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Thread: Causes of Death in the US and Gun Control

  1. #1
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    I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I wanted to share some interesting statistics. These may come in handy the next time you're arguing with someone about guns being dangerous and needing to be heavily regulated.

    All the information here is from the most recent report from the CDC NCHS (that's the Center for Disease Control - National Center for Health Statistics). The data is a selection of 113 causes of death in 2005, and is subdivided into age groups, which is handy for our purposes. (I left them in the order I found them, if anybody cares)


    AGES 0-14 (Do it for the children!):
    Malignant neoplasms (cancer - excludes benign and undertermined): 1,425 deaths
    Influenza (yes, people die from the flu): 58 deaths
    Motor vehicle accidents: 2,340 deaths
    Accidental shootings: 75 deaths
    Accidental drownings: 810 deaths
    Homicide: 1,022 deaths
    Total of 113 causes: 39,789 deaths

    ALL AGES:
    Malignant neoplasms (cancer - excludes benign and undertermined): 559,312 deaths
    Influenza (yes, people die from the flu): 1,812 deaths
    Motor vehicle accidents: 45,343 deaths
    Accidental shootings: 789 deaths
    Accidental drownings: 3,582 deaths
    Homicide: 18,124 deaths
    Total of 113 causes: 2,448,017 deaths


    Now, before you get too eager to use this data, consider the following: how relative are the numbers?

    For example, in order to compare the number of auto-related deaths to drowning deaths, we must consider how much exposure one gets to each hazard. Most of us probably spend considerably more time driving than we do in/on/near bodies of water (though I'm sure we'd all rather be fishing). I doubt these numbers are available, so we introduce a subjective element to the equation.

    However, I still think these numbers can be powerful useful and persuasive.

    For example, let's say someone argues that we need to focus on gun control to reduce the mortality rate of children. We could point out that under the laws we already have, there are only 75 children killed by accidental shooting each year. More laws and millions (or billions) of dollars might save 1 or 2 childrens' lives. However, if we were to, for example, reduce speed limits on all roads to 15 MPH, we would undoubtedly save thousands of childrens lives! (Try to keep a straight face when they express their unwillingness to drive 15 MPH on the freeway, and then scoff at the inhumanity of valuing their precious commute time above the life of the child in the next car.)

    The point is, the world is a dangerous place. Guns made the list, but among 113 causes of death, guns account for 789 out of over 2 million. (That's 0.004% of all US deaths in 2005) In fact, of the 113 causes, accidental shootings only show higher mortality rates than 30 other causes. Among those 30, nearly all are medical issues that affect few people or are easily treated with modern medicine (e.g. measles, bronchitus). (The other two are undertermined shootings - which could be accidental or homicide - and 'legal intervention' - which includes any death caused by the government, such as capital punishment and officer involved shootings.)

    So, perhaps we can use this information to persuade others. Maybe we can get them to focus their energy on saving children with cancer, or coming up with ways to make the roads safer. Maybe we can even suggest that less restriction on self defense might reduce the number of homicides, as parents would be better prepared to protect their children.
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  2. #2
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    Stumbled upon this jewel today. Attached the PDF version for your enjoyment: US DOJ statistics from 2006 (the most recent) detailing response times to certain crimes.

    Interesting to note:

    If you were the victim of a robbery, you had a 8.8% chance the response time will be greater than 24 hours. Combining all three of the listed non-violent categories, only 1.9% of callers endured waits over 24 hours.

    If you were the victim of a robbery, there was a 34.7% chance that the cops responded in greater than 10 minutes, but only a 26.4% chance the cops arrived within 5 minutes of your call.

    If you were the victim of any of the 3 listed violent crimes, there was a (combined) 73.4% chance that the police are more than 5 minutes away.

    So, just in case a gun hater tries to argue, we have undeniable proof that "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away... or hours... or days..."


    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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  3. #3
    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    For the anti-gunners... facts don't matter... It's all about emotion. 'Seems to be the standard Liberal disorder when applied to anything.

  4. #4
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    CA Libertarian, thanks for finding these two sets of stats. Very interesting and important info to get out there.

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member MudCamper's Avatar
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    I know I'm preaching to the choir here,
    You sure are, but it's still an interesting read. Thanks!


    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    (Try to keep a straight face when they express their unwillingness to drive 15 MPH on the freeway, and then scoff at the inhumanity of valuing their precious commute time above the life of the child in the next car.)
    That is hilarious!



  6. #6
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    Statistics of California's 2,483 homicides in 2008 per the Modesto Bee.
    • Of the cases where the relationship was known (55% of cases), the victim was killed by a friend or acquaintance in 43% of those cases. 13% were killed by a spouse, parent, or child. 41% where killed by strangers.
    • The most common location for men to be killed was in the street or on the sidewalk (no word on school zones here).
    • The most common location for women to be killed was in their own home.
    Yet more statistical data that supports the idea of being armed at all times. Friends, family, and strangers are all potential threats. The home is not much safer than the sidewalk outside.

    ETA: Stanislaus County's homicide rate (5.6 per 100,000) was lower than the state's average (6.6 per 100,000). However, Modesto (population > 203,000) endured 20 of the 36 homicides that occurred in the county. Modesto's homicide rate was about 9.9 per 100,000, making living within city limits by far the most dangerous place in the county. (I couldn't find stats for big cities for comparison, but I'd be interested how we compare to Sac, LA, etc.)
    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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  7. #7
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    Would this help you?

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_08_ca.html

    California crimestats by city.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Statistically speaking, as far a violent crime goes, looks like Vernon, CA is the worst.

    Population 91

    Total Violent Crimes: 46

    506 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

    :what:



  9. #9
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    Note to self:

    Stay the hell out of Vernon, California

  10. #10
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Would this help you?

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_08_ca.html

    California crimestats by city.
    Yes, thank you. Note that the statistics there include only intentional and non-negligent homicides, so Modesto shows 9 fewer homicides on the FBI list. Since only 25% of cases are closed, the rest are in process or unsolved. Many of these may very well be intentional, but don't make the group since they are unresolved. For more accurate info, we may need to look at older data.

    According to the FBI numbers:

    Los Angeles = 10.2 homicides per 100,000
    Modesto = 5.5/100,000
    Participant in the Free State Project - "Liberty in Our Lifetime" - www.freestateproject.org
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    Don't Tread On Me.

  11. #11
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    Some would argue that 10 of 100,000 is low enough to not issue CCW. . . but think of this. . . 1% CCW issuance of 100,000 would be?

    1,000 CCW's/ 100,000 people. . . not good numbers for criminals were it to happen.

    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    Task Force 16 wrote:
    Would this help you?

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_08_ca.html

    California crimestats by city.
    Yes, thank you. Note that the statistics there include only intentional and non-negligent homicides, so Modesto shows 9 fewer homicides on the FBI list. Since only 25% of cases are closed, the rest are in process or unsolved. Many of these may very well be intentional, but don't make the group since they are unresolved. For more accurate info, we may need to look at older data.

    According to the FBI numbers:

    Los Angeles = 10.2 homicides per 100,000
    Modesto = 5.5/100,000

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