Americans A Day? Really?
80 Americans die every day as a result
of firearm use or abuse. That's
almost 30,000 people per year. Another 65,000
are injured from firearm use.
The surprising thing is that about half that
number of people are suicides, by white males,
of all ages. Even more surprising is that
black males seldom shoot themselves. Kudos for
This information comes from a story by the New
York Times. You can check it out for yourself
I don't personally begrudge anyone who decides
to manage his or her own departure off
this mortal coil (women rarely shoot themselves,
BTW, unless you're a Washington madam or a war
protester <cough>) but I doubt every suicide
was accomplished in
don't say that with any statistical data to back
me up but I've read enough stories about Darwin
Award nominees to satisfy any nagging, personal
One observation I'd like to make about the data
offered is that of those 80 deaths only five
are the result of, as the Times puts it, "accident
or police action".
illustrates the lie that more guns keep
safer. By far the vast majority of gun deaths,
as you'll see from the story, come from suicide or murder
or accident. There isn't even a category for "self-defense".
To sum up, if there was a consumer device responsible for
as many deaths as guns they'd have been swept out of
the marketplace years ago. Unfortunately, it's been driven
into the American psyche, as a result of popular media,
that guns in and of themselves are the answer, that there's
can't be improved with a little gunplay.
But think about it... would you really want an anonymous vigilante meting out
justice in your neighborhood? You may be thinking Charles Bronson but what you
get is John Allen Muhammad.
Americans are, so the myth goes, rugged individualists.
We are, in reality, little children who love things that go boom.