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Gun Violence Statistics

Updated on November 18, 2013
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Bill Watson has authored 3 books and many articles online and for print publications such as Sports Afield, Income Opportunties and more.

Gun Violence Statistics

Here are THE LATEST 2010 Gun Violence Statistics, 2011 Gun Violence Statistics and 2012 Gun Violence Statistics. It's not pretty; we'll detail the numbers year-by-year in the mods below. But looking at the overall picture it's SCARY and SHOCKING. On average there are about 30,0000 gun related deaths in the United States for each of those years.

We need to do something about it.

Now to be honest that figure does include about 20,000 suicides per year as well as instances where intruders are shot by homeowners and instances where police intentionally shoot criminals. So the homicide total is under 10,000 per year, but still, that's an unbelievable amount. We should definitely take action, some sort of restriction or ban is essential. Right?

The latest school shootings have both liberals and conservatives talking past each other and desperately trying to "win". Liberals say, "Banning assault rifles will reduce school shootings by 30%." Conservatives say "No, that infringes on the second amendment, let's put armed guards in the schools." Considering the number of schools, and considering the percentage of the U.S. population with undiagnosed mental illnesses, along with the good guy gaurds, we'd surely be placing tens, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mentally ill guards in schools and arming them. That's an intelligent solution?

Reduce mass school killings by 30%? That's a worthy goal? Putting armed future mental patients in schools? Brilliant. Does anyone out there care about the kids? Or only about winning their position and sticking a good one to the other side?

Shouldn't we be looking at who is doing the illegal shootings in the schools, identifying them and removing them from the schools? Shouldn't that be the conversation? And why would either a liberal or a conservative, a Democrat or a Republican, oppose that solution, one that just might about eliminate the problem entirely?

Automobile Death Statistics Are Alarming! - Not All Fatal Crashes Are Accidents

Some say, "There's no comparison between automobile deaths and gun deaths because automobile deaths are accidental."

False.

Dead is dead. And 30 families affected by the death of a loved one is just as much of a tragedy for each family whether the 30 deaths occur in one mass gun violence action or in 30 separate road rage or DUI incidents. When a person intentionally drinks too much alcohol and drives they are committing a crime. When they hit and kill someone while under the influence of alcohol there's nothing accidental about it. Drunk drivers hit other cars. They hit pedestrians. They cause busses full of children to roll over. They kill entire families in a single head on crash.

By applying logic, if we're going to ban inanimate objects that kill people, then before we get to the gun banning, we should start with the more pressing threat, automobiles, since, according to gun violence statistics people intentionally kill and injure about 5,000 more people with vehicles every year than with guns.

We tend to think of auto deaths as accidents. But each of the years mentioned above saw over 30,000 deaths by vehicle in the United States and statistics show over 50% are intentional criminal acts. Almost every adult in the U.S. owns one or more of these dangerous devices. Any one of them could kill someone, either accidentally or intentionally, at any time.

The most lethal of these devices seem to be the "hot" cars designed for speed and power; we need an immediate restriction on these high power weapons that appear to have but one purpose, to kill human beings.

Yes, there are responsible owners, but vehicles still fall into the wrong hands. Many people do store them securely in locked garages but many are left in driveways, in parking places and other areas where criminals (or sometimes even unlicensed teen drivers in their own household) access them, and later kill someone with them, either accidentally or intentionally, during the commission of a crime.

Drinking alcohol and driving is an intentional act and alcohol with a B.O.C. above .08 is a factor in 32% of fatal crashes*. Intentional speeding, also a crime, is a factor in another 31%* of fatal crashes.

Then there's road rage. People using vehicles as weapons to intentionally hurt or kill someone is more common than you might think.

And it's increasingly common for aging drivers, in spite of multiple recent accidents, and fully knowing their driving skills have severely deteriorated, to refuse to relinquish the keys for good. When they then kill someone with their vehicle, is that really an accident?

Obviously some fatal crashes are indeed accidents but aren't many gun deaths accidental also? We "must ban assault rifles" but dismiss the idea of banning certain automobiles? Why?

*From the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration National Center for Statistics and Analysis Report.

Isn't It Time To Ban These High Power Weapons That Have Only One Purpose?

Isn't It Time To Ban These High Power Weapons That Have Only One Purpose?
Isn't It Time To Ban These High Power Weapons That Have Only One Purpose?

Debate Time! What's The Real Solution To Gun Violence? - Something That Might Actually Work?

Let's get away from the crazy ideas purported to reduce gun violence that are politically driven placebos and either won't work as intended or will have severe unintended negative consequences.

Let's divert that energy into a solution that includes both liberal and conservative ideas. Ideas that no one who thinks logically, and considers all possible results of an action, would oppose.

Let's turn the national conversation toward:

Initiating proactive measures immediately when domestic violence or suicide is threatened or exhibited, including removing guns permanently from the situation, physically restraining and separating the abuser from the abusee for a long period of time, i.e., several months of incarceration for threats, stalking behavior or violent action.

Establishing a One Call Bullying reporting line to a local and national task force that intervenes in the case of peer bullying in school. We know bullied kids have become shooters. Bullies need to be removed from the situation well before the school shooting begins, then must be re-educated in how to treat others properly.

Removing the right of the abused in domestic violence situations to back out of filing charges once things "calm down". Allow the prosecution to continue in the hands of police and local District Attorneys. Give them the power to jail the offender, order treatment or whatever is necessary.

Curbing the steady diet of violent games, violent television shows and violent movies fed to children and adults. It likely has to be accomplished through means other than legislation, such as education of adults, education to encourage parental restriction and other means.

Institutionalizing the mentally deranged for as long as necessary. In several recent mass shootings there was ample warning the future shooter had serious mental problems. Often treatment and/or intervention was requested by a parent but was denied due to lack of funding. Divert that funding from politician's wasteful use of tax dollars in all forms.

Keeping violent criminals in jail serving full, lengthy terms, life if necessary, instead of granting early parole.

Legalizing drugs. Let the people who want to harm themselves by using, purchase their drugs cheaply and regulated from Wal-Mart Happy Day Drug Outlets. Put the money being wasted on a failed "War On Drugs" that only increases illegal profits the more it is ratcheted up, and can never succeed, toward education to prevent use. Put taxes made on legal sales profits toward paying off the national debt.

It's simple: legalizing currently illegal drugs alone would eliminate the majority of gun violence. Fail to legalize drugs and even a complete ban on guns will only reduce statistics somewhat while increasing other crime and other weapon category statistics.

In regards to automobile safety, let's steer the national conversation toward:

Putting away repeat D.U.I. offenders for life on the third offense instead of waiting for them to kill before meaningful jail time is given with forfeiture of both the driver's license and all vehicles on the 2nd.

Making speeding in a vehicle, which is a crime and often does kill innocent people, a felony with mandatory five years of prison time on the third offense. 1st and 2nd offenses would receive mandatory jail time of 3 days and 45 days respectively.

Requiring drivers over the age of 75 to be re-tested on driving skills every two years.

Automatic seizure of the driver's license and vehicle(s) of anyone diagnosed with any form of dementia.

Or is it more logical to leave most D.U.I. offenders, speeders, criminals and mentally deranged people out running free to wreak their havoc on others like we do now? Meanwhile we expend all of our energy, time and money on "meaningful legislation" focused on what the mass media and politicians have hoodwinked many into believing is the real threat: inanimate objects in the hands of the law abiding.

Should we ban all vehicles and guns or at least just the high power automobiles for now, then get the rest later?

2010 U.S. Gun Violence Statistics

Total victims of gun violence in 2012: 31,076 this includes suicides as well as legal shootings by police and homeowners defending life or property*.

Gun homicides: 11,078 This is the figure with legal shootings and suicides removed from the total number.

Gun homicides in 2012 involving rifles: 358. Deaths by semi-automatic "assault rifles" are likely a small portion of all rifle deaths and can be assumed to be considerably lower than 358.

2010 U.S. deaths by automobile totaled 32,788

One thing that must be clearly understood is that if banning does effectively reduce statistics in one category, the problem will shift to another category.and other statistics will rise. If we ban high power automobiles the criminal drivers will switch to using lower powered cars. So deaths by Lamborghini will decrease, but deaths by Kia will increase. Ban semi-automatic assualt rifles and the "homicide by rifle" category will decrease but other categories will likely increase such as ""homicide by baseball bat" or "homicide by bomb". When a person with mental issues wants to cause mayhem and has no regard for laws there's almost nothing but intervention that will stop them.

Worse, if we ban guns, it's pretty hard to argue that home invasions, burglery, home invasion rapes and other crimes won't increase. In January 2013 a Loganville, GA mother, backed into a crawlspace by home invader Paul Ali Slater, protected herself and her two small children by shooting Slater five times in the face and chest with a .38 caliber revolver.

A link to an article about the incident is below. What do you think Slater would have done if the homeowner didn't have the .38 due to a ban or restriction on guns? Isn't it likely the gun violence stats have declined by 1 but murder by club would have increased by 3? Is that a price you're willing to pay to "win the debate over gun ownership?" Because make no mistake, that is indeed the price. Or do you believe that if the woman hadn't been armed, most likely Slater would have politely excused himself, left the premises and followed up with a letter of apology?

*All statistics in this module are from the F.B.I. 2010 Crime Statistics Report.

2011 Gun Violence Statistics

The effect of previous bans on certain types of weapons appears to show only minor variations, often not in the expected direction. When the 10 year U.S. ban (1994-2004) on assault rifle ownership was lifted, gun ownership exploded and laws permitting concealed carry increased, yet year-by-year gun death statistics actually dropped slightly as did crime statistics. As an increasingly armed population began to shoot criminals dead with increasing regularity, less of them were getting the chance to experience early parole and be granted the opportunity to re-offend.

Conversely, during the 10 year ban on assault rifles, mass shootings unfortunately increased slightly. In fact, the Columbine Massacre happened in 1999, right in the middle of the ban.The Amish School Shooting occurred in 2006, two years after the ban was lifted, but a handgun was used. The assault rifle ban had no effect on either tragedy.

2011 firearms deaths*: 31,347 But as far as shootings with criminal intent to harm another person, removing suicides, shootings of intruders by homeowners and shootings of criminals by police there were 8,583 firearm murders in 2011, mostly domestic violence and drug related. And mostly by various types of hand guns.

2011 rifle deaths: 323 people were killed with rifles of all types including the AR-15 semi-automatic "assault rifle". Statistics on the AR-15 alone are not available but can be assumed to be far less than 323.

People killed with knives in 2011: 1,700

Clubbed to death with a baseball bat or hammer in 2011: 498

Bare hands: 728. Obviously that's far more than deaths by semi-automatic assault rifles. Maybe instead of banning rifles we should make it illegal to be gloveless in public? The "bare hands" category would drop significantly and there is no "death by the gloved" category so...problem solved, right? That's the same type of convoluted reasoning being pedalled to the naive: banning a certain type of weapon will solve or effectively reduce a criminal violence problem.

In 2011 there were 32,367 deaths by automobile. Over 50% were intentional criminal acts.

*All statistics in this module are derived from the F.B.I. 2011 and 1994-2004 Crime Statistics Reports.

2012 And 2013 Gun Violence Statistics

The FBI is still compiling the official 2012 gun violence statistics and complete data for 2013 will not be available until 2013 is over, but extrapolating the last two years out these are the best estimates. The estimates will be replaced wth hard numbers upon release but these are believed to be correct to within a 3.5% margin of error:

2012: 31,654 deaths by firearm

2012: 6,754 homicides by firearm (the figure after legal shootings and suicide are removed from the total deaths by firearm)

2012: 305 deaths by rifle

2012: 32,089 deaths by automobile

2012: 1,653 deaths by knives

2012: 706 deaths by baseball bat or hammer

2012: 673 deaths by bare hands

2013: 31,896 deaths by firearm

2013: 5,143 homicides by firearm (the figure after legal shootings and suicide are removed from the total deaths by firearm)

2013: 286 deaths by rifle

2013: 31,972 deaths by automobile

2013: 1,653 deaths by knives

2013: 1,064 deaths by baseball bat or hammer

2013: 798 deaths by bare hands

Homeowners Shoot Back In Self Defense - Protecting Life And Property

I take the position that removing guns and automobiles from the possession of law abiding citizens makes sense because guns and cars are only bad, never good. We must make those statistics go down and to do that we need to get rid of those bad, bad guns and bad, bad cars. They're very bad you know? Everybody knows how bad they are.

And criminals are much nicer people than the horrible way they're portrayed in the evening news. If we take away the threat of a possible armed homeowner fighting back they will still think twice before entering a home that isn't theirs. And if they happen to find some defenseless person inside they'll be very, very nice to them, watch Qubo cartoons with the kids, swap stories about family camping trips then politely leave. Right?

Baseball Bat Assault Statistics 2012 - Another Threat Discovered: Ban The Louisville Slugger!

Have you seen the latest 2012 baseball bat assault statistics? It's unbelievable! Many Americans don't realize that previous well-intentioned changes to the gun laws had an unintended effect. Smart criminals, wanting to avoid a mandatory minimum five year sentence in federal prison if they're caught using a gun in an assault, have switched to baseball bats as a weapon of choice. In fact, more baseball bats than assault rifles were used to intentionally kill people last year by almost a 5-1 margin so to be logical, it makes little sense to ban assault rifles if we don't deal with the larger baseball bat problem as well.

Bats are effective, cheap and readily available. Black market Louisville Sluggers can be purchased for as low as $8 to $10.

While some might stupidly argue that it's ridiculous to ban certain bats because it's the criminals using the bats, not the bats themselves that are the problem, we all know that's just a lame argument the MLBPA trots out every time the subject of bat banning emerges. "Bats don't kill people, people do." Yeah, right. It's blatantly obvious that's just a slogan cleverly designed to keep those lethal bats in the hands of Little Leaguers and pro baseball players who use them responsibly. How ridiculous.

Obviously we need a bill introduced in Congress that bans not only assault rifles, but also Louisville Sluggers. At the very least we should require mandatory registration of all Louisville Sluggers and background checks for anyone intending to buy one. A three day waiting period to take possession of a ball bat, just about any ball bat, seems reasonable as well.

Smaller youth league type bats should be exempt as they are rarely used in assaults; however, no one under the age of four should be able to have access to a wiffle ball bat until they have completed Wiffle Ball Bat Safety Training because toddlers playing with other toddlers have sometimes beem injured in violent and sneaky wiffle ball bat attacks. And we must close that Baseball Card Show/wiffle ball bat loophole to stop them from getting into the wrong toddler's hands unregistered.

Once we've properly addressed the wiffle bat problem, and the bat problem in general, we need to take a hard look at pickaxes, hockey sticks, pool cues and golf clubs. Another big problem not yet addressed? Monkey wrenches. They kill more people than you might think. We definitely need to make banning monkey wrenches a priority. Ban monkey wrenches now!

Louisville Slugger MLB180 Natural Wood Baseball Bat
Louisville Slugger MLB180 Natural Wood Baseball Bat

Fast becoming the weapon of choice among criminals.

 

The Franklin Powercore Aluminum Baseball Bat - Ban This High Power Assault Weapon Now!

These are the "scary" bats. It's one thing to be hit with a Louisville Slugger but these Franklin Powercore Aluminums pack a lot more punch and were obviously designed for just one purpose. And we all know what that is.

President Obama's Gun Executive Orders List - 23 Executive Orders That Don't Do A Whole Lot!

President Obama's list of gun-control-related executive orders released on January 16th, 2013 gets a few things right. Mostly though, it's simply more of a politician pretending to "do something" to appease their voter base while doing little to combat the actual problem.

6 of the executive orders are about tightening and expanding background checks. I'm for that. Why should gun shows be exempt? That's a loophole for criminals and convicted felons to get them. Good call. Like many products, guns are already regulated and this loophole makes no sense. There is no infringement of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, if it prevents illegal homicides it will reduce the controversy over guns and gun ownership, a good thing for gun owners.

3 are mental health related directives, which is a good move in the proper direction, but unfortunately they're definitely very mild baby steps that tiptoe into fully addressing the mental health issue as relating to gun homicide.

2 are about better educating law abiding gun owners on responsible ownership, implying they're the main problem. They're not.

The rest are vague directives regarding committes, research, creating reports, letters and such.

The country is broke, kids are dying in schools, intervention with potential shooters is necessary and we're getting expensive grants for committees to study the problem? We're getting costly reports on the situation?

Strangely, there's 1 order about training teachers to respond to active shooter situations but 0 to set up a task force to intervene in a bullying situation to prevent the shooting in the first place.

0 to develop a task force that can intervene in ongoing mental health situations.

0 to provide funding to detain, house and re-educate bullies

0 about reducing multiple homicides due to domestic violence

0 addressing the drug issue at the root of most homicides.

0 to authorize mandatory long term care to the mentally ill with violent tendancies.

0 to declare bullying in a school a crime.

0 to address the problem of high power automobile violence.

0 on the Louisville Slugger problem (see the module elsewhere on this page for more information if you're unaware of it, as most are).

You have to question the motive here. These orders will cost millions of dollars in the name of preventing mass killings in schools but do little or nothing to directly intervene and stop the three types of individuals who are directly involved in just about every illegal mass shooting in schools we've ever had: mentally ill people, bullied kids acting out on their rage, the bullies who are the catalysts.

The President did request a worthless ban on assault rifles and limits to ammunition volume. He made 0 requests for the funding of a federal task force to investigate and detain the demographic we know to be potential shooters.

President Obama is a highly intelligent man. He's also very shrewd politically. And he has to have the same numbers you're looking at now, he knows how to nearly eliminate gun violence and other forms of deadly violent behavior. He has requested a ban on assault rifles he knows is not at all likely to be approved by Congress with full knowledge that whether or not a ban is passed it will have little, if any affect on future school shootings. So why ask for it? To appease his base. When it fails to pass he can blame the other side and say, "Hey, I tried." And when the next mass shooting with a semi-automatic occurs the obvious implication is that the other side failed to prevent it rather than President Obama failed to get the mentally ill and bullied potential shooters out of the schools. He's clever, but he's not leading on this issue, just posing.

You can just about visualize the entire group of political advisors in a strategy session calculating this all out. And the other side does the same. We citizens are the rooks and kids are the pawns being used in the Republican/Conservative media vs. Democrats and the liberal media's attempt to checkmate each other, that's all. None of this has one thing to do with actually directly addressing the problem and stopping the people known to be violent shooters. They don't care about that.

23 extremely meek executive orders and a proposed ban on assault rifles that almost surely can't pass Congress? Banning these toy rifles would be just about as effective:

The Effects Of Violent Video Games On Children And Adults - Garbage In, Garbage Out

What are the effects of violent video games on children? This subject is controversial. It's easy to find studies and books that refute the claim that exposure to violent media causes antisocial behavior; instead claiming that what kids put into their brain has no effect whatsover.

That seems like a fairy tale because many things we do in this society are based on the opposite assumption. Isn't the whole idea of putting a child in school and teaching them based on the assumption that knowledge is aquired by repeated exposure to a teaching method and, in certain subject areas at least, eventually changes behavior?

If you do a bit of research on who is funding these "exposure to violent games has no influence" studies and what ties the writers of these "nope, no evidence to support that" books have to the video game and movie industries who fund these fundamentally flawed studies, you'll quickly understand what's going on is is a misinformation campaign to protect profits. These books and so-called studies are comprised out of nonsense that no intelligent, logical-thinking person would buy into.

At the time of this modules writing, the last two major mass killers in the U.S. were reportedly avid users of violent video games. That alone may not be proof, but it's certainly an indication there may well be a serious problem afoot in this area.

Violent video games are not inanimate objects. They are designed as a fun diversion but inadvertantly train the brain and impart knowledge. Is there any logical reason it's the kind of knowledge and training you, your child or anyone in this society needs to have?

What Kind Of Gun Would Jesus Carry?

At the conclusion of my research for this Lens I came across the above question in an online forum. The product of an atheist father and a Christian mother with Dad's influence in the lead most of my life I literally had not set foot in a church for decades and wrote this Lens from a secular point-of-view. Even this return to the fold totaling four attendances to date was initially for a reason that had nothing to do with my own beliefs. The question got me thinking.

There's zero room for me to point fingers or try to convert anyone, never have, never will, so what I'm about to write has nothing to do with that; It's simply what I believe to be true and is offered as a potential solution. In a country increasingly full of people more like my Dad than my Mom I pondered quite a while as to whether or not to add this to the Lens at all:

We've spent a lot of time on the wisdom of pre-empting the violent. But not at all about pre-empting the violence itself. Ulimately the root of almost all of it (and nearly every other problem we face) is a moral failure on both the family and societal level so I think the answer I came up with to the question above is perfectly relevant to this discussion.

The church I have been attending operates a program offered at local jails. They accept the worst of the worst drug and alcohol related offenders facing possible long prison sentences, at least those who choose to try it, into a church-run program. The offenders are taken to a camp where they are taught how to break their addiction through reliance on Jesus Christ. A huge emphasis is placed on one-to-one support from church members that continues for life. The non-re-offending success rate of secular based D & A programs that serve the same population is 15%. The church program's success rate is reportedly 58%.

Last Sunday about thirty offenders in the program were in attendance at the church service. I listened as former meth addicts, heroin users and crackheads walked to the front of the church and gave their stories of childhoods spent growing up abused and battered; left with self esteem so low some couldn't look in a mirror; stories of lost innocence; stories of being busted for operating meth labs; stories of convictions for violent crimes, robberies and more. One poor girl admitted through her tears to drug addiction and prostitution to support her habit that stemmed from being raised by a long line of prostitutes. Her mother was one. No, none of the ex-offenders are black. None grew up or lived in an inner city. This is upper middle class suburbia and farm country. All thirty ex-offenders are as white as I am.

These were seriously broken people.

Many said the first love they had ever felt was as an adult when the program introduced them to the love of the Lord and people who cared. Almost all said they were in a repeating-offender, downward spiral they couldn't escape until the church program intervened. Due to the program all have been clean for months or years and feel they have left the past behind, almost like it had been someone else who was the criminal offender. One girl, apparently too ashamed to tell her story, didn't speak, she simply stood at the front of the church smiling and holding up a cardboard sign saying, "Made pure by The King of Kings."

After listening to the testimony and considering the subject for a time I concluded that the importance of love, freely and unconditionally given, is the ultimate healer. Love from the family unit. Love for one another, regardless of differences in skin color, politics, religion or anything else. Love from the Lord Jesus Christ.

It may be the only hope this society has. We can legislate, we can ban, we can incarcerate, we can shoot back, but the answer that may well save us all might be simply to love one another. Ultimately, I'm not sure anything else will work.

What Kind Of Gun Would Jesus Carry?

An AR-15 that blasts His word in the form of small pieces of paper with Bible verses written on the front side.

And on the back the papers would say, "Follow me because no matter what the question is, or how big the problem is, I am the answer."

And the people would follow Him and they would lay down their guns forever, for they would no longer have a purpose.

If we ban both guns and vehicles, at least those certain models that have no other purpose than to kill people, would there be unintended consequences?

What happened during prohibition when the government banned alcohol consumption and distribution?

The government long ago banned the sale and use of marijuana as well as a long list of other drugs. They take enforcement seriously. Lots of time and money are spent to fight "the war on drugs." How's that working out do you think?

Any Thoughts On Banning Automobiles Or GunsTo Prevent More Deaths? Good Idea? Why or Why Not? - Do Bans Even Work? Post Your Comments Here!

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