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  •  Actually, (6+ / 0-)

    you wouldn't use the total population of the US.
    You'd use the estimated 35% who are gun owners, since those who don't own guns won't be shooting themselves or others- only perhaps getting shot.

    That's a figure about 109,869,914.

    Then you take the 72 people and divide by that number. .0000065%.

    How many go unreported? Accidental discharges that do property damage or escape consequence of any kind, but are still potetially lethal? There is no efficient way to estimate.

    Some estimates put gun deaths and woundings at about 10,000 per year. While that may be a small percentage of the total population of the United States, by what measure is 10,000 casualties per year acceptable?

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:38:58 AM PDT

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    •  I believe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      the 35% figure is households with a gun, not persons who own guns.

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:55:31 AM PDT

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    •  The gun violence impact is higher than that. (6+ / 0-)

      The Centers for Disease Control reports the number of gun deaths for 2011 (the most recent year that they have on their website) as 31,672. That rate was 10.3 deaths per 100,000 total population (a much more helpful statistic to report for easy comparisons than a decimal with a bunch of zeroes.) If instead you replace the denominator with gun owners, assuming they constitute the 35% of the population that has been reported based on recent surveys, you get 29.4 deaths per 100,000 gun owners.

      Injury rates are harder to ascertain than death rates, thanks to reporting limitations - so far the NRA has not succeeded in making it illegal to report cause of death as gunshot wound on death certificates, and those are, in principle, all reported to the CDC. But the CDC has a variety of sources including surveys and hospital discharge data. They reported, based on these sources, an average of 62,266 injuries per year during the period 2003-2007. (These are the ones serious enough to get you to a hospital or doctor for treatment.) If we combine those with the firearm death rate, we get 33 gun deaths per 100,000 population or 93 per 100,000 gun owners, every year. Over a 10 year period, that's about 1 death for every 300 gun owners, and one injury/death for every 100 gun owners.

      The annual death rate from guns is about in the same ballpark as the annual death rate from breast cancer or that from prostate cancer. This country has put a huge amount of effort into trying to understand and prevent cancer deaths. But gun advocates have put a huge amount of effort into obstructing national research and prevention efforts for gun deaths. This is wrong. It's time to change.

      •  Quick correction (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, SoCalSal

        Second paragraph should say 33 gun deaths + injuries. Numbers are right but units wrong.

      •  The most comparable cause of death (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal

        is probably automobile accidents.  Given the trend in auto accidents, accidental shooting deaths may well exceed automobile accident deaths within a few years.  Of course, many more people use cars than own guns--and cars are much more useful than guns.

        The differences in our responses are painfully obvious:  we require insurance, automobiles must meet safety standards,  drivers must be licensed and cars must be registered, and there are no special liability shields for automobiles.

        "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

        by Old Left Good Left on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:55:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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