Monday, March 30, 2009

Guns Safer Than Skiing or Riding a Bike if My Faulty Math Were Correct

Okay, I admit it, I made a horrible mistake. However I will leave it intact for the world to see. Unlike some people, I will accept full responsibility for my honest mistake and not try and shift the blame elsewhere. The correct math would be 142 firearms death per million. So skiing and riding a bike are still safer so to speak. Anyone know of a study that takes into account firearm deaths without the criminal element added. Because we all know a criminal by definition will not follow the laws anyway. If anyone would still like a stat that is in line with firearms how about, from 1990-2004 vehicle fatalities never fell below 145 per million! So guns are still safer than cars. [link] **Also, my sincerest apologies to Mr. Codrea for having him link to an erroneous post. I hope he will accept my sincerest apologies.**

From time to time you hear things so many times that it becomes ingrained. Regardless of whether or not there is any truth to it at all. This is always a favorite tactic employed by politicians. Reach enough people with the same message long enough and they will start to believe it. But even more sinister than getting people to believe something is when facts are employed but twisted within their framework so as to still remain true, but look completely different.

Where am I going with this? Bear with me just a moment longer and let me show some statistics of injuries and deaths in some common recreational activities:

"...skiing had a death rate of 2.1 fatalities per million participants, compared to swimming with 26 per million, bicycling with 12 per million and soccer with 6 fatalities per million."

Now let's look at these numbers:

"...according to a study published April 17, 1998 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The U.S. was first at 14.24 gun deaths per 100,000 people. Two other countries in the Americas came next. Brazil was second with 12.95, followed by Mexico with 12.69." [link]

Now, did anyone else catch that. The first example used deaths per million, but when we start talking about "evil" guns we change to deaths per 100K. Why would that be? Maybe because if we looked at deaths per million with guns the U.S. would only be 1.42 deaths per million! Which would make firearms, even in the hands of criminals much safer than skiing, cycling, swimming, and commercial aviation! Where is the outrage to start banning these deadly sports?

It should also be noted that the CDC study included all gun deaths whether accidental, negligent, or criminal activity. Wonder what the numbers would be on gun deaths if the criminal aspect was removed. How much safer would shooting be than some of these other "safer" sports?


Kent McManigal said...

Ah, but all those other things are safer for tyrants. Self-interest forces them to lie.

JD said...

Um, don't get me wrong I am VERY pro gun but wouldn't it be 142 deaths per million? You are looking at 10 times the people so if it is x per 100,000 then it is 10X per 1,000,000.

So 26 per million would be 2.6 per 100,000

Although I agree that they should take out all shootings that were not an accident - cops, self defense, gang bangers etc to see how they really stack up.

Anonymous said...

Is your math correct? I think if you change the 100,000 number to 1,000,000, you would change the 14.24 to 142.4. I could be wrong, I went to a government school.

Regardless, using any numbers to justify being armed is the wrong approach.

My right to defend my life, by any means I choose, should never depend on how many people have been killed by that means. After all, I don't ask how many people have died before swimming, skiing, or driving. I choose to do those things based on my right to choose.

That's freedom.

Bryan said...

Your math is faulty. 14.24 per 100,000 is 142.4 per 1,000,000. Think about it, 1/10 = 10/100. I'm all for arguing the hypocracy of the gun grabbers, but let's do it correctly.

the-pathogen said...

You might want to double check your math numbers.

(you need to add zeros when you go from thousands to millions!)

Greg in Allston said...

You should check your math. A rate of 14.24 per 100,000 = 142.4 deaths per 1 million, which is a factor of 10x, not, as you state, 1.424 per 1 million, or 0.1x.

Now we all know that the shooting sports are quite safe and have a very long history of safety. Comparing apples with apples, we would then want to know the number of fatalities/injuries occurring in the shooting sports alone versus the rate of fatalities occurring in other sports. The 14.24/100k fatalities figure that you quote is for the population as a whole, all occurrances, not limited to sport. I'm pretty sure that the rate of criminal misuse of skis is quite low. This 14.24/100k figure includes the criminal use of firearms, which, by far, accounts for the majority of fatalities. If we were to limit our data set to actual sport related fatalities, I would think that from the anecdotal information that I hear of, the shooting sports would have comparably low rates to the other sports that you mention, skiing, swimming, bicycling. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the shooting sports (perhaps excluding hunting) were even lower than those mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Check your math.

"Bill Hicks" said...

Thanks to all of you that pointed out a major flaw in my math. I forgot to do to one side what I did to the other. Thanks for pointing that out to me everyone.

However as Greg in Allston points out. The other statistics are more than likely don't include mugging someone using a pair of skis. It might be interesting to see if there is any research that deals with firearms injuries/deaths that do not factor in the criminal element. This would probably be a much more accurate and viable indication of the relative safety of firearms.