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View Full Version : How common are accidental firearms injuries?


curtisfong
10-29-2009, 9:17 PM
With tragic stories like the one below, it is tempting to believe that banning guns would make the world safer. But just as keeping the finger off the trigger and not pointing a gun at somebody would have saved this boy’s life, basing public policy on unsubstantiated, emotional reaction can create unintended consequences.

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) — Bartlesville police say a 17-year-old boy has been killed in what appears to be an accidental shooting…
A friend who was with the boy and called police said they were looking at a shotgun when it accidentally fired.


Between 1984 and 2006 (latest data available) the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded a 69.6% drop in the rate (per 100,000 population) of accidental firearms fatalities. During the same time period, the accidental non-firearms fatality rate increased 7.9%. Moreover, in 1984, accidental shootings accounted for 1.8% of all fatal accidents; by 2006, firearms comprised 0.5%, a 71.4% drop.

Most telling, between 1984 and 2006, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that a total of 112,235,449 firearms were sold to civilians: 50,051,152 handguns, 36,511,192 rifles, and 25,773,105 shotguns.

The CDC has only been tracking annual non-fatal injuries since 2001. Between 2001 and 2008, accidental firearms injuries declined 8.8%, while non-firearms injuries declined 5.2%. Accidental shootings dropped from 0.064% to 0.062% of all non-fatal injuries.

Between 2001 and 2007–latest data available–Americans bought an estimated 36,021,308 firearms: 14,592,831 handguns, 12,935,087 rifles, and 8,493,390 shotguns.* Considering that firearms purchasing background checks rose 13.7% in 2008 and about 6.3 million firearms were sold in 2007, it is safe to say that the civilian firearms inventory increased in 2008.

Meanwhile, fatal and non-fatal firearms accidents declined, in raw numbers, rate and in percent of all injuries.

More guns, fewer accidental shootings.

* Manufacturing and export data compiled from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States International Trade Commission, and National Shooting Sports Foundation.

http://www.examiner.com/x-2879-Austin-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m10d26-How-common-are-accidental-firearms-injuries

Carnivore
10-29-2009, 10:41 PM
Hum the CDC didn't keep records until 2001 but they can compare records from 1984?

Cokebottle
10-29-2009, 10:54 PM
and about 6.3 million firearms were sold in 2007,
And another 2 million AK flats sold to Calgunners :D

Seriously... while home-builds are probably statistically insignificant, you also have active arms being returned to the "inventory" through gifting or sales by retired people who have decided to pass their arms along to the next generation.

I grew up with 5 rifles in my father's closet (the rifles were in the closet, I grew up in the house). I think we took them out a total of about 10 times between the time I was able to remember and 18. I took the .30-06 (Sears semi-auto!) out a couple of times while in college....
So effectively, those guns really didn't see active service or regular cleaning. They were always out of sight, out of mind. We all knew where they were, but we didn't drag them out of the closet even as teenagers.

When my parents moved to Texas a few years ago, they gave them to relatives in Utah, and they are now used regularly for hunting and plinking.

I'd betcha' that between these situations, plus off-the-record home builds, there's easily another million or so guns that list.

Mitch
10-30-2009, 5:58 AM
I have been looking at the CDC reports for years. The low number of accidental firearms related fatalities in this country is stunning (at fewer than 1,000 annually, it's almost statistically negligible in a nation of 300 million with some 200 million privately owned firearms). If you ask 100 gun owners how many accidental firearms related deaths there are annually in the US, almost all of them will suggest a figure far higher than the true one.

Since accidental firearms related deaths are so unusual, you can bet that accidents related to faulty guns themselves are virtually unheard of. And yet, in a state that does not even have an annual automobile safety inspection, we have the Safe Handgun Roster to defend Californians from firearms accidents that probably almost never happen anyway.

This is just another one of my favorite examples of how senseless most firearms legislation really is.

Cokebottle
10-30-2009, 10:30 AM
in a state that does not even have an annual automobile safety inspection, we have the Safe Handgun Roster to defend Californians from firearms accidents that probably almost never happen anyway.

Careful.... someone in Sacramento will read that and write a report that Calgunners want annual vehicle inspections.

johnny_22
10-30-2009, 10:33 AM
Careful.... someone in Sacramento will read that and write a report that Calgunners want annual vehicle inspections.

Struck down back in the 1970s by the courts. I think it was because of search and seizure issues (4th).

bigcalidave
10-30-2009, 1:00 PM
Wow that's a great article. Hell "they" make it seem like so many children shoot themselves each year that it's an epidemic! Oh wait, thats what they want people to believe.
If only there were tests... Independent third party testing of the legislature, specific to the topics involved in the bills before they were allowed to sign them. If they don't know **** about the bills they want to pass, they can't vote on them!

not-fishing
10-30-2009, 2:13 PM
What I want to know is how do you "accidentally pull the trigger"?

Especially when it's a double action handgun.

Or how do you "accidentally pick up the gun"?

oaklander
10-30-2009, 2:16 PM
Someone once asked me if I was worried about getting injured from my own guns. I said no, "I have a circular saw too, and I've managed not to cut my arm off yet."

Aldemar
10-30-2009, 3:01 PM
[QUOTE=Mitch;3290541

Since accidental firearms related deaths are so unusual, you can bet that accidents related to faulty guns themselves are virtually unheard of. And yet, in a state that does not even have an annual automobile safety inspection, we have the Safe Handgun Roster to defend Californians from firearms accidents that probably almost never happen anyway.
[/QUOTE]

Don't you occasionally slam your loaded Ca Approved Safe Handgun against the floor occasionally to insure the firing pin block is working? :D

After all, it's only there to protect us.

SgtDinosaur
10-31-2009, 7:41 AM
Unfortunately you can not regulate stupididty or ignorance. Perhaps the cause of gun safety would be better served by mandating gun handling education rather than gun control.

socal2310
10-31-2009, 8:39 AM
Don't you occasionally slam your loaded Ca Approved Safe Handgun against the floor occasionally to insure the firing pin block is working? :D

After all, it's only there to protect us.


Yep, round in the chamber and pointed at my head as an act of faith in my Messiah, The State.

Ryan

sierratangofoxtrotunion
10-31-2009, 8:55 AM
Big chart, I'll link it rather than having a massive jpg all over the screen...

JPG: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/Images/LC-Charts/10lc%20-Unintentional%20Injury%202006-7_6_09.jpg

or PDF: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/Images/LC-Charts/10lc%20-Unintentional%20Injury%202006-7_6_09-a.pdf

they were looking at a shotgun when it accidentally fired.

That's an unintentional firearm suicide. 16,883 in 2006.

Dying by accidentally falling happens more: 20,823, and dying in a car accident is... way more at 43k.

ETA: you know what, these stats are sketchy. This chart:
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/Images/LC-Charts/10lc%20-%20Violence%20Related%202006-7_6_09.jpg
says that ALL firearm suicides are 16,883, not just unintentional ones like the previous chart suggested. So that number I quoted earlier is actually much higher than the actual accidental deaths that we're looking for.

Uriah02
10-31-2009, 9:05 AM
what is classified as "unintentional suicide" they pointed a loaded weapon at self and didn't mean for it to go off?

sierratangofoxtrotunion
10-31-2009, 9:09 AM
what is classified as "unintentional suicide" they pointed a loaded weapon at self and didn't mean for it to go off?

The terms suicide and homicide in these stats only are for describing who did what. And unintentional suicide is somebody accidentally killed themselves. And unintentional firearm suicide would be stuff like people saying "look its not loaded" and putting it to their head and pulling the trigger and... yeah.

Note: I edited my previous post, as those stats I pulled up from the CDC look to be ALL firearm suicides, not just accidental ones.