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Accidental Firearms Death Rate

If the annual total were one, that would be one too many. None the less, Americans are making remarkable progress at reducing the number of gun accidents. You can click on the chart on the left for a clearer view. You will see that 112 years ago, the fatal firearms accident rate was 3.6 per 100,000 population, three times the homicide rate.

In 1904, the fatal accident rate was 3.4 per 100,000. A gun safety drive by a number of State Rifle and Pistol Clubs dropped the rate to 2.0 in 1906, and 1.9 in 1908. The accident rate rose after the State Associations dropped their programs around 1912, going as high as 2.6 in 1928.

The Second World War took many young shooters off the fields and ranges, and the outdoor magazines put more emphasis on gun safety. Fatal gun accidents declined 1.6 in 1948, 1.4 in 1954, and 1.1 in 1962.

A rise in untrained hunters caused a rise to 1.5 per 100,000 in 1968, when the National Rifle Association and State Rifle and Pistol Associations began the drive for hunter safety training, high visibility clothing afield, and other safety measures. As you can see from the graphic, those gun safety programs caused a continuing decline in fatal gun accidents.

By the late 1980’s the accident rate had declined to 0.7, or 7 per million population, with almost half of those killed in fatal gun accidents being children. The National Rifle Association responded with the “Eddie Eagle” program that teaches children who “SEE a gun to STOP what they are doing and GO get an adult.” The result has been a sharp downward trend in fatal gun accidents, with 2010, the latest year for which data is available showing just 503 fatal firearms accidents.

Now, as I said to start with, even one gun accident is one too many. Every firearms accident is preventable. And all three of the successful gun safety drives have been initiated by gun clubs, the first by State Rifle and Pistol Associations, the second and third by the National Rifle Association.

Those campaigns have driven the number of fatal firearms deaths from 2,763 in 1900, when the population was just 76,094,000, to a total of 503 among a population of 313,544,041. Percentage wise, that is a 95 percent reduction in an American’s risk of becoming a firearms accident statistic. And while the shooting and gun hobby groups were making you safer, what were the gun control groups doing?

They were fighting tooth and nail to prevent these gun safety programs. When a Borough of Queens Catholic Church, disturbed by the number of firearms accidents in the diocese, asked New York Mayor Ed Koch for permission to give gun safety classes, the Church was turned down flat. Even after the Church offered to pay off duty police officers to teach the classes.

When a Harris County, Texas gun club offered to provide free Eddie Eagle material and qualified instructors to Houston schools, anti-gun Mayor Kathy Whitmire refused to allow it.

The fact is that groups like Handgun Control, Inc., currently doing business as the Brady Campaign; and the other well funded firearms propaganda groups have done everything possible to prevent life saving gun safety training.

Training that has cut the number of fatal firearms accidents from 1,689 in 1986 to just 503 in 2010. Lifesaving training that has not been permitted in many areas, thanks to gun control groups.


About Stranger

Extranos Alley is a Collaborate effort to provide up to information on the relationship between restrictive gun laws and violent crime; as well as other related topics. While emphasis is on United States gun laws and crime, we also provide data on crime trends world wide.
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