FEATURE - The Outdoor Wire - Friday, August 10


Death by the Numbers

While no one wants to die, no one also likes to be lied to.
According to most mass liberal media and some misguided school students, you would think all Americans will soon die from a firearms inflicted homicide or an accident involving a firearm.
Nothing could be further from the truth!


In fact, those widely noted and quoted champions of research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), like to, and are paid to, find the facts. Their National Center for Health Statistics lists the leading cause of death in American as heart disease. This verifies those who argue spoons have killed more Americans than firearms. More CDC numbers reveal cancer, respiratory diseases, accidents (mainly ladders), strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, and nephrosis are numbers one through nine in the causes of death listing. This group of illnesses and death inflictors amassed more than 1.9M (million) deaths in 2015 (best year stats are available) as reported in the Health United States, 2016 Table 19. Rounding out the top 10 in the leading cause of death for Americans was suicide. This accounted for 44, 000-plus deaths in 2015 in the United States of America. Not all of those self-inflicted deaths were accomplished with a firearm.


Firearm related deaths in America are actually low in the overall counts and totals.
It’s important, however, to also note that in causes of death, suicide ranked as number 7 among males and was not in the Top Ten causes of death listed for females.


Overall, in the white population, suicide dropped to cause No. 9 and was not in the Top Ten among causes of death for Black or African Americans in the survey numbers.


Suicide was also absent in the Top Ten causes of death in the US’ Hispanic and Asian populations. No specific numbers of firearms data were available in the report because those are covered deep within the homicide and suicide numbers. 


It is also worth noting that homicide was a Top Ten cause of death in several segments of our nation’s population, including Black, Hispanic, and American Indian populations. Suicide was also noted high in the Top Three causes of death in ages 6- 24 per two tables in the report.
Full details on causes of death in America can be read at: cdc.gov/nchs/data.


This government funded report also delves into death causes, including automobile injuries, suicides and death rates for firearm related injuries. Here, deep in the details, the numbers become more interesting. In firearms related deaths per 100,000 Americans, the rate for males is basically 11%. Suicide rates in the same population base at 13%, and deaths by homicide were a much lower 5.5%. Motor vehicles totaled more than 11% of the deaths in 2015. Opium and drugs pulled down about 16% of the population. Thus the numbers reveal that drugs and steering wheels killed more Americans than firearms.


Occupational injuries in construction, waste management and agriculture/forestry/fishing also claimed many lives. This detailed taxpayer funded report also covers statistics on headaches, disabilities and cigarette smoking. In fairness, the 488 pages in the report also reports on the state of dental care, doctor visits, women health issues and other topics but fails to elaborate in any details on firearms and firearms specific deaths.


Deep in the report’s details, I discovered that in the 2015-year category, about 24% of males reported that they had carried a weapon that year. The number who had been in a fight was twice as high. And those carried weapons were listed as gun, club or knife in the fine print, and NOT just firearms. Thus self defense is an important part of life in America.


In the report’s Abstract we find the most understandable summary of life—or dying—in America:
“In 2015, the 10 leading causes of death were, in rank order: Diseases of heart; Malignant neoplasms; Chronic lower respiratory diseases; Accidents (unintentional injuries); Cerebrovascular diseases; Alzheimer’s disease; Diabetes mellitus; Influenza and pneumonia; Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis; and Intentional self-harm (suicide). They accounted for 74% of all deaths occurring in the United States.” Further in the weeds, falls were ahead of accidental discharge of firearms in the top 113 causes of death. Firearms were also buried in the numbers in categories 105, 109 and 110 related to homicide and suicide. Thus, firearms and death-by-firearms, are far down the list in causes of death in America—almost to the extent of not being reportable had the statistics only reported on the Top 100 causes of death in the United States.


So, these government generated numbers report that taking care of yourself and your health can be the ticket for a long life compared to believing the media and worrying about firearms, and firearm related death numbers. Life and death in America is not what is reported on the major news networks.


-- Michael D. Faw