Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gun Deaths Since 9/11

From PolitiFact where they checked out the following Doonsbury numbers.

"What are we like as a people?" Slackmeyer muses to himself in his studio. "Nine years, ago we were attacked -- 3,000 people died. In response, we started two long, bloody wars and built a vast homeland-security apparatus -- all at a cost of trillions! Now consider this. During those same nine years, 270,000 Americans were killed by gunfire at home. Our response? We weakened our gun laws."

We began by contacting Garry Trudeau, the cartoonist who has drawn Doonesbury for more than four decades. He got back immediately with a summary of his methodology.

"The final figure lacks precision, because it's extrapolated," Trudeau wrote us, noting, correctly, that the most recent data for gun deaths from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is from 2007.

"What I had were six years -- 2002-2007 -- of a remarkably stable number, around 30,000" gun deaths per year, Trudeau wrote. "So in my judgment, multiplying 30,000 times nine yielded a figure reasonable and accurate enough for rhetorical purposes without using hyperbole. If anything, it may be slightly on the low side."

We found that Trudeau was basically right.

I guess we could have told them that. But what do you think about the point? The point seems to be there's something wrong with having started two long bloody wars and having weakened our gun laws.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Most of them shot themselves intentionally, so I think it's kind of silly and dishonest to use the passive voice, as in "were killed."

    Then when you subtract out the gang members, drug dealers and career criminals, justifiable shootings etc., the picture really starts to change. And it's a heroic assumption that most of the other murderers (crimes of passion, domestic abusers) wouldn't have substituted other weapons.

    Gary Trudeau didn't really think this through.

  2. I thought it was 30,000 murders total on average, not 100% are done with guns. But then gun controllers never let honesty get in the way of pushing their garbage.

  3. In you latest post, Bloomberg just said that 400,000 Americans have died from guns since 1968. With the Doonsbury number of 270,000 since 9/11, that means that only 130,000 died from gun violence between 1968 and 2001. That is less than 4,000 per year. That means in the years from 1968-2001 our rate of gun murder per 100,000 is far lower than any other industrialized nation on Earth. I thought you all said it was higher?

    When gun controllers lie, they should at least agree to tell the same lie. Morons.

  4. Since the laws haven't really proven to do anything positive, what's the reasoning for keeping around those gun control laws that don't work?

    I mean, the laws obviously weren't able to stop 30,000 "gun deaths," the number of firearms is steadily increasing, yet there's no increase in firearm-related deaths (accidents or otherwise)... It seems a lot of the claims of the gun control crowd (predicting increase in "gun violence" with the sunset of the AWB and more places implementing "Shall issue" concealed carry laws), just aren't happening.

    Let's take all the laws off the books and see what happens... I predict no change whatsoever.


  5. Considering that half of those 30,000 per year are intentional suicides the numbers are a bit misleading.

    And considering that only about 5,000 of those "gun deaths" ever lead to a murder or manslaughter conviction that means our Murder rate for 2001-2010 was only 30,000 murders.

    Incidentally this is how the UK tracks its murder rates, by the actual number of convictions. All other deaths are classified as "matters of concern to the Police."

    It isn't just Leftists who like to play with statistics.

  6. @AM, very interesting data, do you have a source you can post a link to?


  7. MAgunner has a good point, although a bit nitpicky, that "were killed" isn't exactly right when referring to suicides. But the idea that all or nearly all suicides would happen if there were no guns handy has been thoroughly rejected. The studies are there, but just think about it for a second. Impulsive and fleeting suicidal feelings often turn into tragedy only because the lethal gun was right there in the drawer.

    So for that reason, suicides count.

    About eliminating gang and drug killings from the picture, that wouldn't work either. The reason is every one of the guns those guys use came from you guys. Quit trying to dodge your responsibility in this mess. You want guns and lax gun laws, the side effect is the gun violence.

  8. @Mikeb, you wrote: "You want guns and lax gun laws, the side effect is the gun violence."

    There is no direct correlation between tightening gun laws or reducing the number of firearms in a society, and reduced firearm-related violent crime rates - nor is there the opposite.

    If you look at ALL the evidence (not just your cherry-picked stats), Guns don't cause violent crime, Gun Control doesn't reduce violent crime. Why can't you see the writing on the wall?


  9. "Why can't you see the writing on the wall?"

    Maybe you're not writing it right, which would mean you're the one who can't see the writing on the wall.

    No one is saying "guns cause crime." You keep saying we say that, but we don't.

    Gun availability allows violent people to be more lethal and allows them to create more damage than they would otherwise.

    Gun availability allows the attempted suicide to be more likely to succeed.

    Gun availability makes accidents with guns frequently deadly.

    That's what we're saying.