Let's Take A Closer Look at Gun Deaths in the United States

This is the kind of emotional rhetoric and propaganda promoted by the progressive liberal anti-gun movement:

"Over 11,000 people died from guns this year, Over 200 were children. 2014 needs to be the year we put pressure on the House to represent our desires to tighten gun safety, background checks, penalties for unsecured weapons and limit weapons of war on the streets!"

But let's dissect the facts, and remove the emotions from the equation, shall we?

There are roughly 32,000 gun deaths per year in the United States. Of those, around 60% are suicides. About 3% are accidental deaths (less than 1,000). About 34% of deaths (just over 11,000 in both 2010 and 2011) make up the remainder of gun deaths. Sometimes the 32,000 and 11,000 figures are used interchangeably by gun control advocates. Clearly, the 32,000 figure is a far more dramatic number and is often used for impact. These numbers are also regularly compared to other countries' gun statistics. But are they true? Here, we will examine some of the most common gun control arguments used and put those figures into perspective.

To hear gun control advocates speak, one would be led to believe that gun violence is a widespread problem whereby the mere existence of a gun is as much a problem as the person who intends to wield it. But the reality is that gun homicides are overwhelmingly tied to gang violence. In fact, a staggering 80% of gun homicides are gang-related. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), gang homicides accounted for roughly 8,900 of 11,100 gun murders in both 2010 and 2011. That means that there were just 2,200 non gang-related firearm murders in both years in a country of over 300 million people and 250 million guns.

The 2,200 figure is perhaps the most relevant of all gun statistics in the gun control debate given that the gun control laws are specifically targeted to this segment.  Most of the gun laws are aimed at a segment of the population that is mostly law-abiding and outside of the gang culture and would likely do little to stop any of the violence.

Suicide is often a secondary reason gun control advocates use for wanting to "control" guns. It is true that roughly half of suicides in America are done by use of a firearm. The suicide rate in Japan (where guns are almost nonexistent) is more than twice the United States' suicide rate. The US suicide rate is about the same as Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and Iceland and well below France and Greenland. In reality, suicide rates seem to have little to do with the availability or accessibility of guns.

Most gun legislation is politically motivated and not logical. Politics is often a processed-based and not results-oriented exercise, where "doing something" is often rewarded more than actually ever accomplishing anything.