Gun-related deaths in the USA


Statistics and causes

The definitive source for US injury death statistics is the mortality rate calculator (WISQARS) at the Centers For Disease Control National Center for Injury Prevention & Control website which provides statistics on all deaths by injury, not just gun deaths. To get the number of gun deaths for a year choose "Fatal Injury Reports" and then set the Cause of Injury to Firearm. If you only want to know the number of child gun deaths per year then choose the custom age range and input 0 years ( <1 ) as the lowest age and 17 years as the top age. Be sure to select "No Age-Adjusting Requested" if you are only interested in a particular age group.

Note that the CDC child gun death figures are typically half of the figures that the gun control lobby publishes. The difference is in the definition of a child. The gun control lobby counts young adults that are 18 or 19 years old as children, but they do not count 20 year olds as children. You can choose from one of two possible reasons, depending on your level of cynicism: 1. The standard CDC age groups used to go from 0-19, 20-39, etc and the gun control lobby couldn't figure out how to select a custom age group. 2. Counting 18 and 19 year olds as children doubles the number of so-called child gun deaths, and more child gun deaths means more support for gun control.

In 2007 there were 1520 gun deaths in the 0 through 17 age group (out of 74,340,127 children) and 3067 gun deaths in the 0 through 19 age group. By subtraction we find that there were a whopping 1547 gun deaths in just the 18 through 19 age group. In other words, in 2007 most "child gun death victims" were actually adults. Historically the 18 through 24 age group is the highest crime-committing group. At age 18 part-time drug dealers leave school and become full-time drug dealers. Despite the propaganda from the gun control lobby, criminals in general and drug dealers in particular are the group of so-called children most likely to be shot by their fellow criminals. You can verify this by reading the local gun death news stories in any city newspaper. School shootings are so rare that every one gets national television coverage, but drug dealers are shot so often that they are barely mentioned in their local newspaper.

For comparison, the figures for 1999 were 1776 gun deaths in the 0 through 17 age group and 3385 gun deaths in the 0 through 19 age group. 1609 gun deaths were in the 18 through 19 age group.

Older people's gun deaths are most likely to be suicides. Suicides typically make up 56.5% of all gun deaths in according to the information available circa 2006 at Bureau Of Justice Statistics. In fact, drugs and suicides account for more than 2 out of every 3 gun deaths in the USA.

Many of those suicides are drug related. Here is a quote from a Wall Street Journal newspaper article: "The study, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found an average of 178,423 ER (hospital emergency room) visits a year from 2004 to 2008 for drug-related suicide attempts involving people age 12 or older." Source: "Study Tracks Drug-Related Teen Suicides," Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2011, page D5.

The best way to prevent gun deaths is to treat depression and other mental illness, teach children not to sell or use illegal drugs, treat drug addiction, and have police concentrate on enforcing drug laws. However, the gun control lobby says that we should spend billions of dollars on gun registration and gun licensing instead of using the money to treat depression and combat drugs. Click here for some sensible ways to prevent gun violence.

The accidental gun death rate has been falling since 1930 and US accidental gun deaths per year were down to 613 by 2007, out of the 301,579,895 people in the USA, according to the CDC. For comparison, there were 29,846 accidental deaths by poisoning in 2007, again according to the CDC. Note that it is extremely easy to prevent accidental gun deaths by following Jeff Cooper's Four Rules Of Gun Safety. Click here for a free downloadable brochure that illustrates the four rules.


More resources

First check out the links on my Gun Safety and other firearms information page. You can also find more great gun-related links in My Bookmarks including gun safety, technical information, politics, why the Fifth Amendment allows convicted felons to ignore gun registration laws, the failures of the Brady Bill and other so-called "gun-control" laws, and gun and ammunition suppliers. Just look at the section under General > Guns.


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