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24 Responses to Firearms Accidents Rarer Than Hen’s Teeth

  1. Actually, what this shows is that firearms are extremely lethal. On a daily basis, virtually everyone in the USA is exposed to the risk of an accidental fall or motor vehicle accident. In comparison, a relatively tiny percentage of the population uses firearms regularly. Yet firearms account for a disturbing number of fatalities — out of all proportion to the size of the population group.

    Now imagine what these numbers would look like if as many Americans used firearms as ride in automobiles, climb stairs, or use bathtubs, and as frequently. Bloodbath, more or less.

    Please note I am not saying anything the least bit outlandish or unusual. Firearms are extremely dangerous in their potential for death and injury, and require total focus and care in their use at all times. Anyone who doesn’t think so should not be handling firearms, lest they end up as one of these statistics.

    By the way, those appear to be rather old numbers. Traffic deaths are considerably lower in recent years, closer to 32,000.

    • Statistics & the Truth

      These figures are from the CDC database which only covers 1999 – 2007 data (I have no idea why this isn’t more up to date). According to the NRA, there were more than 100,000,000 privately owned firearms in the US in 2007, so the percentage of firearms which were used in an accidental death is less than 0.0015 percent which is statistically insignificant (approaches zero).

      This is not “out of proportion to the size of the population group” at all. It is statistically negligible. Nada. Nothing. Zero! Unless of course, you believe those 100 million firearms are owned by less than 1 million people (100 firearms per private owner? Only in my dreams).

      To summarize: The number of accidental deaths in the US caused by firearms is statistically insignificant. The data supports no other “logical” conclusion.

      • What is the basis for the NRA’s claim that there are 100 million operating firearms in the USA? And why would it even matter? There sure aren’t 100 million regular firearms users. That’s impossible. The 14+ male population of the USA is 119 million. What percentage of them are shooters? 5 to 10 percent absolute max? That’s 6 to 12M. Meanwhile, there are 200+ million licensed drivers in the USA.

        • The Brady Campaign claims 283 million guns, and 33% household ownership. In its 2010 fact card, the NRA estimates 300 million guns, and 70-80 million households own guns, for 40 to 45% ownership.

          By percentages of households and by percentages of items owned, home pools are orders of magnitude more dangerous than firearms for accidental death. Motor vehicles are multiple orders of magnitude more dangerous for accidental death.

          It’s a very simple fact: 99.99%+ of guns sit on a shelf, in a closet, or in their holster and never, ever hurt any person.

        • That’s the key. The great majority of America’s guns sit in the closet unused, unloaded, and never hurting anyone. A very small number are actually used on a regular basis, and they account for a remarkable amount of death and injury. The people who do use their guns have a poor safety record, which also includes over 200K injuries per year.

        • Had to come back and fix this one misstatement, Magoo. There are not 200k gun injuries and deaths per year in the US. There are around 90k per year. (CDC’s numbers for 2004 used here, since that’s what you have been quoting too.)

          Moreover, these 90k deaths and injuries are not equal. Around 26k of them are suicides. Considering that there is no correlation between gun availability and suicide rates in total, very few of these suicides could be prevented by gun control.

          Also, a significant number of these deaths and injuries are inflicted upon people who were in the process of illegal activity. Whether it is a cop shooting a suspect, a criminal shooting another criminal, or an innocent citizen shooting a criminal, these accidents and deaths are not the moral plane as the death of the innocent. There is a reason that coroners declare “death by misadventure”.

          90k is still no where close to 4500k, the number of people hurt or killed in transportation accidents. Cars are much more of a menace to society than guns.

    • Yes, which makes them just about the same as total gun deaths. That, of course would be a better comparison since very few of the 30,000 car deaths are murder or suicide. Total car deaths and total gun deaths are nearly the same. Since, as Magoo pointed out, car owners use their car more than gun owners use their gun, present company excepted, guns are far more lethal.

      So, bu limiting the discussion to accidents only, you’re distorting the reality.

    • Hey, Mr. Magoo, I just checked WISQARS and for the last available year (1998) unintentional MV deaths were above 42,000.

      So please clarify in which year your 32,000 number occurred as well as source. And while you are at it, how about the courage to use your real name. That goes for the other pundits here.

  2. I think we better ban anything that can cause someone to die if they fall, and these darn cars are going to do us all in someday. I know more people who handle guns than surgery, so I guess we also need to ban all those quack doctors in order to save more lives.

    • In an average year, approximately three people are crushed to death by vending machines falling on them. Thus, we should ban vending machines, because if the ban saves even one life, it will be worth it!

  3. As a former collector of hens’ teeth, I can tell you that they are not only rare, but also very expensive and dangerous. That’s why I switched to guns and saved a fortune.

  4. Is this being posted for the benefit of those that know this or for the poo pooers? We know this but posting this indicates a blind sight on the issue. Poo pooers can’t read stats and when they try they get it all wrong and can’t see past the numbers. If the number up there was 2 there would still be a clown wanting to ban.

    • Buuurr, I think it was posted to give mikey and magoof something to spew about. Half the mission has been accomplished. We’re still waiting for mikey to chime in, which I’m sure he’ll do as soon as he’s finished his Papal audience.

  5. Where is “Pharmaceutical”? Massive number of deaths. So massive, the establishment is not allowed to talk about it.

  6. It seems no one has taken into account the fact that while a gun accident can only kill one person, a car accident can easily kill four or more. So the argument that guns are more lethal than cars goes out that window.

  7. We must remember, gents/ladies, that the anti-gun lobby isn’t focused on the “accidental” gun fatalities. They are laser guided to the overall gun related fatalities which stand around 30,000. Of these, approx 12k were homicides and 16k were suicides with the remaining 2-3% being “accidental”.

    So, I would warn our pro gunners not to fall into this trap of creating your platform on accidental deaths from firearms. That’s a bad defense.

  8. Robert,
    This is a very misleading post. First of all what year does the graph represent? Second, I have a graph developed off of WISQARS that has unintentional deaths from firearms well below the 1,500 shown for the years 1994 and forward. Indeed, in 1998 (the last year available) unintentional deaths are just slightly above 800.

    WTF dude!! You really need to police this site a bit better.

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