## Logical Fallacies: Nearly 30,000 people per year die as a result of gun violence in the United States

November 23, 2011 3 Comments

Most recently I saw this line parroted by Jesse Jackson in an op-ed “piece” he wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times, but I’ve been seeing and hearing this talking point for at least 10 years now.

Let me just get this out of the way: the 30,000/year number is complete crap.

I have no idea where they get these numbers, but I know where ** I** can get some

*accurate*numbers. Let’s take a quick look at Expanded Homicide Data Table 8 from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2010 shall we?

Here’s the data for 2010:

Total Homicides – 12,996, Total firearm homicides – 8,775

…and for 2009:

Total Homicides – 13,752, Total firearm homicides – 9,199

…and for 2008:

Total Homicides – 14,224, Total firearm homicides – 9,528

…and for 2007:

Total Homicides – 14,916, Total firearm homicides -10,129

…and for 2006:

Total Homicides – 15,087, Total firearm homicides -10,225

And in chart form:

If we take a quick peek at Expanded Homicide Data Table 7 from the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2005, we see:

2005

Total Homicides – 14,860, Total firearm homicides – 10,100

2004

Total Homicides – 14,210, Total firearm homicides – 9,385

2003

Total Homicides – 14,465, Total firearm homicides – 9,659

2002

Total Homicides – 14,263, Total firearm homicides – 9,528

2001

Total Homicides – 14,061, Total firearm homicides – 8,890

And in chart form:

Interesting, so in the last ten years, there has not been a single year when the total number of people murdered in the US was more than 15,087. That’s about half of what the anti’s are claiming, and that’s the *sum total of all homicides in the US*. One important thing to note here is that I am only looking at homicides. I am not counting suicides (which to be blunt, I couldn’t care less about. If someone is gonna off themselves they’re gonna use whatever is at hand, just look at the suicide rate in Japan where guns are completely banned), or accidental deaths. This is consistent with the “gun violence” part of the statement, accidents and suicide are not violence.

When we look at only firearm homicides, there has not been a single year since at least 2001 when the total was higher than 10,225; just a hair over 1/3 the number quoted so often by the anti’s.

What’s even more interesting is when you look at the age groups. We hear all the time how many “children” are gunned down in the US. In 2010, there were 632 people under the age of 18 killed with firearms.

Now, not included in the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics for Homicides are the following:

- The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty. (386 in 2006, 398 in 2007, 378 in 2008, 414 in 2009, 387 in 2010)
- The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen. (238 in 2006, 257 in 2007, 265 in 2008, 266 in 2009, 278 in 2010)

I find it fascinating how easily one can find accurate data to backup or debunk statistics online.

So I just have to wonder, where are these people getting the 30,000 number?