Friday, January 11, 2013

You Do The Math - Death By Gun vs Hammer

You Do The Math - Death By Gun vs Hammer

I've seen all sorts of pro-gun statistics going around lately on the internet, in a reaction to all the anti-gun stuff in politics and talk shows.  Here's an example:

I wasn't too sure I could believe this because 10 years ago when I compiled a list of ways that people die in the US, and the quantity of each type, I remembered that guns killed about 11,000 while hammers weren't listed.

A quick search at show murder statistics by weapon.  It's very enlightening.  Turns out that the above statistic includes ALL rifles and ALL blunt instruments.  Since assault rifles only account for a subset of "rifles", then the above photo makes assault rifles seem worse than they really are.

Here are the FBI stats for homicide in 2010:

Total:                                               12,996
total firearms                                      8,775
hand guns                                                        6,009
rifles                                                                   358
shotguns                                                             373
other guns                                                            96
unspecified                                                      1,939
knives (cutting instruments)               1,704
blunt objects (hammers, clubs, etc)       540
personal weapons (fists, feet, etc)         745
poison                                                  11
explosives                                              4
fire                                                       74
narcotics                                               39
drowning                                              10
strangulation                                        122
asphyxiation                                          98
other weapon (not stated)                     874

See 2006 through 2010 here:

One problem... there are almost 2,000 gun murders where the gun was unspecified.  That leaves the door open for assault rifles.  However, judging by the fact that handguns are used in 6,009 out of 8,775 murders, they are less expensive and really easy to conceal compared to an AR-15 that is a yard long, I would have to make an educated guess that hand guns also account for 2/3 of those 2,000 unspecified guns.

That leaves 667, of which half are probably shot guns and the other half are rifles.  So, no more than 333 (added to the 358) are rifle murders.  This adds up to 692.  Compare that to murders carried out by fists and feet:  745.

It's very clear that America does not have an assault rifle problem, but a murder problem.

If we don't know what percentage of these rifles are assault rifles, how about measuring the hype that comes from the press about mass slayings in general?  There were 12 killed at the Batman movie, 26 killed at Sandyhook Elementary School, and 2 killed at the food court in Portland Oregon.  Forty that I know of, probably less than 50 total were killed in 2012 in these publicized mass slayings.  Compare that to the leading causes of death in the US in 2010:

Of the top 15 causes, only 2 are not an illness:

accidents: 118,043
suicides:     37,793

In a normal year, you are 1,000 times more likely to kill yourself on purpose than be killed by an AR-15 in a mass slaying.  Accidentally, you are 3,000 times more likely to die.

In the top 8 ways to die accidentally, firearms accounted for 570 out of 126,100 in 2010:

This chart leaves 13,130 accidental deaths unspecified.  It omits categories for bleeding and from head trauma.  How many of those 13 thousand are from hammers?

Obviously, the photo with the AR-15 is misleading, because we all know that gangs use the AK-47, hand guns, the Uzi assault rifle, etc.  Why?  The AR-15 is too big and too cumbersome to shoot from the open window of a moving ricer (like the Honda Accord or a Subaru WR-X turbo).

Here are total gun deaths in 2008:

Notice that suicides are over 18,000 while murders are 33% less.  And cops only killed 328, so don't get all anti-cop on me.  But, I digress.  The point is that there are 12,000 gun murders to account for.  How many of those are from assault rifles?  How many of those are in self defense?  If you don't watch Fox News you will rarely if ever hear about these "murders".

The one you may have heard about is the trigger-happy housewife.  She was with her two kids hiding in the crawl space when an intruder not only broke into her home, but decided to climb down into the crawl space to get his next victims.  Fortunately, she shot him 5 times in the face, and lived to tell her story.

In Joe Biden's words, "if it will save just one life", I think we should keep guns legal.

What we are missing so far are murders without guns:

In 2008:
murder by firearms:  12,179
total murders:           16,465
violent crimes:      1,394,461

Two points here.  A fourth of all murders were not by firearm.  Maybe hammers account for some of that fourth (4,286).  Also, there were well over 100 times more violent crimes (forcible rape, aggravated assault, etc.) than gun murders.  That seems like good news, in a way.  Unarmed women and seniors may be able to defend themselves with a little training and/or a simple weapon like a walking stick or a pencil to the eye.

Heck, looks like you are more likely to die on the bus or in an airplane crash than by an AR-15 in a mass slaying.  And we all know how safe flying is!

Automobile deaths far outpace airline deaths.

Just being a pedestrian has more deaths per mile walked than deaths pr mile driven.  It's actually safer to drive than walk.

deaths from collisions between vehicles: 13,900
deaths from collisions with pedestrians:     5,400

If Americans drive 10,000 miles a year, compare that to walking a mile (20 minutes), 3 days a week.  That's 52 times 3 = 156 miles.

13,900 deaths / (310,000,000 Americans * 10,000 miles) = .00000000448 deaths per mile driven
  5,400 deaths / (310,000,000 Americans *      156 miles) = .000000111     deaths per mile walked

You are 25 times more likely to be killed as a pedestrian than as a car driver.  That's only if Americans walk 3 miles a week in traffic.  That's a big IF.  New Yorkers probably don't walk that much in the road.  Most of us don't walk any.

Occupational deaths are similar to non-occupational, where accidents outweigh murders by a 5.6 to 1 ratio.

And of these murders, a fifth were not by firearms, since 401 were from guns while 105 were from other implements, such as knives and hammers.  Interestingly, 402 accidental deaths were from being struck by an object (263 falling objects and 36 flying objects).  Some of these could be hammers, but the point is, there was 1 more death by accidentally flying/falling objects than by intentional gun murder.

**** added Memorial Day, 2013 ****

I wish I had FBI stats to back up the following, but I've read a few web sites over the years about the 50 or 60 children killed each year when BACKED over in their own driveway, or the 110 backed over overall.  Now it seems to be over 200, according to this USA Today article:

It's such a big problem, even what's his name on RockCenter ( NBC?) did a 5 or 10 minute investigative report on the stats, and interviewed a woman who backed over her daughter at the bank.

Now, if the "liberal press" is willing to expose a problem that ANNUALLY kills TEN times as many kids as were killed ONE TIME at Sandyhook Elementary, then you know darn well it's a big problem.

200    children killed ANNUALLY when backed over by a car, truck, SUV or van
  20    children killed once at Sandyhook Elementary

And another thing...   why is it that the bank in Moore, Oklahoma had a tornado-proof vault to protect cash and their workers, but the elementary schools did not have a small basement for the kids?  Don't dare tell me it would get wet and icky, NBC.  It's really because the stupid teacher's union sucks all the damn money.

****  end of added section ****

In summary:

* almost as many kids are killed by cars in reverse gear as Americans are killed by assault rifles

* hammers don't account for more murders than guns, but probably more than the AR-15

* you are 3 times more likely to commit suicide (by any means) than be murdered by a gun

* accidents account for almost 4 times as many deaths as all gun deaths combined (murder, suicide, accident, cops)

* accidents pale in comparison to illness!!

So, eat healthy, exercise, look both ways, and be careful not to kill yourself, either accidentally or on purpose.


Redfred said...

Good job, interesting read and without knowing your politics it seems to be a fair minded well reasoned post. The one stat that trumps all right now (rightly or wrongly) is number of Sandy hook kids killed by AR-15 = 20 # killed by hammers = unknown, but probably less than 20.

WoodHugger said...

Well, I found the FBI page that states rifles of all kinds killed 358 in 2010, while all blunt instruments killed 540.

PatrioticGunOwner said...

guys, you are comparing the results of one specfic type of gun, vs every weapon OTHER than stabbing weapons...because really, you have your hands, you have stabby type weapons, you have blunt weapons, and you have guns.

so in the simplest of terms, what other result would you expect when you take one specific type of firearm within a broad range and compare it to the entirety of another range of weapon??? just because a JA Henkles fillet knife was only used in 2 deaths last year, doesnt mean that everyone should be able to carry longswords.(stat completely made up to prove a point)

This being said, guys...we will win no battles in the hearts and minds of non gun owners with such amazingly skewed logic. get off the numbers, as the numbers work against our goal...dont try and play americans as fools.

We should focus on training, on education...this type of skewed argument only serves to color us ignorant yahoos, who will stop at nothing to prove our point. most gun owners i know are law abiding, educated, intelligent people with a deep sense of patriotic pride.

arguments like this lessen the ideals we hold true.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for the anti-AR-15 whackos, the AR-15 was NOT used at the Sandyhook shooting. His stolen AR-15 was lock in the trunk of his car. He used two handguns to do the killing. The Obama press worked mightly to say it was an AR-15, but the cops and forensics proved the AR-15 was not involved.

Anonymous said...

What does knowing his politics have to with your assessment of his post? I think it's a good read especially because you can't determine his politics. I don't need someone to tell me what to think. Just present the facts and logical deductions and i can judge or conclude what makes most sense to me based on the data.
Excellent read.
Ps. Non gun owner that loves this country.

Hondo James said...

@Redfred Interesting you don't see 20 children murdered by an over drugged poorly managed mentally ill child that his mother failed his Dr. failed and the drug companies poisoned. Focusing on AR-15s will only guarantee it will happen again. What a disservice to children everywhere. Stick your head in the ar-15 sand because they obviously are the cause.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Read! Will definately share this with friends & co-workers!

Tom in Rockwell NC

WoodHugger said...

Thanks for the compliments. For the record, my politics are based on facts, logic and math.

As far as feelings are concerned, I get really pissed when politicians lie about facts, logic and math.

As far as personal subjectiveness is concerned, I couldn't possibly have my politics governed that way. If I did, I would be petitioning everyone to be cheap white trash, because it saves money, saves the environment, and drives down prices through the law of supply and demand. Hey, I smell my next blog... can you smell it? White trash saves the planet!

WoodHugger said...

Hey PatrioticGunOwner... This math helps congresspersons see the truth... no need to ban assault riles when their Escalade is a bigger killer.

Also, it helps the citizenry overall, from the minute they roll out of bed until they finally finish the day and go back to bed and have that one last smoke.

And why can't I carry a long sword? Ill need it to protect me from a Kenyan Muslim terrorist with a butcher's knife.

Andy Austin said...

Um.. people are making some assumptions about me from my comment. I was commending the author on a fair minded well reasoned post that seemed to spam the whole political spectrum. At the time of posting there were many others making rants and raves that were far from objective. My comment on the one stat that mattered was more of a reflection on the mood of the time rather than anything else. for the record I am not a gun control freak, nor do I call for the ban of guns in general or AR-15s specifically.

WoodHugger said...

Austin, did I "spam" or "span" the whole political spectrum? I wouldn't mind spamming all the politicians in the country. I'll sell them the same crap they sell us. LOL

Anonymous said...

Only problem I see here is that the AR15 is not an assault rifle. It is a semi automatic rifle.

Brent Garvey said...

The reason why they compare ar15s and such is because that is the type the left keeps trying to ban. This demonstrates that the type they try to ban is no where near as much of a problem as they make it out for their tunnel visioned agenda