Thousands Killed by Guns Since Newtown School Shooting

Photo courtesy of bossip.com

Photo courtesy of bossip.com

 

Being that the Newtown school shooting last December was one of the worst mass shootings in American history, you’d think that gun control legislation would finally be taken seriously. But is hasn’t.

Slate.com reports:

Using the most recent CDC estimates for yearly deaths by guns in the United States, it is likely that as of Oct. 25, 2013, roughly 28,477 people have died from guns in the U.S. since the Newtown shootings.

I hope this disgusts you as much as it disgusts me. Maybe when enough people see these statistics, society will be disgusted enough to do something.

Slate.com has been collecting statistics on every gun death it can find since Newtown, even listing the names of each person killed, as well as dates and locations of deaths. I hope that when people see the names of individuals, it will humanize the tragedy of gun violence. There are also interactive graphs and maps.

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14 thoughts on “Thousands Killed by Guns Since Newtown School Shooting

  1. On twitter I follow @gundeaths
    It’s an eye opening gut check of our U.S. culture of violence.

    NY Times ran an in depth article that explained that among children who die by gun, the most common ages are 3 and 13.

    At age 3 they are always digging into everything. They find that hidden gun. They don’t know exactly what it is, or if it’s a toy or not. They pull the trigger to see what happens.

    At age 13 they show their parent’s hidden gun to their best friend, remove all the bullets, point it at their friend as a joke and pull the trigger, not knowing that there is a bullet left in the chamber.

  2. “Thousands Killed by Guns Since Newtown School Shooting”

    And many more thousands of lives saved by guns since Newtown. Americans use a firearms up to 2.5 million times a year in self defense and to protect property and upwards of 400,000 lives are saved. That 6,849 times a day 1095 lives saved, every day.

    See:

    Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Northwestern)
Guns and Violence Symposium,
vol. 86, no. 1, 1995: 150.

    ARMED RESISTANCE TO CRIME: THE PREVALENCE AND NATURE OF SELF-DEFENSE WITH A GUN
    Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz
    http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/kleckandgertz1.htm

    lwk
    free2beinamerica2.wordpresscom

    • Actually, statistics show that people who carry guns are more likely to be shot. The amount of accidents by guns is also evidence that society would be better off without guns. They kill more people than they protect. Even cops kill people, although guns are supposed to empower them to protect innocent people.

      If you’d like to know more about my position on guns and gun regulations, see my “Guns Kill” section in the category list on the left.

  3. “statistics show that people who carry guns are more likely to be shot.”

    What specific statistics and by whom are you referring to? If you are using any statistics by Dr. Kellerman those have been thoroughly refuted. If you are talking about anything from Dr. David Hemenway and his cohorts at Harvard they refuse to release their data and methods for critical peer review (which means whatever they are doing is not credible science).

    Approximately two thirds of all gun deaths in the U.S. every year are suicides.

    Some say that if we didn’t have guns then those suicides might not occur, but actual evidence does not suggest that is true. People who commit suicide with a gun really mean it. It is not a cry for help. They will find a way.

    You can demonstrate this to yourself without recourse to someone with a Ph.D. or sophisticated regression analysis. Consider this. The U.S. is renown for having very high ownership of firearms. They are not all that hard to get.But in the U.K. people have far fewer guns and they are much harder to get. Therefore the ability of a Brit to commit suicide with a gun is far less than for your average American.

    Therefore if not having a gun reduced suicide rates then logically you would expect the U.K. to have a significantly lower suicide rate. But in fact that is not the case. It is nearly identical to the U.S. (12.0 per 100,000 vs. 11.8).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

    “The amount of accidents by guns is also evidence that society would be better off without guns.”

    Some of the leading causes of preventable deaths:

    1. Smoking tobacco (435,000)
    2. Obesity (111,909)
    3. Alcohol (85,000)
    4. Toxic agents (55,00)
    5. Preventable medical errors in hospitals (44,000 t0 98,000 estimates vary)
    6. Traffic collision (43,000)
    7. Firearms deaths (31,940)
    8. Sexually transmitted infections (20,000)
    9. Drug abuse 17,000

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_preventable_causes_of_death

    Note that above is all firearms deaths. Of those accidental deaths with guns will range between 500 and 1,000 each year.

    If you are concerned with preventing accidental death they you should be focused on a lot more important things like smoking, eating, drinking, poisions, and very importantly, not going to a hospital where you are much more likely to die from an accident than if you own a gun.

    “They kill more people than they protect.”

    That is simply not true and Kleck and Gertz laid that fallacy to rest. Upwards of 400,000 lives a year may be saved with a firearm, far eclipsing lives lost.

    “Even cops kill people, although guns are supposed to empower them to protect innocent people.”

    Finally you got something right. But even though cops do kill people, sometimes accidentally, their use of guns save a lot more lives.

    regards,

    lwk

    • The list of preventable causes of death actually helps my point- each of those things (smoking, obesity, drinking, etc) are all things society has been making efforts to reduce. Why not try to reduce gun deaths, too? Why should we just skip over that one?

      Also, I think there are other ways cops can save lives besides shooting unarmed suspects, tasers being one alternative.

      In terms of the statistics, I learned those in a criminology class that is taught by a retired police officer. He said that those statistics were obtained fairly easily through looking through police records. It doesn’t take a lot of scholarship to read and record data. The stats were also in our textbook.

      In terms of suicides, you’ve got me there. There are several ways to commit suicide, guns just being one. Getting rid of guns would probably not reduce suicide deaths.

      Also, I’d be careful with using Wikipedia for references- it often gets stuff way wrong. But for the purposes of this discussion, I’m not disputing your facts. Your facts seem accurate, I just disagree with the conclusions you are drawing from them.

      I do appreciate that you do research on what you say. Not everyone takes the time to do that.

      • “The list of preventable causes of death actually helps my point- each of those things (smoking, obesity, drinking, etc) are all things society has been making efforts to reduce. Why not try to reduce gun deaths, too?”

        Stated that way the question sounds mostly reasonable, but what I see over and over again are people who are hugely focused on one cause which hugely outrages them, that is guns, and they are largely unmotivated to go march and hold up signs or write their Congressman to reduce these other preventable causes of death.

        As a systems analyst for many years for a large computer corporation we learned a basic rule in performance tuning called the 90/10 rule. The basic idea was that 90% of the problem was caused by less than 10% of the problems. So you focused on finding that 10% (more or less) of problems that caused 90% of the performance problems and you exclusively focused on that til you solved them. That will _always_ give you the best “bang for your buck” in improving performance.

        So it is with preventable and accidental causes of death. If people are truly interested in reducing these issues then clearly they should start at the top of the list with those things that cause the most grief. But in fact a lot people want to skip way down the list and focus on a cause where they are hugely offended by the instrumentality of the problem, that is guns.

        But not only do they want to focus on that problem, they refuse largely to see any possible solution other than draconian limitations on the ability to own that instrumentality except for government agents. That last is very worrying for people who value independece and individual freedom.

        I actually do however make one suggestion on by blog for universal background checks that I do believe would help without those draconian limitiations.

        Universal Background Checks
        http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/universal-background-checks/

        “Why should we just skip over that one?”

        I am not saying just skip over it. I am saying we have to approach it from the point that barring objective reasons for a person not owning a firearm, e.g., a record of serious criminal activity or severe mental illness, it is a basic right to own firearms for self protection. We need ways to make it more difficult for some people to own firearms without making it extrordinarily difficult or expensive for law abiding citizens to do so. But in a free society it will be largely impossible to keep all bad people from getting guns. If people truly want a much less free society then it is possible. Then the police some to resemble the KGB of the former Soviet Union and it will not only be 2nd Amendment rights they will violate once they have the power.

        “Also, I think there are other ways cops can save lives besides shooting unarmed suspects, tasers being one alternative.”

        That is absolutely true. Police need to be held accountable, but at the same time they are individuals who have a right to protect their lives too. That is a whole different discussion though.

        “In terms of the statistics, I learned those in a criminology class that is taught by a retired police officer. He said that those statistics were obtained fairly easily through looking through police records. It doesn’t take a lot of scholarship to read and record data. The stats were also in our textbook.”

        A lot of false information in the past has been published in text books. It is very easy to take data and arrive at conclusions that are not justified by the data. Consider this statement which I quoted previously:

        “statistics show that people who carry guns are more likely to be shot.”

        More likely than whom? For example if you don’t own or carry a gun you can still be victimized, stabbed, beaten, etc. If you resist with a gun you may be more likely as some percentage to being shot.

        Those things can be true if you look at the data one way, but if you look it another way you might find that those who resist with a gun are on the whole much less likely to be hurt, or to be hurt severely.

        For example there have been studies that show that a woman who resists violently to a rape attempt, especially if she has a gun, is far less likely to have the rape attempt consumated and less likley to be killed or severely hurt. Whereas if she has a gun then there is some chance she might be shot, but on the other hand she might have been strangled to death or stabbed to death afterwards.

        It is extremely easy narrow the focus with statistics to say one thing that may be true, but is very much a case of misrepresenting all the facts by ignoring other huge facts to get one conclusion, that there is some greater percentage of being shot while ignoring the much larger and important conclusion that you are less likely to be hurt at all if you resist forcefully.

        Or as someone put it more eloquently, “statistics lie, and liars use statistics.” That last statement very much applies to the Drs. Kellerman and Hemenway who have made a career of producing such studies.

        One of the more troubling trends with the New England Journal of Medicine in past decades (and the CDC) has been the suspension of serious peer review for _one_ type of research, that is, research promoting gun control as a public health measure. If you are a doctor and want to publish your results, for example, on measles you must submit your data and methods for peer review or it is not science. This has largely been suspended for only one kind of research (which is why Congress at one point forbid the CDC to conduct this kind of research at one point).

        But yet even yesterday I heard a “talking head” on a major news outlet quoting Dr. Kellerman’s results (without naming Kellerman) as “settled science.”

        “Getting rid of guns would probably not reduce suicide deaths.”

        And in the U.S. these on average are about two thirds of “gun deaths” or “gun violence.”

        “I do appreciate that you do research on what you say. Not everyone takes the time to do that.

        It is an ongoing project for me. I like to know the facts and having worked with lots of data in my professional career I have seen an incredible number of wrong conclusions arrived at from massive amounts of data. 🙂

        It is most often not the data. More often than not it is the questions you ask about the data and the propensity to jump to a conclusion and then winnow the data to support that conclusion.

        Guns are undoubtedly a dangerous instrumentality. But they can serve both good and evil and we have to look at both sides. There have been a number of significant studies on the use of firearms in self defense and although their results differ in quantity on the absolute scale, they are unanimous in showing that their use in self defense is a lot more prevalent than is often acknowledged. What I find frustrating is that many who want to ban guns refuse to acknowledge that part of the story.

        Mostly I would like people to acknowledge the whole story, and I fully admit I am still trying to learn the whole story for myself and I am aware of my own personal biases. 🙂

        regards,

        lwk

        • In terms of the cause of death stats, the reason why people aren’t marching in the streets over those other factors is because those factors aren’t as controversial. I think most people know that obesity, smoking, etc. is dangerous to health and that both need to be reduced. There isn’t much controversy over those things, therefore there’s no major resistance to working on solving those problems. Because of the massive resistance to gun regulations, however, people are feeling the need to speak out about why guns are dangerous. So even though guns are only part of the problem, the debate on guns takes up so much energy in our culture because there is such more debate on it.

          You also keep talking about self-defense. My point is that, although guns can be used for that purpose, is it really worth all of the negative consequences guns have on society? Accidents, police shooting suspects, school shootings, mass shootings in general, murders in general?

          I also still stand by those stats about people who carry guns being more likely to be shot. Those are police stats, not sociology stats. It’s just raw data.

          And who are people protecting themselves from anyway? Is there really so much crime that a person has to walk around with a gun all the time? Why not just a can of mace? The only difference is that one is deadly and one isn’t. Is a gun really neccesary for everyday life?

          • “You also keep talking about self-defense. My point is that, although guns can be used for that purpose, is it really worth all of the negative consequences guns have on society? Accidents, police shooting suspects, school shootings, mass shootings in general, murders in general?”

            Here is a quote from one of my earlier comments:

            Americans use a firearms up to 2.5 million times a year in self defense and to protect property and upwards of 400,000 lives are saved. That 6,849 times a day 1095 lives saved, every day.

            See:

            Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (Northwestern)
Guns and Violence Symposium,
vol. 86, no. 1, 1995: 150.

            ARMED RESISTANCE TO CRIME: THE PREVALENCE AND NATURE OF SELF-DEFENSE WITH A GUN
            Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz
            http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/kleckandgertz1.htm

            — end quote —

            Now there have been a number of other studies that have tried to estimate self defense usage in the U.S. They all, including Kleck, can be criticized on some grounds or another. It is _very_ difficult to come up with accurate numbers. You can not use just police statistcs because tons are not going to be reported. Also in the vast majority no gun is fired. The bad guy(s) see the intended victim is armed and they go somewhere else to find a safer victim.

            It might make you feel better if you read the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman who starts off studying killing in war but then shows how it applies in our society. A very large percentage of people _cannot_ easily put their sights on another human and pull the trigger with the intent to kill. They threaten. In rare instances they may fire a warning shot. And only very, very rarely will the shoot their attacker.

            Guns are used enormously by weaker, smaller, less aggressive, and less criminal people to intimidate violent and criminal attackers. A woman doesn’t get raped because the rapists doesn’t want to get shot. And studies have shown that your liklihood of getting seriously hurt is much less if you have a gun. Yes, some people will get them taken away from them and be killed with their own gun, but the vast majority will be successful with just the threat of force in self defense.

            So yes to your question – if we have guns in society some bad things will happen. If we take guns from the law abiding then the criminal will have them and gun crime will go up, not down (that happened in the U.K. where their gun crimes have doubled since banning many guns).

            The U.K. with their gun bans were named the most violent country in Europe by the U.N. and their violent crime rate is probably about double that in the U.S. (you will hear even higher claims, but many are not apple to apple comparisons since we count crimes a little differently).

            With common firearm ownership in homes greatly reduced the instances of home invasion crimes go up drastically as gangs of thugs are no longer afraid of getting shot breaking into an occupied house. Then they will rob, perhaps rape, and terrorize the people because they have little to afraid of.

            So I think if you really know all the facts and respect facts then it should be obvious that guns are used for very good purposes in the U.S. But the media go out of their way to make sure you only see one side, the bad and the ugly side.

            You may not be aware of it but the violent crime rate and homicide rates in the U.S. today is nearly half what it was at its peak in the early 1990s. In fact we are approaching _historic_ lows today not seen since I was a teenager in the 1960s.

            So yes, I absolutely argue for a right for law abiding citizens to own firearms. Also I posted this link earlier for how I think a real universal background check could work (and could get passed with a lot of gunowners calling Congress to oppose it):

            Universal Background Checks
            http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/universal-background-checks/

            Check it. You might like the idea too. 🙂

            regards,

            lwk

          • I wrote this earlier:

            “(and could get passed with a lot of gunowners calling Congress to oppose it):”

            I am not good at proofreading until I hit the “post”button. Obviously I meant “a lot of gunowners NOT calling Congress to oppose it.”

            regards,

            lwk

  4. So how does prohibiting guns to only politicians and the wealthy make us safer? Why do politicians and celebrities get gun permits for themselves in places where ordinary people cannot?

  5. Pingback: At Least 9,900 People Have Died From Guns In The U.S. Since The Newtown Shooting: Slate | Sunset Daily

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