Accidental gun deaths down during skyrocketing sales

Accidental gun deaths down during skyrocketing sales

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Gun thieves skip the paperwork when they burglarize gun shops. (Dave Workman)
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Accidental gun deaths declined during a period when gun sales were up. (Dave Workman)

A new report from the National Safety Council (NSC) says accidental firearms fatalities were down in 2014-2015, a period during which gun sales were climbing, but that revelation hasn’t stopped anti-gunners from complaining that other gun-related fatalities are still up, according to Fox News.

But is this based on a raw number that continues to combine suicides with homicides?

NSC Vice President of Communications Kelly Nantel was quoted by Fox Thursday noting, “While it is accurate that unintentional firearm deaths have reached an all-time low, National Safety Council Injury Facts data also show gun violence and intentional shootings, including suicides, claimed an additional 34,997 lives in 2015.”

Roughly two-thirds of all firearms-related deaths are suicides in any given year. In Washington State, the ratio is even higher, up to 80 percent, according to some estimates.

According to the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS), in 2014 there were 20,968,547 background checks and in 2015, that number rose to 23,141,970. Those numbers do not reflect actual one-to-one sales, but they are indicative of a higher number of firearms sold during the same period for which NSC data is used for its report, “Injury Facts – 2017 Edition.”

Last year, there were 27,538,673 NICS checks, according to FBI data. Fox News, however, reported that “In 2016, more than 24.7 million criminal background checks for gun transactions were processed, according to data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.”

A check with the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2014 and 2015 show that there were 9,616 gun-related homicides in 2015, based on data gathered by the agency. In 2014, there were 8,124 firearms-related homicides listed. The most recent data available from the FBI come from 2015.

But once again, the report shows that gun prohibitionists have yet to stop mixing homicide and suicide data together to create a more dramatic number that they lump under the heading of “gun violence,” as if all the fatalities were the result of a criminal act.

Gun sales for this year may be down, as are overall NICS checks, though they are at a higher plateau than in any year prior to 2016, except for January and February of 2013, the two months following the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, a period when former President Barack Obama and Capitol Hill anti-gunners were pushing for stricter gun laws.

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