help you (and others) out, here is the “official”, internet definition of “troll”:
          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll
          (pg 2)
          One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. ‘you’re nothing but a fanboy’ is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevence to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.
          http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll
          (pg 2)

          1a. Noun
          One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

          1b. Noun
          A person who, on a message forum of some type, attacks and flames other members of the forum for any of a number of reasons such as rank, previous disagreements, sex, status, ect.
          A troll usually flames threads without staying on topic, unlike a “Flamer” who flames a thread because he/she disagrees with the content of the thread.

          1c. Noun
          A member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harasses others. Someone with nothing worthwhile to add to a certain conversation, but rather continually threadjacks or changes the subject, as well as thinks every member of the forum is talking about them and only them. Trolls often go by multiple names to circumvent getting banned.

          The term “troll” does not apply to disagreement or difference of opinion (except on pro-gun forums?), but I accepted the description to assuage hurt feelings.

          Now, whose postings best fit the “official” definition?

    7. avatar Ragnar says:

      2Asux, based on your “formula”, for each terrorist I have eliminated, I have prevented 1,048,576 new terrorists at the end of a generation.

      I am strangely okay with that.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        I’ll not argue the point, there. Same analysis should apply. However, it would be a matter of comparing accidental deaths to intentional. The issue is preventable deaths, but for grossly irresponsible gun owners.

        1. avatar BLAMMO says:

          The issue is preventable deaths, but for grossly irresponsible gun owners.

          Those are called criminals, terrorists, disaffected mental defectives and the members of a theocratic fascist death-cult. The kinds of people for whom you and your ilk advocate to remain free to live among us.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “…criminals, terrorists, disaffected mental defectives and the members of a theocratic fascist death-cult”.

          Those are the only persons causing “fatal firearm accidents”? Good news; have a link to accepted data, do you?

        3. avatar BLAMMO says:

          Are you suggesting that legal gun owners are responsible for more firearm related deaths than criminals, psychotics and terrorists? Yeah, I wanna see that data.

        4. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Are you suggesting that legal gun owners are responsible for more firearm related deaths than criminals, psychotics and terrorists? Yeah, I wanna see that data.”

          Please read a bit slower. Nothing is this string seeks to identify, or assign responsibility for criminal shootings. The issue at hand is fatal firearm accidents, not intentional gang and criminal actions. The subject is the reduction in accidental deaths. The implication was/is that gun owners are improving at being responsible. The data posted did not seek distinction between innocents shot unintentionally by gangs and criminals (those would be murders, would they not?), and deaths due to irresponsible gun owner action.

          So, no. There is no attempt here to state, “prove” or imply that legal gun owners are responsible for more deaths than gang members and criminals. That presumption simply cannot be sustained.

    8. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yo, ding dong! The whole planet is WAY overpopulated, I actually don’t care to spend my life hiding from every hint of danger. There’s too much fun to be had out there.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “Yo, ding dong! The whole planet is WAY overpopulated, I actually don’t care to spend my life hiding from every hint of danger. There’s too much fun to be had out there.”

        You are an honest person, Larry. You don’t care who dies from which accident, and are proud to proclaim it. That is courage; you are to be commended.

    9. avatar Stu in AZ says:

      I hadn’t realized there was such a thing as “life privilege”. We should all feel terrible.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        “I hadn’t realized there was such a thing as “life privilege”.

        Of course you didn’t. You are all caught up in your “right” to a gun. However, if there is no “life privilege” there is no “right to life”, meaning there is no “right” to have a gun to defend your “privilege”. Meaning you agree there is no “right” to a gun. Careful there; we’ll soon have you on the side of common sense gun laws.

    10. avatar 'Liljoe says:

      Just a point, you have those 486 people having two children per year… that is a lot of mouths to feed, plus they would have to have twins each time. Now if each person killed had two children in total, your number would be far less. But the truth of all of this can be summed up neatly… nothing is 100% safe, and nothing is perfect. But when you compare guns to other things, the guns are not doing too bad in the safety dept.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        Comparing guns to other sources of unintentional death is one of the favorite dodges on this blog; apples to oranges. Yes, gun deaths were down, but the “average” remains at ~500, with no indication of improvement that would be “statistically significant” (to borrow a phrase). Automobile deaths remain ~30,000 annually, and have for a long time; despite all the safety features. Safety features may even encourage less driver responsibility (people taking more risks because cars are “safer”). A possible contributor to the sustained “average”, but one with no direct proof. In any event, lowering auto deaths (or any other category of accidental death) does nothing to influence fatal firearm accidents, and the comparison is useless.

        As to always having twins, that is not a requirement. Two offspring can be separated by months or years. The choice was two because it is a figure familiar to most when thinking of families (most do not understand the declining birth rates in various countries). In the end, the exercise was to highlight the folly of thinking that “only” 500 fatal firearm accidents is insignificant, needing no consideration or attention.

        When you do a calculation based on lives never to be lived, over a time reference most can grasp (20 years), Also, the numbers are not adjusted at all for natural deaths among the not to be progeny. Which is why I also used 1/2 and 1/3 as reducers of the total number. You can pick any fraction you like, and observe the number of lives never to be lived.

        As an annual number, the total is considered “unremarkable” by many. Added over time, the number becomes more impressive. If fatal firearm accidents were reduced to 10, the number of lives yet to be would also be impressive.

    11. avatar Steve Day says:

      Well bully for you. You believe all humans multiply like rabbits and that accidental firearm related deaths are less tolerable than those caused by massive medical negligence.

      Straighten your skirt dear, your slip is showing.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        Saying fatal firearms accidents are tolerable at all speaks volumes.

        Other means of accident and death are irrelevant to gun safety. good or bad gun safety does nothing to make better or worse the safety of any other enterprise. nor does the reverse affect gun safety. apples and oranges, old boy; apples and oranges. you are simply seeking a way to divert attention from your problem children. pot and kettle, what?

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: “Other means of accident and death are irrelevant to gun safety. good or bad gun safety does nothing to make better or worse the safety of any other enterprise. nor does the reverse affect gun safety. apples and oranges, old boy; apples and oranges. you are simply seeking a way to divert attention from your problem children. pot and kettle, what?”

          You still don’t get it.
          Whether someone is dead by accidental gunshot, or accidental auto crash, or accidental skating misadventure, or medical misadventure, the result is the same: A dead person.
          Apples to apples, whether or not you attach some moral distinction to the manner of accidental death.
          You are, plain and simple, not being honest. But then, that’s more or less a common thing among hopolphobes. To them (and you), somehow an accidental death from a gunshot is somehow worse than from any other accident, negligence be damned. The vast majority of other “accidental” deaths are due to someone’s negligence. Often due to the negligence of the one who “accidentally” died.

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “…the result is the same: A dead person.”

          Yes, we agree, dead people are all dead, thus having something in common.

          “To them (and you), somehow an accidental death from a gunshot is somehow worse”.

          Here you are mistaken. I have not made any declaration about better or worse means of accidental death. The entire concept of better or worse is irrelevant. Claiming “We are not as bad as…..” is poor support for argument. Always, my response to claims that accidental death or injury by gun fire is “better” than another means is the same….this is a blog about guns, gun ownership, gun handling, gun safety, gun crimes. Note the consistent appearance of the word “gun”.

          Throwing up the shield that there are other, more risky, activities as a justification for not discussing improving gun handling, reducing accidental death and injury is spurious; a dodge. An attempt to avoid the the gorilla in the room. It is the same as claiming the the deaths suffered as a result of the atomic bomb attacks on Japan were worse than the Tokyo fire bombings, which killed considerable more people, more slowly.

          Consistently, I maintained that pointing to some other subject matter as a means of diverting attention from the issue at hand (fatal firearm accidents) is specious. To follow the logic to the end, one cannot engage in a discussion of firearm safety until every other method of accidental death is removed. That is not a serious argument.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I wonder if the continuously dropping rate of negligent firearm deaths could be due to education, like hunter’s education and Eddie Eagle?

    Nah, there must be some error in the numbers because negligent firearms deaths HAVE to be 1,000 times higher now than 50 years ago, because guns.

  4. avatar strych9 says:

    Hopefully there’s a small spike involving a certain group of Sasquatch hunters.

  5. avatar Oakriver says:

    Curious, I thought that with more relaxed gun laws the streets would run red with blood. Or at least that’s what those who know the least about guns keep saying

  6. avatar Mr. Pierogie says:

    Let’s be honest: It’s because ammo prices keep going up.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      What was the saying….?

      Oh yes.

      “I love it when a plan comes together”.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

        Except that ammo prices have gone DOWN again. 9mm FMJ is down around .25/round.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Why would you use FMJ to accidentally shoot someone fatally?

        2. avatar 2Asux says:

          “Except that ammo prices have gone DOWN again. 9mm FMJ is down around .25/round.”

          That is true, but no campaign is linear. Attack is the game, attack is the win. Oh, and have you seen copper prices lately?

          Which shiny object shall we have you chasing next?

  7. avatar AD says:

    Has anyone else paused to consider that many of those “accidents” were, in fact, suicides? The report can be written as such for insurance or pension purposes in order to avoid further harm to those close to the deceased.
    I know that might open another can of worms with some of the previous commenters. So, if they would, please explain the plan to legislate suicide away.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      I would be willing to further lower the number of “accidental” deaths that were actually suicide. Please provide a validated figure for use.

      1. avatar AD says:

        So you are willing to admit that paperwork can be manipulated for private and personal reasons – that suicides are indeed written up as “accidental death.” That’s a good start.
        Asking me to disprove the coroner’s report in cases where I have no personal knowledge is ludicrous. Even if I had the time or inclination to do so, I doubt I would find many interviewees willing to admit to insurance fraud.
        You’ve tacitly admitted that the true number of accidents is even less than supposed.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          “You’ve tacitly admitted that the true number of accidents is even less than supposed.”

          Nothing of the sort. I agreed to modify the number IF you can supply a validated number of suicides identified as “accidental” deaths.

          Without that validated number, you are merely speculating (er, making it up). To extrapolate your theory, there must be a number of

          firearm deaths mischaracterized under other titles, as well. Of course, that conclusion is pure speculation, and just as useful. No,

          my friend, we have a set of data put forward by TTAG as being useful for analysis. My comment was based on that data set. You cannot

          mistrust one element of the data, and ignore the rest.

      2. avatar AD says:

        Furthermore, you have also failed to answer my original questions: What legislation could reduce suicide? Did you consider my question?
        If “accidents” are the problem then would you ban work? I can give citation for people hurt and killed on the job.
        Would you legislate water, as well? I can site statistics on drownings… unless you believe that purposeful drownings are also accidents.
        Please speak up and bury yourself under your own argument. It is your right, after all.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          This blog is not a general health and safety forum. We are talking about guns. People determined to suicide will do whatever it takes

          (unless caring people step in to answer the cry for help; who really wants to die?).

          As to answering your question, the entire proposition that accidents cover suicides is unprovable. The serious exploration of your

          question is not discussing legislation to prevent the act, it is how to approach eliminating suicide by gun! Simple (though not

          entirely my favorite): no gun, no gun suicide. Discussion of preventing the use of other objects for suicide is for a quite different forum.

    2. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      I spoke to a young woman once who claimed her “wife” was cleaning her revolver when it went off, the .357 bullet striking her square in the heart, causing instant death. As she’d already started pushing my buttons, I pushed back. I told her it was suicide, that it is literally impossible to accidentally shoot yourself in the heart with a DA revolver. Wow. She blew up so hard I needed a safe space! I make it a point to avoid her now when we cross paths.

      1. avatar 2Asux says:

        Right. Now we have it, “accident” covering up a suicide. A true case. Good information to have. Subtract one from the 486 “accidents” reported.

        But without the gun, no gun-assisted suicide.

  8. avatar Buzz Word says:

    We still have a ways to go.. had a guy point a Glock at me in a gun store in 2015. The guy is a cop.

    From Wikipedia:

    Various version of the “Ten Commandments of Gun Safety” have been published. This one is from the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia:[5]

    Treat every gun with the respect due a loaded gun.
    Carry only empty guns, taken down or with the action open, into your car, camp and home.
    Always be sure that the barrel and action are clear of obstructions.
    Always carry your gun so that you can control the direction of the muzzle.
    Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.
    Never point a gun at anything you do not want to shoot.
    Never leave your gun unattended unless you unload it first.
    Never climb a tree or a fence with a loaded gun.
    Never shoot at a flat, hard surface or the surface of water.
    Do not mix gunpowder and alcohol.

  9. avatar HRColey says:

    As always, the accidental death rate is talked about in isolation when the death rate/harm done by guns should be compared to any beneficial effect that guns have in our society. In 2013 President Obama tasked the Center for Disease Control with studying gun usage in the U.S. and they subsequently released studies showing that guns are used defensively between 500,000 and three million times per year, usually without a shot being fired. I suppose that the hoplophobes would have those hundreds of thousands of gun owners be disarmed and left at the mercy of their criminal attackers. Firearms do far more good in our society than they do harm. And the harm they do accidently could be further reduced by safety education. The NRA has many various firearm safety programs for children and adults, but the hoplophobes would rather see accidental deaths continue rather than allow schools to teach firearm safety, especially in cooperation with the NRA.

    1. avatar 2Asux says:

      “In 2013 President Obama tasked the Center for Disease Control with studying gun usage in the U.S.”

      There have been many claims about this “study”, but links to the report are always missing. I would like to say that some of the commentary holds that number up, but also makes claims that people who defend by merely presenting a gun are not likely to tell anyone about it, is suspicious. If true, it would seem any claim to “unreported” gun use in a report about gun use would be self-contradictory on its face. However, I would like a look at the report (which would include their methodology, I should think). Do you have a link to the data, the report, or some article linked to the report?

      1. avatar RustyB says:

        Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

        https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#15

      2. avatar Big Bill says:

        2asux: ” Do you have a link to the data, the report, or some article linked to the report?”

        Try reading Dr. John Lott.

        1. avatar 2Asux says:

          Link received. My question about the report centered on claims of untold numbers of self-defense situations where the mere display of a gun ended the event with no bullets fired. The report identified assumptions regarding that number, but did not explain the entering assumptions, nor was there present information regarding how those assumptions led to a wide range of possible events. Not persuasive, that.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          2asux: “My question about the report centered on claims of untold numbers of self-defense situations where the mere display of a gun ended the event with no bullets fired. ”

          My own experiences number five instances where merely showing a gun calmed people down immediately (and one where a shot fired into the ground at night convinced three Hispanics to abandon their intended physical beatdown and depart for places unknown).
          I don’t lead a particularly confrontational lifestyle. Most of the instances were in my place of business, where customers simply didn’t like the estimate of work needed (not arguments over prices charged, mind you, just over estimates). There really are a lot of unbalanced people out there.
          Trying to find the number of a legal use of guns simply displayed to defuse a situation is hard, because few people bother to make a report. It’s sort of like trying to pin down the number of sexual assaults made, because so many are not reported, for whatever reason.
          But there are extrapolations that can be made; they obviously aren’t exact, which is why there’s such a large range in the numbers given. Sort of like how many guns there are in the US; no one knows, for a lot of reasons. (IMO, the numbers given are on the low to very low side, because we have no idea of how many guns were bought before the background checks started, along with absolutely no idea how many are illegally imported from places like the Philippines now.)
          I think it’s fairly safe to say, though, that the number of non-firing uses of guns in self-defense is far higher than their use when actually fired, whether anyone is injured or not.

        3. avatar 2Asux says:

          “But there are extrapolations that can be made; they obviously aren’t exact, which is why there’s such a large range in the numbers given. Sort of like how many guns there are in the US; no one knows, for a lot of reasons. (IMO, the numbers given are on the low to very low side, because we have no idea of how many guns were bought before the background checks …)”

          The lack of data is not evidence of data (to mangle a phrase). I have repeatedly acknowledged that there are episodes of firearm display stopping assaults. However….since the number cannot be anywhere near accurately determined, boasting about this or that fabricated number as “proof” of something is dishonest.

          The most honest statement that can be made is something on the order of, “The number of events where a gun present deterred an attack is unknown, with some unsupported estimates ranging from X to Y.” It is curious, is it not, that a people who take pride in denouncing the opposition for “making stuff up” are quite proud of using unsupportable estimates to prove how effective is possessing a gun. Estimates which have no consistent basis, and even more inconsistent outcomes simply “prove” nothing.

          There are more concrete, verifiable elements to discussions of gun safety to be had. Can we not stick to using that which we can agree have a verified numerical basis?

  10. avatar RustyB says:

    Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence

    https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#15

  11. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Thank you for the link. Preserving it for future contemplation.

    The one item that we discussed (the number of self-defense events where only the display of a firearm was needed as a defense) remains one of speculation (as reported at the link). The first guess (“assumption”?) is the acceptance of the notion that there must be/have been the same number of non-shooting defenses as there were shooting defenses. Unfortunately, the linked report does not describe how that theory was derived, nor any physical evidence to support the theory. The wide range of “estimates” (guesses) is revealing.

    The lack of anything beyond guesswork in support of huge numbers of unreported defensive gun displays weakens that argument to uselessness; my guess (very, very few) is as good as anyone else (pick your favorite number of such events). Can we therefore agree that speculation upon defensive display of firearms proves nothing, either way?

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