“Guns Kill How Many An Hour?”

Someone came by searching for “guns kill how many an hour.”

Well, none. Guns are tools with no will of their own. Rephrasing the question so it agrees with reality: “How many people kill someone with a gun every hour.”

The 2009 firearms accidental death toll was 553. That number is declining but 553 is the latest number we have, so I will use it for this discussion.

The 2010 homicide total was 12,296, of which 8,775 were killed by someone with a gun.

So excluding suicide, which has no legitimate place in this discussion, there were 9,328 accidental and deliberate firearms deaths.

That said there are 24 X 365 hours or 8,760 hours in a year. That amounts to one gun death every 56 minutes and 20 seconds.

Now, as I said, suicide has no real place in a discussion of homicide and gun accidents. Suicide is, by definition, “self murder.” And the studies show those who are prevented from suicide one way will find another way to do the job. But if you insist, the latest available CDC data shows 18,733 Americans used a gun to commit suicide. Click on the graphic for a clearer view.

So more than two out of every three gun related deaths is a suicide. And what would happen if guns were removed from American society? Would suicide cease? Hardly.

The same thing would happen that is happening in every currently disarmed country.

People jump off bridges into traffic – often killing innocent motorists or passengers in the process.

People jump in front of trains – often botching the job and leaving others to care for them.

People tie a plastic bag over their head. Those who are found in time are often left in a permanent vegetative state.

People use shoelaces or other strings to strangle themselves. Often with the same result as the plastic bag method.

People use drugs, or a drug and alcohol cocktail to kill themselves. Even a small bottle of acetaminophen will usually prove fatal.

And so on and on, almost endlessly. But the bottom line is simple enough. The steadily declining homicide and firearms accident trends show people with guns kill someone about once an hour.

And, logically enough, the more guns we have in circulation the more emphasis there is on gun safety, and the fewer accidents and homicides we have.

Stranger

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