Injuries and Deaths from Firearms in the US in 2000

Since this came up I thought you might like to see the data.

NOTES: It would be interesting to look at the ratio of fatal to non fatal over long time spans (before/during/after transition to high quality trauma treatment in the US); I would like to see good data breaking down suicide by age that tracks along with the CDC surveys; Most importantly would be information of similar quality and sources indicating attempted suicide and successful suicide with means other than guns. From the numbers we do have, we can say that there is a bias towards minors in the suicide category, and non-gun attempts are successful less than half the time but gun-attempts are successful a large percentage of the time (which you can see on this table); What is key the current discussion is the nearly 24,000 people shot in this sample year by a gun by accident; The phrase “shot by cop” is probably an oversimplification.

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11 thoughts on “Injuries and Deaths from Firearms in the US in 2000

  1. What I find a bit strange is that ‘suicide attempt’ is (the major) part of the ‘violence related’ category.
    I mean – if I hit someone with a hammer I understand that that is violence – but if I hit myself, is that really violence?

  2. Why use outdated numbers when more current numbers are readily available? Both the Census and CDC’s numbers are far more current than you show. An overview of the FBI’s homicide numbers are here:

    These tables clearly show the effects of the gun control drive that began in 1963, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the repeal of ammunition registration, the Brady Bill, and the rest. It also shows the relatively rapid decline in violent crime as more states followed Floridas lead and issued Concealed Carry Weapons licenses. The 2009 rate is far lower than the average for Europe – and 2010’s numbers are expected to be lower still.


  3. Esa, I see what you mean. Consider, though, that this is compiled from the point of view of a disease/injury prevention and control agency. A person with a bullet in their neck because of suicide vs. accident vs an assault is still a person with a bullet in their neck.

    Stranger, the earlier comparison used part of the 2000 data, so I used the 2000 data. (see comments at link). The CDC data goes up to 2007 and is easily accessed. Your longitudinal observations are, obviously, very important.

  4. @2: What number do you think is far lower than the average for Europe?

    For comparison, here’s the 2009 US figures from your source vs. the equivalent figures for England and Wales (*), all figures per 100k population:

    Homicide: US 5.0, England 1.1

    Robbery: US 133, England 134

    Rape: US 29, England 27

    Burglary: US 716, England 965

    (For “aggravated assault” there appears to be no comparable category. For the categories I’ve compared, I’ve checked that the same definitions are in use to the greatest extent possible. My source is the Home Office Statistical Bulletin, “Crime in England and Wales 2009/2010 (Third edition)”.)

    (* – England and Wales rather than the UK as a whole because Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own legal systems and statistics, which are not always directly comparable)

  5. @Stranger: You can’t simply compare violent crime rates in the US to most other nations because the US does not include simple assault as a violent crime. Guess what is more common than every other violent crime put together. That’s right, simple assault.

  6. Does the data go back further. I wonder about generational effects on this sort of data as attitudes change over 30 year periods. Of course for intentional gun violence you can’t beat the 1920s and 1930s when prohibition made the booze trade illegal, and since business disputes could not be resolved in a law court they went to the gun and the street (see Last Call for details). (Come to think of it, what does that say about drug prohibition??)

  7. Lyle, there are data for many years, but it is not all collected in the same way and categorized in the same way. The data I show here and in the other posts (look just downstream) are very clean and neat data. There are interesting long term trends, including, as you point out, the fact that gun injury as an outcome of violence had some peaks in the past that would make anyone today in the US feel pretty good about the present era.

  8. (2000) â??The leading causes of death in 2000 were tobacco (435,000 deaths; 18.1% of total US deaths), poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths; 16.6%), and alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths; 3.5%). Other actual causes of death were microbial agents (75,000), toxic agents (55,000), motor vehicle crashes (43,000), incidents involving firearms (29,000), sexual behaviors (20,000), and illicit use of drugs (17,000).â?

    Yes, I know, it has nothing to do with guns. But again, you want to crusade against guns, that’s fine. But there are much larger threats to safety than guns in America.

  9. OgreMkV, asteroids are a much bigger threat than any of this. Why does any of it matter? Why does looking both ways before crossing the street matter if you might die of an asteroid strike?

    Why are you making this argument? It looks like you run a denialist blog. Are you faking it? Please explain what the hell you are up to here. Holy crap, man. Maybe someone is faking the URL.

  10. Someone is going to have to define or break down “violence related”. How much of that “violence related” is against strangers (e.g. armed robberies) and how much is against people the shooter knows (e.g. families, coworkers, people arguing over a topic)?

    I wouldn’t doubt it bears a strong comparison to rape. Most rape is committed by people the victim knows, not complete strangers grabbing them on the street.


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