More and More Guns, Fewer and Fewer Gun Accidents

   09.08.15

More and More Guns, Fewer and Fewer Gun Accidents

This is for those frightened of a firearm’s deadly potential. As more and more guns are manufactured and sold, more and more people must be accidentally shot and killed, right?

Wrong.

The number of accidental gun deaths has been falling for quite a long time and has been the subject of numerous studies. At the same time, the number of privately-owned firearms in the USA has been steadily rising.

One study indicates that although there were roughly 363.3 million privately-held guns in the USA in 2013, there were just 505 fatal gun accidents. By contrast, there were less than one hundred million guns in civilian hands in 1967, when a whopping 2896 unintentional gun fatalities were recorded.

Gun accidents have dropped as the number of privately-owned guns increases.
Gun accidents have dropped as the number of privately-owned guns increases.

Bottom line: the presence of a gun doesn’t automatically make any place less safe.

A large part of this, in my opinion, is public awareness and attitude. For instance, my father and others of his generation seem(ed) much more inclined to blow off gun safety and sneer at those who suggest that maybe they should be more careful with their firearms or to feel insulted when someone checks a gun to see whether it’s unloaded.

I was brought up to always check any gun and to only believe my eyes. Better safe than dead. If someone gets hurt feelings, oh well. That’s a lot easier to deal with than an accidental gunshot wound.

…the total drop is astonishing, a 95% reduction in the rate of fatal firearm accidents since 1904.

More info is available here. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but the data is hard to ignore.

Guns are safe. They really are.

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