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Richard Rider

33,000+ gun killings a year? Actually, 63% (21,000+) are SUICIDES.

Gun control advocates cite the total number of U.S. deaths from gunshots in their literature.  Fair enough. But they cultivate the image that these are deaths resulting from one person shooting another, intentionally or by accident.  That’s not right.

It turns out that 63% of U.S. gun deaths are suicides. According to Wikipedia, in 2013 there were 33,636 deaths due to “injury by firearms” (10.6 deaths per 100,000 U.S. citizens).[4] These deaths consisted of 11,208 homicides,[5] 21,175 suicides,[4] 505 deaths due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms use with “undetermined intent”.[4]

When the fact that most gun deaths are suicides is brought out, gun opponents fall back on their unsubstantiated claim that if only guns weren’t available, most of these suicides would never occur. But evidence suggests otherwise.

The U.S. DOES NOT HAVE A HIGH SUICIDE RATE. Japan, which bans guns, has a suicide rate more than double ours.

Indeed, among the 26 OECD “civilized” countries that track suicide rates — ALL of which have much, MUCH lower rates of gun ownership — the U.S. has the 9th lowest suicide rate.

Sigh. Facts are such troubling things.




ANOTHER THOUGHT:  Note that in the above breakdown of gun deaths, there’s no category for “righteous shootings” — cops shooting a violent armed felon, or civilians shooting perps in self defense.  Latest data (hard to get) indicates police shoot to death over a thousand people a year — most (but NOT all) are “good shootings.”

The number of civilian self defense fatal shootings that don’t result in criminal charges are VERY hard to pin down, but probably are 300 or less annually.  MOST of the value of civilian defensive gun use is the BRANDISHING of a weapon, a deterrent which usually puts an end to a threat or a crime.


Sadly, any such justified fatal shooting — civilian or police — is classified as a “homicide” in the stats above.  99% of the public would tell you that homicide is against the law.  Google “define homicide” and you’ll get this response:

Homicide:  the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder.

“he was charged with homicide”

synonyms: murderkillingslaughterbutcherymassacre


BOTTOM LINE:  Violence in America is indeed a real problem.  Guns are often used in violent, illegal acts.  But the gun grabbers undermine their credibility by misrepresenting the MAGNITUDE of the problem.