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Thread: Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and The Truth

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

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    I've seen a very wide range of (mostly non-cited) statistics used on these forums.

    Here are the stats I use, many from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    Annual causes of death in the US (Source: Journal of American Medical Association, March 10, 2004, Vol 291, pp 1238, 1241):

    Tobacco: 435,000
    Alcohol: 85,000
    Motor vehicle crashes: 36,347
    Adverse reactions to prescription drugs: 32,000
    Suicide: 30,622 (33,000 in 2006 Source: US CDC)
    Firearms: 29,000
    Homicide 20,308
    Illicit drug use (direct and indirect): 17,000
    NSAIDs: 7,600

    Homicides due to handguns have varied around 10,000 (+4,000, -2,000) for thirty years, while homicides due to other gun types has slowly, but steadily declined from about 3,500 in 1976 to about 2,800 in 2003. Homicides due to knives and other methods has remained commensurate with those due to other guns, while blunt object homicide has remained steady around 1,000.

    Thus, out of 20,000 annual homicides:
    Handguns: 50%
    Other guns: 14%
    Knives: 13%
    Other methods: 12%
    Blunt objects: 5%

    Of all homicides, 18-24 year olds commit the highest number, around 28/100k, followed by 25-34 (14), 14-17 (10), 35-49 (6) and those over 50 (about 2). Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

    Yet another 9,000 people each year due to non-homicide use of guns:
    Hunting accidents:
    Home accidents:
    Justifiable shootings:

    Gun ownership: 25% of all adults, and 40% of American households own at least one firearm. Of 192 million firearms, 35% are rifles, 34% are handguns, 26% are shotguns, and 4% are other long guns. Source: NSPOF Survey.

    For violent crimes, guns are used 0.83% of the time in self-defense, and of those, 71% of the crimes were committed by strangers.

    In self-defence uses of guns, victems shot at the offender 28% of the time, and of those, 20% of the time it was by police officers (so 8% of the time it was by private citizens). Source: McDowell Study

    By contrast, Kleck's study says 2.45 million crimes are thwarted each year in the US, and in most cases, the potential victim never fires.

    I no longer have any confidence in the moderation or administration of this forum. Nonetheless, the First STILL protects the Second, and the Second protects the First! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents. If you're going to do anything at all, do it right!

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member
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    Nov 2009
    Greensboro, North Carolina, USA

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    Good stuff, thanks. It makes me think of the sad statistics that came out recently about crime in Europe done by the European Union. The United Kingdom didn't fair too well in those statistics, especially when compared to the United States of America. And to add, all across the Nation, there are news reports regarding local and state crime statistics showing that our crime has reduced by very large margins in the last couple of years.

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