Perspective: Firearm Deaths Dwarfed By Tobacco, Diet, Booze

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A TTAG reader who’s currently serving in the military strolled into his base’s dental clinic where he found this poster on the wall. It provides a healthy bit of perspective on the primary causes of death and heartache in this country.

Taken together, the top five causes account for 950,000 annual deaths. That’s around 27 times as many as result from firearms. Not to mention that two-thirds of those firearms deaths are the result of suicides, which makes the extent to which they’re preventable highly questionable.

Far be it from us to tell others what they should eat, drink and smoke. We’ve been known to light up a stogie and enjoy a glass of brown liquor after enjoying a Porterhouse big enough to choke Rosie O’Donnell. All in the same evening.

The message here is that the furious efforts of all the assorted ninnies, nannies and nitwits in the media are drastically misplaced. No one doubts that the Parklands and Sandy Hooks are horrific. The fact that so many (most?) of these events were examples of law enforcement and institutional failures only make them worse.

But when was the last time high schoolers walked out of class to protest the sinister power of the National Beer Wholesalers Association after a car full of their classmates died after a kegger? Has anyone seen a snot-nosed urchin, assisted by a national cable network, accuse the Governor of North Carolina of having blood on his hands because he accepts campaign contributions from RJ Reynolds?

No? Go figure.

How long do you think politicians of either party would last if they lecture constituents about their their smoking, drinking and eating habits? Well, outside of California, that is.

And yet one major party thinks nothing of haranguing almost half the electorate over their embarrassingly déclassé desire to provide for their own defense. And a substantial number of them are brazen enough to advocate amending the Constitution in order to take that right away from Americans.

So the next time you’re accosted by someone who’s appalled that you’re a gun owner, keep that poster in mind. Ask him or her about what they’re doing to stop the death cult that is Northern California’s wine industry. Ask how they can sleep at night knowing their children will wake up the next morning and eat a bowl full of Cap’n Crunch soaked in fat-laden whole milk. Then walk away, smirking, as their mouth opens and closes silently, like a goldfish, as they contemplate the profound hypocrisy of their existence.

 

comments

  1. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    Look up the stats for medical malpractice deaths and you’ll be stunned it isn’t on the news every day…

    1. avatar ORCON says:

      Kinda the point though, right? Nobody gives two flipping flip-flops when they hear how many people die from the “beetus” on the evening news. Boring, too common and mundane.

      Show four faces of a much rarer tragedy however, and you’ve got a narrative that can last weeks or months. Plus it helps with political ambitions

    2. avatar Pg2 says:

      Reported malpractice is 3rd leading cause of death in US. We can only guess how many more unreported deaths are malpractice.

    3. avatar Matt_in_Co says:

      Beat me to it… “medical misadventures”.

    4. avatar nativeson says:

      Why does the left focus the majority of its nanny-state focus on abolishing firearms even though a relatively small firearms-related deaths occur each year? Answer – because it is the only item on that list that poses a direct threat to their tyrannical desires.

  2. avatar barnbwt says:

    Tobacco; another pet project of the propagandists

    I wonder of the Ad Council has a slick infographic of how much government subsidy was/is diverted seeking the destruction of a lawful industry?

    *not a tobacco user, who finds its use rather off-putting

  3. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I believe the diet and exercise/vehicular deaths are greatly understated.

    The firearms statistic includes suicides.

    Statistics don’t lie – Liars produce statistics.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Agreed. Motor vehicle accidents were down to around 30,000 per year, but have risen to over 35,000 as a result of increased speeds on our freeways. On the other hand, firearms homicides have increased in the last two years, from a previous low. AS I recall, there were 13,000 last year, such that the “gun violence” statistic is closer to the motor vehicle deaths than this chart would suggest.

      1. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

        More likely due to distracted driving…tablets…cell phones…etc

        1. avatar Jason says:

          Another statistic out there is that 11 school-aged kids die each DAY due to distracted driving… each DAY. If it only saves one life, right?

        2. avatar tmm says:

          Right, I’m thinking distracted driving is a more likely component. We’ve had “greater” highway speeds for a while… I don’t know how many people remember when the feds could no longer tell us how fast we can drive.

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Tobacco and Diet/Activity are suicide too, it’s just more gradual.

  4. avatar Swarf says:

    How is getting shot a “preventable lifestyle”?

    I mean, I guess since 2/3 of those are suicides, offing yourself might technically count as a lifestyle choice. Like Goth or Vegan. Dead.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      “STDs” being Aids/HIV = lifestyle choice for suicide

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Pissing off the cops: preventable
      Pissing off the rival gang: preventable
      Pissing off a homeowner during a break-in: preventable
      Pissing off a mugging victim: preventable

      Gun deaths actually are almost all preventable, since the vast majority of this nation seem to have no problem evading death by firearm in all but a tiny handful of circumstances that aren’t criminal. Accidents of all types are at a record low…and that’s really the only kind of gun fatality that isn’t suicide or criminal. Criminal behavior is preventable (that’s the whole premise behind our system of laws, after all)

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Yes, but “gunshot victim” isn’t a lifestyle choice.

      2. avatar Toni says:

        Pissing off Cops
        Pissing off Rival Gang

        i thought those were pretty much the same thing

        as for gunshot victim not being a lifestyle choice Swarf though i agree with you that that might not be what they had in mind upon embarking on their life of crime, but it is and should rightfully be a part of that lifestyle choice as they are by so doing removing by force others rights

  5. avatar W says:

    While the opioid epidemic skyrocketed, the cool, sophisticated limousine liberals and media elite screeched about gun control. Today, firearms homicides are about 1/4 of opioid ODs and 1/6th of all ODs.

    Way to go Bloomberg, Schumer, Feinstein, & Co.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      The hop heads and meth monkeys are easier to control than free armed folk.

      1. avatar barnbwt says:

        No, they just don’t vote Democrat is all, so there’s no incentive for Dem bureaucrats to steer federal money into those districts; all that’d do is allow corrupt Republican locales to dip into that cash

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Where was this opioid crisis when Barry was in the Whitehouse? Suddenly discovered in 2017.

      1. avatar Craig in IA says:

        Obama’s regime was likely what encouraged people to take them… 🙂

  6. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    and combo booze/ drug fueled vehicle fatalaties? a separate subset.

  7. avatar J says:

    Of the 2,712,630 total deaths in 2015 (CDC), firearms make up less than 1 percent of the deaths in the United States each year. There was a total of approximately 11,000 deaths from firearm homicides according to CDC and FBI data for 2015. The rest of the firearm deaths were from approximately 20,000 suicides in 2015 (CDC). The firearm related deaths have remained at these levels for approximately 10 years or more.

  8. avatar john nm says:

    CDC reports Drug-induced death 55,403, Motor vehicle accidents deaths 37,757
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_06.pdf Pages 33 – 34

  9. avatar barnbwt says:

    Let’s be real, folks; a TON of the numbers for these various other means of death are from suicides same as the 2/3rds of the number for firearms. People jump into traffic, eat until their feet rot away, drink/poison themselves, and for damn sure shoot up in a dedicated campaign of self-destruction aka suicide.

    I think that of all the misleading stats we see about guns out there, this one is probably the closest to a legitimate inclusion of suicide stats in the gun column. More improper is the likely inclusion of *justified* homicides, since to my knowledge there is no such analogue in the other categories (I suppose lethal injection falls under drugs, but I doubt anyone’s been sentenced to be fed to death or was lawfully run over because they deserved it, lol)

    1. avatar john nm says:

      Lethal injection falls under Legal intervention 530 deaths

  10. avatar Pg2 says:

    Firearm deaths are dwarfed by most causes of death. Medical care is the official 3rd leading cause of death in the US, very likely the 1st cause of death if the numbers were accurately reported.

  11. avatar Pg2 says:

    Also, this chart is unreferrnced. Where do these numbers come from? Death by germs? What does that even mean? Does that include iatrogenic infections caused by germs in hospitals? Joke.

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Funny someone brought up smoking as gunowners are becoming the “new” smokers. Politically incorrect…I’m 64 and I’ve seen a sea change in attitude. We have to win this one guy’s. Organize like the leftards. Like when Trump was elected.

  13. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    abortions:600,000+ per year
    put that into the equation as well

  14. avatar MarkPA says:

    Suicides, and particularly gun-suicides are a topic that we PotG ought to pay more attention to.

    Suicidal behavior might be constructively partitioned into 3 parts:
    – successful, by gun
    – successful, by means other-than-gun
    – unsuccessful (nearly always by means other-than-gun)

    Taking them in turn:

    Gun suicides are successful because they are ubiquitous in America AND, they are the original point-&-click device best suited for accomplishing the intended task. We ought to be concerned because they undermine the population of gun-voters directly, and indirectly by focusing unwarranted attention on the tool (distinguished from the underlying problem).

    Successful suicides by means other-than-guns are equal in number to those by gun. Have you noticed that there isn’t a peep in the public consciousness concerning these cases? Isn’t that curious?

    Unsuccessful suicide attempts – nearly all by means other-than-gun – are many times more numerous than successful suicides. Not a peep concerning these cases. Observe that each of these represents a potential for success; should we be concerned for the volatility of the success rate? What if individuals with suicidal ideation discovered (e.g., internet) more effective means?

    What would be the most useful frame for understanding suicide? Count: only successful gun suicides? Only successful suicides regardless of means? All suicide attempts whether successful or not?

    Government, public-health professionals and mental-health practitioners manifest negligible interest in suicide attempts. For them, it’s sufficient for hospital ERs to refer suicidal patients to their personal physicians. These three want to concentrate on gun-suicides.

    And, we PotG indulge their frame: THE suicide problem is GUNS, and GUNS ALONE.

    Can we figure-out how this tactic works? Are we perfectly satisfied that GUNS ALONE are the exclusive focus for suicide?

    Can we PotG think strategically about this question?

    1. avatar john nm says:

      According to CDC stats, there are over 1.4 million attempted and successful suicides per year, 24000 are firearm related. Number one on attempts poisoning, this includes drugs.

  15. avatar jwtaylor says:

    These numbers are grossly off. The drug overdose number alone is triple what is reported in that graph. For instance, in 2016, more Americans died of drug overdose than did during the entire Vietnam War.

  16. avatar Kenneth says:

    This chart is quite inaccurate. The numbers for motor vehicles per 100K population are higher than for firearms(which still include suicides), not lower. The key weasel words are; “estimated numbers”, meaning they’re made up instead of using the actual statistics.
    Now doesn’t that seem a real strange choice in these days of big data and computers? Why would they choose to estimate when the actual numbers are readily available to anybody with internet access in seconds? Example:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year
    “(NHTSA) 2016 data shows 37,461 people were killed…”
    Inquiring minds would want to know why they would CHOOSE the number 25K when that is off by almost 70 percent.
    No engineer would call a number that far off an estimate. That far off is a WAG(wild ass guess). IOWs, meaningless…

    1. avatar Toni says:

      that is because the people that come up with these WAG’s are not real engineers but “social engineers” IOW they are there to change the course of history by changing peoples minds about things that the “social engineers” dont like (mostly due to their lust for power) so they can get control over the people they put that information in front of. we need to find a way to blitzkrieg their misinformation and deliberate lies and make them accountable for such. this applies to all countries around the world and not just the US. for me i dont personally care if it has to come to civil war to make that change (although i agree it is a last resort and not a first) but for me i hold liberty in far higher regard than i do life. without liberty life is without taste colour or sound to me. it is like a flat line on a heart monitor

  17. avatar Rickster A-15 says:

    Firearms are higher on the chart than drug abuse , I find that very hard to believe. Don’t believe everything you read !!

  18. avatar raptor jesus says:

    It doesn’t mean guns don’t kill people. This is what’s called a “straw argument.”

    The better argument is that the numbers of people killed by guns needs to be broken up to reflect intentional homicide, negligence, and suicide.

  19. avatar Maxi says:

    Ermmm, ‘scuse me? Could we add suicide on that list and then only have firearm homicides for 8000 a year?

  20. avatar Craig in IA says:

    I have to believe that “natural causes” is the highest reason of death everywhere, not just in the US… Let’s really pull together to lower that one. 🙂

  21. avatar Mike in OK says:

    They should replace the category “Firearms” with “Criminal Activity” or something else to indicate a “gangster/ thug” lifestyle. I’m surrounded by firearms all the time, yet my odds of being killed by one are very slight, but people engaged in criminal activity are far more likely to die a violent death, regardless of the type of weapon used.

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