STATISTICS STATISTICS

Did you know that:

Myth
Truth
"One child under 14 is accidently shot to death every day in the USA." (Center to Prevent Handgun Violence) True, if the year in question is 1979, when there were 364 such deaths. In 1990, the most recent year for which data are available, the number was 236, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The number of fatal gun accidents among children has fallen by 65% since 1970, even as the gun supply has grown significantly.
"In the past decade, more than 138,000 Americans were shot just by children under the age of 6." (Hartford Courant) No source is ever cited for this "factoid" because there is none. No government or academic agecny even collects data to provide an estimate for the true figure.
"135,000 children carry guns to school each day" (U.S. Senators Biden & Chafee) The 135,000 figure, also sometimes given as 186,000 is often attributed to the Department of Justice (DOJ), but no specific DOJ study is identified. The number is a huge distortion from the plausible 16,000 to 17,000 nationally extrapolated from criminologist gary Kleck's data.
"Firearms are responsible for the deaths of 45,000 infants, children and adolescents per year." (American Academy of Pediatrics) Even if all persons 15-95 are consideed "adolescents", this one can't be true. The 45,000 figure exceeds the total deaths in all ages from all causes related to firearms.
"One million U.S. inhabitants die prematurely each year as the result of intentional homicide or suicide" (former Surgeon General C.Everett Koop) According to the National Center for health Statistics, in 1988 there were 30,000 suicides (by all methods) and about 22,000 homicides (by all methods including legal self defense) Thus, the "one million"claim is off by about 1,800%.
"Guns are the leading cause of death among older teenagers - white and black - in America" (Newsweek) True for black males, but not for males or females of other races.

 


 
           
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