While recent headlines might lead you to believe that accidental deaths from firearms are at an all-time high, the fact is they are at their lowest in decades - but unfortunately, the so-called “mainstream” media won’t report the truth.
As noted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in a blog post on the group’s website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is claiming that gun-related deaths in 2017 reached their highest level in the U.S. in 40 years.
As reported by Fox News:
In 2017, nearly 40,000 people were killed from gun-related incidents in the U.S., according to the data. By contrast, gun-related incidents accounted for less than 29,000 deaths in 1999.
The report went on to list some of the higher-profile shootings last year, such as the terrorist attack (because that’s what it really was) on 22,000 concert-goers in October 2017 in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people, and the following month when a former Air Force member killed 25 people at a Texas church.
Of the 40,000-odd recorded gun deaths, the CDC said half were due to suicides and just over one-third were homicides — and while any gun deaths are tragic, those figures are still very low proportionately in a country of some 320 million people and 90 million gun owners.
Also, according to the NSSF, “thankfully, the CDC breaks down the data by unintentional fatalities, homicides, and suicides,” thereby making “a careful review of the data possible.”
“And such a review is revealing,” the Second Amendment-supporting group notes.
Since 1999, the year referenced by the CDC, the agency’s own data show that the overall number of gun-related accidents are actually down more than 41 percent, though tens of millions more firearms have been purchased.
The CDC can and does manipulate gun data
The NSSF noted further:
Likewise, it’s understandably confusing when recent news articles proclaim that “guns killed more people than car crashes in 2017.” While this kind of clickbait is sure to get views, it is a deliberately misleading comparison of different data. In this article for example, the authors take the full sum of all firearms-related deaths, suicides, homicides and accidents, and compares it to car accidents. Why not compare firearms accidents to car accidents? Well that would show that car accidents occur at far higher rates (11.9 for cars compared to 0.1 for firearms).
There are more anomalies in the CDC data. For instance, the agency’s numbers show that the homicide rate is flat, but other research data show that the homicide rate in the U.S. has been on a downward trend — also a good thing.
The CDC data does reflect the fact that most gun-related deaths are suicides, and that’s been the case now for years. And in fact, gun-caused suicides are actually up in nearly every state, the NSSF notes.
“While even anti-gun extremists would have a hard time arguing that gun control laws would prevent these unfortunate but intentional acts, some will point to discredited studiesthat attempt to draw a link between gun control laws and suicide rates,” the NSSF noted.
“The fact is that there is no evidence showing a causal relationship between gun control laws and decreased suicide rates.”
There’s more as it relates to gun-related homicide rates. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, gun homicides are concentrated in a very few U.S. counties.
The center reported in April 2017 that 54 percent of counties in 2014 had zero murders, while just 2 percent of counties had more than half — 51 percent — of all gun-related murders that year.
Meanwhile, 69 percent of counties had no more than a single gun-related murder. The worst one percent of counties held 19 percent of the country’s population and featured 37 percent of all gun-related homicides, the center found.