Guns and Gun Deaths in the United States: By the Numbers:

gunsIt’s hard not to feel like America is full of gun-toting nutjobs whose only purpose is to kill others, in the wake of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, CT last week. The media plays it up, as do the politicians. Along with those two factors, the rest of the world just can’t wait to shove it in American faces about how low their gun death rates are compared to America’s. Unsurprisingly, those arguing AGAINST guns seem quite unwilling to countenance the actual, statistical information regarding guns and gun-related deaths in America.

Oddly enough, the website, (GP)which is hosted by the Sydney School of Public Health at Sydney University, has a number of remarkable stats regarding gun ownership and gun related deaths in the United States.

According to GP, the estimated number of civilian gun owners in the US is approximately 270 million. America’s total population, from the latest census data, is approximately 311 million. Now, the gun numbers probably don’t account for single individuals owning multiple firearms, but, assuming it means that’s one gun for one person all the way through, almost 3/4 of the population of the US legally owns a gun. So we are indeed a gun-toting nation, if you will, but not necessarily a violent gun-toting nation.

Also at GP are the numbers of gun-related deaths. When compared to the two stats mentioned above, the actual truth is that gun-related deaths are essentially statistically insignificant. Most of the stats to be shared below are drawn directly from this page.

Yearly Gun Homicide Totals dating back to 2009:

  • 2009 : 9,146
  • 2008 : 9,484
  • 2007 : 10,129
  • 2006 : 10,225
  • 2005: 10,158
  • 2004 : 9,385
  • 2003 : 9,659
  • 2002 : 9,369
  • 2001 : 8,890
  • 1999 : 8,259
  • 1998 : 9,257

So, for the last 14 years, in this nation of 311,000,000, we’ve topped out at a little over 10,000 gun-related homicides in any given year. But again, listen to the media, the politicians, or the rest of the world, and you’d believe that people are going around murdering each other with guns like it’s a hobby.

Rate of Gun Homicide, per 100,000 people: 

  • 2009 : 2.98
  • 2008 : 3.12
  • 2007 : 3.36
  • 2006 : 3.42
  • 2005 : 3.43
  • 2004 : 3.20
  • 2003 : 3.3
  • 2002 : 3.25
  • 2001 : 3.12
  • 1999 : 2.97
  • 1998 : 3.37
  • 1993 : 7.07

Once again, the numbers are infinitesimally small but, you wouldn’t know that because of the way the narrative is sold through the media and their masters, the politicians.

Number of Unintentional Gun Deaths : 

(I’m not sure why there are only two years for this set, but that’s how GP has it set up).

  • 2005 : 789
  • 2001 : 802

Rate of Unintentional Gun Death, Per 100,000 People : 

  • 2005 : 0.27
  • 2001 : 0.27
  • 1993 : 0.59

Now, pointing this out is not meant to denigrate the lives lost, or the tragedy that surrounds those lives lost. But, for whatever reason, our media finds this narrative unpalatable and refuses to report on it, even with their failing claims of “objective” reporting.

But, if the time IS now for an honest and difficult conversation about guns in this culture, you would hope that the numbers shared above would be part of the discussion. Unfortunately, it feels like the conversation is going to be ran by emotion, if social media is any gauge of how things are in these days following the loss of those children and teachers in Newtown.

Regardless, the United States IS NOT a nation full of gun-toting, homicidal maniacs. Most guns in this country probably go unused, or if they aren’t, are only used for recreation.


5 Responses to “Guns and Gun Deaths in the United States: By the Numbers:”

  1. Everybody wants to ban everything. I’m sick of it.

    Why would anybody need a semi-auto? Well, when my brother is facing a herd of feral pigs, I don’t think a can of pepper spray is going to keep those 300 pound critters from wrecking his farm. And coyotes have a thing for young calves.

    Nobody in my life has died of gunshots. Even the one who was murdered wasn’t killed with a gun, though if she’d had a gun, maybe she’d still be alive. Most violent deaths in my experience have been caused by drunk drivers. I know! Let’s ban alcohol!


  2. Proof that statistics never lie but often don’t tell the truth. I live near a small market town in the West of England called Marlborough. It has many nice shops and pubs, a beautiful wide high street, some medieval buildings and some recent housing estates. It has a famous public school. Taken together the population is about 10,000 (including the thousand or so 11-18 year olds at the school). At this “acceptable” rate of homicide, that town would be completely emptied every year. EVERY YEAR. A ghost town a year. Horrific, uncivilised, brutal.

    It may only be a small percentage but it is 10 THOUSAND human beings.

    You may accept it as a percentage but I thank God every day that I live in a country that doesn’t.

    • I appreciate your feedback Pete. I understand that the numbers listed above are still far too many, but my main point with this post was to try and point out that the narrative pushed by the media in my country is absolutely false at its worst, and disingenuous at best.

      All that being said, there is obviously something that needs to change in my country. What that is, though, still remains mostly hidden, I think.

  3. David Platts Says:

    Your data is faulty. Please, do comparative analysis with other developed nations in firearm murder, firearm death and total murders. Then, do a graph of the results. Further, I suggest you add Massachusetts, Hawaii and New Jersey as these three states have a registration/permit process on all repeating firearms (similar to such regulations in all developed nations), the graph is linear and the only outlier on the graph is the U.S. as a nation.

    Most data against this concept is historical data of a nation improving against itself. Useless! Doing work like this is like comparing the worst student in class against himself annually. If the end result is the child goes from a zero against the other students and 10 years later rises to 35% in the grading process, the child is still failing. The only reliable data is to measure the child against other children. This will tell you if a tutor is necessary. Providing worthless self comparative data tells us nothing. Comparative analysis against other developed nations/states with similar regulations gives worthwhile data.

    The U.S. murder rate, firearms murder rate and the firearm death rate are horrid in comparative analysis. No excuse in worthwhile. Provide simple registration on all firearms or a permit process doing the same with database provided to applicable local law enforcement. Allow time for the “medicine” to do the work-at least, 10 years. Over time, I assert the rates will decline slowly but they will decline. Forget the reasoning why it doesn’t matter. It works. I could give you the reason why but do you want to know the reason why certain epidemics are purged from society (i.e. cholera, smallpox)? No! You are glad you are not afflicted by these nasty deadly diseases. Firearms have become an epidemic where the result is death in the U.S. Let’s fix it!

    One more thing. I own two firearms. I have no problem in submission to permit or register these weapons. Weapons are not removed. They, are, however, removed from fear of being subjected to a process. Good. Unreliable people appear to stand clear of such processes. Unfortunately, the ability to acquire the large arsenal of weapons will exist for years. These will slowly reduce in time. In the meantime, I will retain firearms as a responsible citizens who has no problem with being “well regulated”(second amendment of the U.S. Constitution within the bill of rights).

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