Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gun deaths up in 2010

On a chilly January morning, a dismal scientist's thoughts naturally turn to death.

The CDC reports that 31,513 people in the U.S. died in 2010 from guns, up from 31,347 the year before. Homicides involving guns were down (11,105 in 2010 from 11,493 the year before), as were homicides generally. Gun deaths from accidents and suicides accounted for the overall increase. A gun is still nearly twice as likely to be used in a successful suicide than in a homicide.

The cheerier news is that overall death rates decreased nationally, though the cheer will have to be reserved for other states--North Carolina's death rate actually increased.

Update: Figures for 2011 also show an increase in gun deaths.

1 comment:

Dean Weingarten said...

Focusing on "gun deaths" is to make a judgement that guns are more somehow more "evil" than other inanimate objects. Looking at total suicide or homicide numbers is more rational. As noted, almost 2/3 of "gun deaths" are suicides.

Suicides are generally unaffected by attempts to regulate guns, because so many other methods are available. Several studies have been done. Most show no effect from restrictions on guns on the overall suicide rates. A few show a very small effect.