Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Never tell me the odds

The odds that you'll die of a particular cause (as an American):
  • Motor vehicle (car, van, or truck): 1-in-84
  • Heart disease (before the age of 65): 1-in-438
  • Cancer (before the age of 74): 1-in-600
  • Stroke (before the age of 74): 1-in-734
  • Motorcyle: 1-in-938
  • Natural water: 1-in-2,828
  • Bicycle: 1-in-4,472
  • Air travel: 1-in-5,552
  • Swimming pool: 1-in-6,031
  • Bath tub: 1-in-9,377
  • Staph infection: 1-in-16,146
  • Food-borne illness: 1-in-33,333
  • Flood: 1-in-30,000
  • Tornado: 1-in-60,000
  • Lightning strike: 1-in-83,930
  • Bus: 1-in-94,242
  • Earthquake: 1-in-131,890
  • Train: 1-in-139,617
  • Asteroid impact: 1-in-500,000
  • Tsunami: 1-in-500,000
  • Measles: 1-in-300,000,000
Each year in the United States, there are 26-30,000 deaths by firearm. As of 2006, Roughly 55% of them are suicides (the number varies greatly year to year, between 40% and 60%).

Of the remaining 10,000 to 18,000, somewhere between 60% and 80% (depending on the year) are one felon killing another (according to the FBI).

The number of non-felons killed (other than suicides) using a gun in the US is anywhere from 2,000 to 7,000 a year (again, highly variable year to year). About 20% of those are accidents, and 80% are murders. Of those murders approximately 80% were committed by people with felony records.

It is, and has been since 1934 federally (earlier in most states), unlawful for a felon to own or possess a firearm. Since 1994, a background check, conducted with the FBI and usually the state police of the state the gun is being sold in, has been required for all firearms purchases from a dealer to prevent felons from purchasing firearms legally.

Let me repeat: a felon cannot legally purchase, own, or possess a firearm in the united states.

Oh and only about 400 of those killed using a firearm TOTAL per year are under the age of 16 (obviously, still too many, but far lower than gun control groups would have you believe). About 40% of those are suicides (almost all between the age of 14 and 16), and most of the rest are accidental.

The number of murder victims killed using a firearm, below the age of 16, is something on the order of 100 per year. For those who did not have a serious juvenile criminal record, that number is nearly zero.

Over the course of a lifetime, the likelihood of ALL US citizens (including suicides and felons shooting each other) dieing of a gunshot wound is approximately 1-in-18,000.

Over the course of a lifetime, the likelihood of a non-felon being murdered with a gun, is about 1 in 500,000.

If you're over 34, not a felon, don't abuse drugs or alcohol; and live in an area within the bottom 80% of population density, and a median income of $40,000 or more (the major risk factors for murder); the chances you will be murdered using a firearm are statistically insignificant. Essentially zero.

Those numbers are from the CDC and FBI by the way. Not exactly pro gun propaganda.

UPDATE: Fixed raw shooting numbers to reflect current CDC data. I was working off the wrong numbers for the total shootings. The percentage of suicides is even higher than it used to be, at about 55%