Archive for the ‘Guns – Firearms’ Category

How many gun-related deaths in the U.S. last year?

June 7, 2022

And while we’re at it, how many Fentanyl-related deaths?

With the understandable recent concern about gun-related deaths, I did some data digging.

For the record:

I consider each and every homicide to be a tragedy.

I have never owned a gun or shot a gun … and I have no plans to do either.

But, I do support Constitutional rights that are explicit in the Constitution.

Gotta follow “the science” and the data, right?

Pew — an unbiased source if there is one — has crunched the numbers, compiled mostly by the “scientists” at the CDC.


The answer to the headline question:

In 2021 — according to the CDC — there were 45,222 firearms-related deaths in the U.S.


The 45,222 is a much lower number than I expected … and drilling down further…


Suicides – Homicides

According to Pew & the CDC, more than half of the 45,222 gun-related deaths were suicides (24,292) …  homicides totaled 19,384 – about 50 each day.

There were 611 law enforcement-related gun deaths in 2021 (they’re lumped into the 3% “other” category).


Mass murders.

The Gun Violence Archive, an online database of gun violence incidents in the U.S., defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people are shot, even if no one was killed (excluding the shooters).

Using this broad definition, 513 people died in these incidents in 2020.

Pew’s conclusion: The fatalities in mass shooting incidents in the U.S. account for a very small fraction  of all gun murders that occur nationwide each year.



According to FBI data analyzed by Pew. Handguns were the instrument of death in the vast majority of gun-related deaths.

“Rifles” – the category that includes guns sometimes referred to as “assault weapons” – were involved in 3% of firearm murders.

Note: Though Pew doesn’t draw a correlation, it’s probably not coincidental that the “rifle” numbers and the “mass murder” numbers are essentially the same.


School Killings

According to James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University who has been tracking these events for decades and helps keep the AP/USA Today/Northeastern Mass Killing database:

School massacres like the one in Uvalde are exceptionally rare events. They actually occurred more often in the 1990s than recently.Source

Prof. Fox notes that school shootings are undeniable tragedies, but that “the annual odds that an American child will die in a mass shooting at school are nearly 10 million to 1, about the odds of being killed by lightning or of dying in an earthquake.” Source


Drug Overdose Deaths

For perspective, let’s draw a comparison…

According to WebMD – channeling the CDC:

U.S. deaths attributed to drug overdoses topped 100,000 last year for the first time.

Specifically, in 2021, drug overdose deaths increased 15% to 107,622 … more than double the number of gun-related deaths … and quadruple the number of gun-related homicides.

Fentanyl accounted for 71,238 deaths … almost 3 out of 4 drug overdose deaths

In 2022. with Fentanyl flowing freely across the southern border, it’s widely expected that Fentanyl-related deaths will soar.


Something seems out of whack, doesn’t it?

Almost everybody agrees that the mentally ill shouldn’t own guns …

March 6, 2018

But, the issue isn’t nearly as straightforward as it seems.

Everybody agrees that the Florida school-shooter shouldn’t have been allowed to buy a gun … and, that there was a strong case to take his rifle away from him.

More broadly, a Pew poll taken in March-April 2017 indicates that almost 9 in 10 Americans agree that “the mentally ill should be prevented from purchasing guns”.

That’s the highest level of agreement re: discussed changes to gun laws.


Since there’s overwhelming support, this one should be a slam dunk, right?

Not so fast …


Obama: Against mumbo jumbo … say, what?

October 6, 2015

During last Friday’s press conference, President Obama criticized opponents to his policies as having “half-baked ideas” and speaking “mumbo jumbo” …  and, he said that Congress should tighten gun control laws because “the polling says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws “ and “Congress should act on behalf of the majority”  Source

Yesterday, we commented on the majority rule part of the teaching moment …. pointing out that “acting on behalf of the majority” didn’t seem to be important for ObamaCare or the Iran Deal.

Perhaps the President has had a change of heart re: the will of the majority.

Or he, himself, may be spewing some mumbo jumbo.



Today, let’s dig a little deeper on the basic premise behind his call for action on stricter gun laws:  a majority of Americans favor such a move.


Obama: For majority rule, against mumbo jumbo …

October 5, 2015

Say, what?

During last Friday’s press conference, President Obama criticized opponents to his policies as having “half-baked ideas” and speaking “mumbo jumbo” …  and, he said that Congress should tighten gun control laws because “the polling says the majority of Americans understand we should be changing these laws “ and “Congress should act on behalf of the majority”  Source

Today, we’ll just deal with the last part: acting on behalf of the majority.

First, I was pleased to hear the President come out in favor of majority rule.

A couple of notable examples suggest that it’s a change of heart.

Let’s start with his Iran Deal.

What does the polling say?


According to a Quinnipiac University poll ….

American voters oppose  57% to 28%,  the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran …. 58% say the nuclear pact will make the world less safe.”


Looks like a majority to me.  A sizable majority.

But, full steam ahead…

Or, how about my predictable, favorite example ….


Nums: How many murders in Chicago since Newtown?

May 1, 2013

My eye caught a headline “Another murder near Obama’s home”.

The gist of the story:

A man was killed and another was wounded in a shooting early Tuesday in Hyde Park,

It’s the second shooting to happen near President Barack Obama’s home in neighboring Kenwood in about a week.

Last week 15-year-old Cornelius German was gunned down in the 5000 block of South Evans, less than a mile away from Obama’s house.

That got me wondering: how many murders have there been in Chicago since the Newton massacre.

Apparently, enough other folks ask the same question, so Slate has developed an infographic that provides a tally of murders by city since Sandy Hook.

The answer: 96 Murders in Chicago since Newtown. 


Think about that for a second … then continue reading.


Nums: Obama was right … it’s a matter of trust.

April 19, 2013

For the record: I love kids (especially my grandkids), I lived in the city adjacent to Newtown for 7 years, and I’m definitely not a gun hawk – I’ve never owned one, never shot one and don’t plan to do either.

I think most people are reading this week’s gun control vote all wrong.

First, it’s repeatedly reported that 80% to 90% of Americans support background checks.

That’s probably true, but a practical  overstatement because “while about 80 percent of those Americans think that background checks sound like a reasonable idea, they don’t really care much …   only 4 percent of Americans consider guns to be the “most important” issue facing the country.” NRO

Second, I think that President Obama had it right a couple of weeks ago when he pitched: “People say they don’t trust the government.  But, we are the government.”

Yep, he has it right … people don’t trust government.

At least the Federal government.

Here’s some evidence …

A recent Pew survey shows that trust in government took a major hit during the Johns0n-Nixon-Ford-Carter years … and has been cycling around the 30% mark since … currently, a little over 20% of the population trusts the government.


Think about that for a moment …

Even assuming that – at an extreme – no Republicans trust the current administration … it means that less than half of all Democrats trust the administration.


Here are some more interesting nums …


Nums: Don’t ban assault rifles … ban hammers!

January 25, 2013

First, a couple of disclaimers: (1) I don’t own a gun, I’ve never fired a gun … and I don’t plan to do either in my lifetime (2) I’m pro-Constitution, so I hate it when Constitutional rights are stripped away … that’s a very slippery slope  (3) So, despite my personal aversion to guns, I’m not big on infringing other people’s right to own them (4) I love kids and I lived in Trumbull, CT … just down Rt.25 from Newtown … so, I took the school killings hard.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s look at the numbers to see how silly the DC debate has gotten.


Practically all of the political effort is on banning law abiders from owning assault rifles and high capacity ammunition clips.

Below is some FBI data that may surprise you …


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