Thursday, December 27, 2012

Considering the recent debates on gun laws and school safety in the United States, I looked up a few figures to aid us in our debates.  Feel free to use or abuse them as we move forward. 

Some of the data may surprise you.  For example, I expected accidental deaths to be a higher percentage of the totals among death of children due to firearms.

Number of Schools in the United States (2009-10 School Year)
Public: 98,817
Private: 33,366

Number of Teachers in the United States:
3.7 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) elementary and secondary school teachers in fall 2011

    This above information and additional data is available at the National Center for Educational Statistics.

Number of Gun-Related Deaths in the United States (2010 - excludes small percentage of deaths due to law enforcement)

All Ages
Total: 31,328. (Breakdown not provided at this source.)

Kids, Ages 1 to 14:                                      
Homicide: 208                    
Suicide: 81
Accidental Death: 62
Totals:* 369

Kids, Ages 15 to 19:
Homicide: 1,554
Suicide: 668
Accidental Death: 72
Totals:* 2,315

    The information above and additional data is available at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The data above came from a report compiling statistics on gun-related deaths from 1999 to 2010.

As you can see in the charts at the CDC link above, the rate of death by firearms relative to the population has overall been flat in the U.S., with the possible expception of the rates of death among teens (ages 15 to 19), which seems to have been dropping over the time period.

* Why the totals do not add up exactly, is not clear.


steves 9:22 AM  

I believe that gun accidents are at the lowest level they have ever been since they started tracking them in the early 1960's. FWIW, if you look at the breakdown of the type of gun, it is most often a long gun and is a hunting accident.

If I had to speculate as to why, I would say that safety is more encouraged now than it was in the pat. Encouraged may not be the best word. It is drilled into people in gun classes, gun stores, shooting ranges, and many other places. Guns are sold with trigger locks and literature on safety.

I have been at a range where people have acted in an unsafe manner. There has never been a shortage of people that will talk to the person and correct their behavior.

steves 9:26 AM  

If you want a depressing statistic, consider that 4 children die every DAY in this country as a result of abuse and neglect.

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