Wednesday, October 22, 2014

US Gun Deaths Have Been Increasing for 14 Years



Bloomberg

Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.
While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend.
I don't really care about the comparison to car deaths.  What I like about this chart is that it shows the increase in gun deaths since 2000.  This provides us with a long enough time span to work with.  The pro-gun insistence of starting any discussion about trends in gun deaths at 1993 becomes less tenable every year.

22 comments:

  1. Mike, even the CDC doesn't look at gun deaths as a single number. Its interesting that not too long ago, I was labeled as paranoid for carrying routinely when violent crime rates have been dropping over a long span of time. Perhaps we could get more bang for our buck (pun intended) by making mental health services more accessible in order to combat the rising suicide rate.
    However, the other challenge is to do so in a way that doesn't affect the gun rights of those seeking help since its been mentioned quite often that once the crisis is dealt with, there is normally no further problems.

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  2. This story is so old we are real close to knowing whether or not their prediction came true.

    Why did you tag this as “pro-gun lies”? Pro-gun people don’t use “gun deaths” as a metric. That’s your thing.

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    1. Now you're speaking for all pro-gun people?

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  3. If you divide the projected number of shooting deaths in 2015 by the projected population that same year, then compare that dividend with its equivalent in 2000, the rate of shooting deaths is very close to flat.

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    1. 30,000 a year is flat? You and SS have the same consideration for life, none.

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    2. "Very close to flat." Hahahahaha

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    3. If I may interrupt your giggling, Mikeb?

      According to you source, in 2000, there were 28,393 shooting deaths. According to the 2000 census, the population was 281,421,906. That gives us a shooting death rate of 10.0892 per 100,000.

      Your source projects a total of 32,929 shooting deaths in 2015. The projected 2015 population is 321,360,000. That yields a shooting death rate of 10.2468 per 100,000.

      That's an increase of 1.56213%.

      Granted, "very close to flat" is a subjective judgment, one which you are of course free to reject. But is a 1.56213% increase over 15 years (0.104142% per year) so much more three dimensional than "very close to flat" as to be hilarious?

      Seems kind of a lame joke to me, but then again I've always had trouble getting your sense of humor.

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    4. But is a 1.56213% increase over 15 years (0.104142% per year) so much more three dimensional than "very close to flat" as to be hilarious?

      Ugh--that is one ugly, awkward sentence. That's what I get for commenting while half asleep. Let me try again:

      But is a 1.56213% increase over 15 years (0.104142% per year) so three dimensional as to render the description "very close to flat" hilarious?

      Ah--significantly better, I hope you'll agree.

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    5. Well Kurt - just to be an ass, a line is not three dimensional, so you really screwed up twice with this. I am sure Mikeb could show a graph with the y axis measured in 0.001% steps that would make this increase look like a vertical line if he wanted.

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    6. You and SS have the same non concern for life. You want to claim the figures show a low percentage of gun shot deaths compared to the total population, yet, the 30,000 a year dead is still reality, and obviously acceptable to you. Sorry, I disagree and won't reject regulations that can reduce that number without infringing on your right to own, buy, and use guns.

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    7. You're right, Kurt. My laughter was a bit premature. The increase is close enough to a flat line as to make your point valid. But, you're overlooking the point I made. You and your fellow gun-rights fanatics have invested heavily in the bogus nonsense that as gun ownership increases, crime, and gun crime as a subset, goes down. This is now proven to be false.

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    8. You and your fellow [decent people] have invested heavily in the bogus nonsense that as gun ownership increases, crime, and gun crime as a subset, goes down.

      I have repeatedly expressed skepticism over any causal relationship in the "more guns, less crime" numbers. I acknowledge that many other gun rights advocates have staked out such a position, but it's not one I have ever espoused, much less "invested heavily in."

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    9. Violent crime did go down in that time period, it is suicides that went up.

      But many of us are not making the claim that guns cause a decrease in crime. I for one, only make the claim that they don't cause violence or murder, and I've seen many others here make that claim (but not everyone). Do you want to just settle on "guns have no affect on violence"? I'm cool with that.

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  4. By the way, you have relentlessly complained about using 1993 as the reference point, because as the year in which "gun violence" peaked, it's "misleading" (actually, you've called it "what your entire false argument depends upon"--but then again, we know how you love to toss around accusations of lying) to do so, because. . . well, whatever your reason is.

    Suddenly, though, the year 2000--the lowest point, is the perfect reference point. So what makes it any more legitimate, any less agenda-driven "cherry picked"?

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    1. Well, we could go back to the late '70s or early '80s and my point would still stand. In fact, when you look at the whole line it becomes clear that the early '90s were an unusually violent period. But, the overall trend continues.

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    2. What trend? Do you mean how the total at the last data point is about the same as in 1979, but it is not adjusted for population growth? You mean the downward trend in "gun death" rates? How does that help you? Even your false metric of "gun deaths" is lower now than 35 years ago.

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    3. Do you mean how the total at the last data point is about the same as in 1979, but it is not adjusted for population growth?

      Precisely, TS. It's of course impossible to read the graph with any great degree of precision, but in 1980, there appear to have been at least 31,000 shooting deaths--maybe 31,500 or more. Let's be conservative and say 31,000. U.S. population in 1980 is listed as 226,545,805. Even the lowball figure of 31,000 gives us a shooting death rate of 13.6838 per 100,000.

      With the projected 2015 shooting death rate of 10.2468 per 100,000, we're looking at a decline of over 25%. That's a very major change, and in a direction that speaks well of the trend in "gun violence" in this country, and will thus probably make Mikeb unhappy.

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    4. And by the way, I take issue with the 2014 shooting death tally. With James Brady's death in August ruled a homicide, by (33-year-old) gunshot, that's a "gun death" counted in 2014, for a shooting that occurred in 1981.

      Therefore, unless that was taken into account for the 2014 projection, I submit that that number should be reduced by one, and a case could even be made for increasing 1981's count by one.

      Sure, some might argue that quibbling over one death more or less in any given year is nitpicking, but to those cold-hearted, monstrous people I would reply that each and every life is hugely significant.

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    5. So, only by looking at the last 14 years do we have an increase? Fair enough. If you want to look at 1992 as a starting point or go back to the late '70s when the population was so much smaller, fine. Then I say it's still not acceptable. Preventable deaths are not acceptable. Any metric which shows a decrease simply does not show enough of a decrease.

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    6. There wasn't an increase the last 14 years. It was effectively flat. And it's using the false metric of "gun deaths". Violent crime and murder rates were still decreasing during this time.

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    7. Then, to use one of your ways of looking at things, if gun deaths remained constant while violent crime and murder went down, doesn't that mean the gun deaths effectively went up?

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  5. If gun shot deaths are "flat lined" and violent crime is down, then what's driving the irrational response of gun loons to push more open carry and deny regulations that would stop criminal gun activity, while not infringing on anyone's right to buy, own, and use guns?

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