High Drag, Low Speed

January 21, 2013

Overinflated statistics

Filed under: Gun Rights — hdls @ 6:35 am


Over at the Huffington Post a commentator, who goes by  the handle “Chi Man Sam”, makes the claim:

More than 500 children die annually from accidental gunshots. Some shoot themselves, while others kill friends or siblings after discovering a gun.

That pegged my bullshit meter. 500 is a pretty big number so I did a littlie checking and found this.

Keep in mind that the international standard for “childhood” ends at the 16th birthday. 16 to 21 year olds are “young adults, and over 21 are “adults.” Some gun control advocates have been known to use 65 as the cutoff age for childhood. With that caution, let’s look at the Center For Disease Control numbers for Childhood Deaths.

While the gun banners like to say 10,000 children a day, 500 a day, or some other absurd number of children die in firearms accidents, the Center For Disease Control counts death certificates and says the true number killed in a gun accident for 2010, the last year data is available, is just one and four tenths a week. And even that total includes a substantial number of childhood suicides that coroners have chosen to list as “accidents.”

You can click on the image on the right, where the total is given as 73, or go to the CDC’s WISQUARS site and confirm this chart. Scroll to the bottom, change to “top 20″ causes of death, set the age range to <1 through 15 and let the program do its thing. You will get a pair of vertical charts, and click on the bright blue “unintentional deaths” box to get a chart just like that one.

Quite a big gap between those numbers.


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