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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:57 AM

Why gun deaths are decreasing, in one graphic.

Thanks, doc.



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324712504578131360684277812.html
...Daniel Borowy was a recent beneficiary. He was in the cafeteria of Perry Hall High School in suburban Baltimore on the first day of school this fall when he was shot in the chest at close range with a 16-gauge shotgun. The pellets broke several ribs, bruised a lung and spread through his chest and abdomen. The 17-year-old sophomore collapsed, as a guidance counselor wrestled the gun from the 15-year-old alleged shooter. Police said the boy smuggled the gun, unassembled, into the school.

Within minutes, Daniel was in the care of flight paramedics in a Maryland State Police helicopter en route to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. There, using new techniques borrowed from battlefield medicine, the doctors "saved his life," said Daniel's mother, Rosemary Borowy, weeks after the shooting. "They gave him back to us."

After a steady decline through the 1990s, the annual number of homicides zigzagged before resuming a decline in 2007, falling from 16,929 that year to an estimated 14,722 in 2010, according to FBI crime data.

At the same time, medical data and other surveys in the U.S. show a rising number of serious injuries from assaults with guns and knives. The estimated number of people wounded seriously enough by gunshots to require a hospital stay, rather than treatment and release, rose 47% to 30,759 in 2011 from 20,844 in 2001, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. The CDC estimates showed the number of people injured in serious stabbings rose to 23,550 from 22,047 over the same period.

Mortality rates of gunshot victims, meanwhile, have fallen, according to research performed for The Wall Street Journal by the Howard-Hopkins Surgical Outcomes Research Center, a joint venture between Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. In 2010, 13.96% of U.S. shooting victims died, almost two percentage points lower than in 2007. (Earlier data used different standards, making comparisons useless.)

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why gun deaths are decreasing, in one graphic. (Original post)
Robb Jan 2013 OP
KG Jan 2013 #1
Recursion Jan 2013 #20
Robb Jan 2013 #23
Recursion Jan 2013 #25
Robb Jan 2013 #27
Recursion Jan 2013 #31
Robb Jan 2013 #34
Tommy_Carcetti Jan 2013 #2
DanTex Jan 2013 #3
samsingh Jan 2013 #9
Walk away Jan 2013 #32
jeff47 Jan 2013 #39
onehandle Jan 2013 #4
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #6
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #5
DanTex Jan 2013 #7
Lizzie Poppet Jan 2013 #8
slackmaster Jan 2013 #11
DanTex Jan 2013 #16
slackmaster Jan 2013 #17
DanTex Jan 2013 #18
rightsideout Jan 2013 #10
Robb Jan 2013 #19
eppur_se_muova Jan 2013 #24
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #12
99Forever Jan 2013 #14
slackmaster Jan 2013 #15
Floyd_Gondolli Jan 2013 #29
slackmaster Jan 2013 #36
ThoughtCriminal Jan 2013 #37
Rex Jan 2013 #38
99Forever Jan 2013 #13
Recursion Jan 2013 #21
Mojorabbit Jan 2013 #22
Eleanors38 Jan 2013 #30
morningfog Jan 2013 #26
SheilaT Jan 2013 #28
s-cubed Jan 2013 #33
Recursion Jan 2013 #35

Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:59 AM

1. you've never been safer!

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Response to KG (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:10 AM

20. well, in fact, we haven't been safer in the past 40 years or so

We're still experiencing the most precipitous drop in crime rates in history, and have been for 20 years or so.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:31 AM

23. Arguably except for shootings and stabbings.

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Response to Robb (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:46 AM

25. Well, no, objectively not

The rates of both shootings and stabbings (not just deaths from them) are about half what they were 20 years ago. The increases over the past couple of years are at the noise level.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:49 AM

27. WSJ said the data were collected too differently to make an accurate comparison

...further back than a few years.

Do you have access to better data? Can you direct me to it?

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Response to Robb (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:58 AM

31. Aggravated Assault

I'm sure there are aggravated assaults that are with something other than a gun or a knife, but we aren't talking about a lot there.

From the FBI: http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/Search/Crime/State/TrendsInOneVar.cfm?NoVariables=Y&CFID=18740095&CFTOKEN=df5a697c86a6a747-DB5851E9-9993-718D-25806A7B46CCDCBB

(That may or may not work since it was a custom query.)

1982 1,322,390
1983 1,258,087
1984 1,273,282
1985 1,327,767
1986 1,489,169
1987 1,483,999
1988 1,566,221
1989 1,646,037
1990 1,820,127
1991 1,911,767
1992 1,932,274
1993 1,926,017
1994 1,857,670
1995 1,798,792
1996 1,688,540
1997 1,636,096
1998 1,533,887
1999 1,426,044
2000 1,425,486
2001 1,439,480
2002 1,423,677
2003 1,383,676
2004 1,360,088
2005 1,390,745
2006 1,418,043
2007 1,408,337
2008 1,392,629
2009 1,325,896
2010 1,246,248

Note that 2010 was under every previous year in absolute number of aggravated assaults, not just the rate per 100k. If you divide by the population of the US in each year, you wind up with an aggravated assault rate less than half of what it was in the mid 1990s.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:42 PM

34. Turns out that was a big, wrong assumption.

I might've guessed the same, and been wrong too.

http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/violent_crime/aggravated_assault.html
Of the aggravated assault offenses in 2009 for which law enforcement agencies provided expanded data, 26.9 percent were committed with hands, fists, and feet; 20.9 percent were committed with firearms; and 18.7 percent were committed with knives or cutting instruments. The remaining 33.5 percent of aggravated assaults were committed with other weapons. (Based on Table 19.)

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:01 AM

2. Same reason deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were down.

Better medical treatment results in more survivors.

It has nothing to do with CCWs.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:02 AM

3. That graphic also illustrates why the homicide rate in the US is so high...

...compared to other wealthy nations. It's because the death rate from gun assaults is much higher than from knife assaults (or other weapons). The weapon matters. If you reduce access to guns, and crimes and arguments involve less deadly weapons instead, then you end up with less homicides.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:24 AM

9. That's an intelligent read of the data

good

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Response to DanTex (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:58 AM

32. That is completely untrue.

In England the death rate by knife is the same per capita as the US but the United States death rate by gun is 15 times the gun death rate in Great Britain.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:48 PM

39. Um...you just agreed with them.

Perhaps you could restate your objection in a way that makes it an objection?

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:06 AM

4. Clearly we need deadlier guns. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:08 AM

6. +1

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:06 AM

5. What specific advances in trauma medicine "went live" during those three years?

Unless there have been changes in treatment for gunshot and stab wounds instituted during the (extremely short) period of time included in the analysis, attribution of the decline in fatalities to improved medical treatment is dubious at best.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:09 AM

7. Well, it might be a decline in marksmanship, after all, the gun demographic keeps getting older...

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Response to DanTex (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:23 AM

8. Could be!

Or, given the connection between gun violence and our stupid War on Drugs, maybe more of the shooters were indulging in their merchandise...

Good point, above, re: the deadlier nature of firearms in comparison to knives. Most people don't carry "serious" knives (big difference in deadliness between a little folding pocketknife and a large fighting knife that's halfway to being a shortsword), nor do they know how to fight with a knife. It's a lot easier to learn to shoot well enough to hit a target the size of a person at close range than it is to learn to fight effectively with a knife.

I also suspect most of those "stab" wounds were actually slices. Nasty, and if long and deep enough potentially deadly...but still less chance of damaging a vital organ than a penetration wound. All gunshot wounds are penetration wounds, however...

In any case, I concur that effective methods to reduce access to firearms by those who shouldn't have them are needed. Unfortunately, gun control efforts tend to be made in areas of extremely poor return (for the political capital spent). People are going after the low hanging fruit of "assault weapons" because they believe it to be politically possible...and ignoring the likelihood that any success at this will make efforts to curb the (literally) exponentially greater problem of handguns in the possession of criminals vastly more difficult when the gun lobby says "we've compromised enough."

But I'm drifting off topic...sorry!

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Response to DanTex (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:25 AM

11. Crimes are still committed mostly by males age 18 - 24

 

The "gun demographic" is not the same thing as the "crime demographic."

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 AM

16. I was joking. I don't really think it's a decline in marksmanship...

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Response to DanTex (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 AM

17. Thanks. It's early out here and I haven't had my coffee yet.

 

Now would be a good time for that.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:49 AM

18. Not a great joke, I admit...

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:25 AM

10. Maryland is famous for it's shock trauma center

Maryland was one of the first major trauma centers set up in the country. They based the model on military MASH units from the Vietnam war so Medevac helicopters are a major part of the system. Since Baltimore is pretty much in the center of Maryland the State Police Medevac helicopters can get to the trauma center quickly. I sometimes hear their helicopters pass overhead. They have a distinct engine noise. If there is a bad accident on I-95 I can often hear them hoovering above the ballfield waiting to transport the victims. It's incredible to watch them in action.

Maryland is replacing all 10 Medevacs with new 12 million dollar helicopters that can aid pilots in flying in fog and difficult terrain. The new model is a twin engine version so if one engine fails it can still fly. I imagine these new helicopters will be able to get patients to the trauma center even quicker.

The trauma system is state-of-the-art. If you get shot, Maryland is the place to be for treatment.

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:08 AM

19. Had a friend hit by a motorcycle there

...I remember him saying how lucky everyone told him he was about where he was treated.

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Response to rightsideout (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:33 AM

24. Glad to see the improvements in helicopters. Too many lost in crashes ...

it only compounds the tragedy when pilots and EMTs die en route to trying to save a life. Saw it too often.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:28 AM

12. What a stupid post.

Thanks for helping me update my ignore list.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:32 AM

14. Ut oh...

... gots to hide from those pesky facts, eh?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:33 AM

15. Robb stirred a turd by posting verifiable factual information from a credible source

 

Way to go, Robb!

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:53 AM

29. the gun nut will always cherry pick and mangle data

 

It's their way. I actually had one tell me that the UK was the country with the violent crime problem, not the US, never mind the fact that we're at 9 per 100,000 (or thereabouts) and they're at 0.25 (or thereabouts)

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Response to Floyd_Gondolli (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:49 PM

36. You're calling Robb a gun nut?

 

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:24 PM

37. Wow, what a great rebuttle

Can I get on that same list?

Thank you.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:28 PM

38. Add me too.

You obviously have nothing to say but are just mad that you cannot refute the facts presented.

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Response to Robb (Original post)


Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:11 AM

21. Interesting. Stabbings passed shootings in 2008

I didn't know it was even close, let alone that stabbings were ahead now.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:21 AM

22. I also had no idea we had so many stabbings. nt

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Response to Recursion (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:56 AM

30. Weapon used most often in Austin homocides in 2011? Knives.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:48 AM

26. This tracks the same decrease in deaths in war zones. Good post. Eviscerates NRA talking point #34.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:52 AM

28. Thank god for all our wars.

THAT'S the comforting thought we're all supposed to take from the graph?

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:18 PM

33. Check out this article to see a REALLY strong correlation.

As lead exposure went up, so did violence. As it went down, so did violence. The curves are offset by 23 years.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

Now, I have to say that I am not a purist on these issues. I think policing changes have helped, especially micro-targeting hot areas, and relationship building in the community. Chief Cathy Lanier, in DC, has made a real effort to weed out bad cops. Medical care has helped, thanks to the horrific wounds in the Mideast wars. Perhaps our high rate of incarceration has an effect. But the graphs in the article are stunning.

We know lead is a neurotoxin, affecting IQ, impulse control, and causing ADHA. One of the interesting things in the article was that those involved in criminal justice aren't very interested in the findings. After all, they have a vested interest in believing THEY caused the decline.

By the way, there is still a lot of lead exposure, both from old buildings and highly contaminated soil. The problem is not solved: we need to get the rest of the lead out.

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Response to s-cubed (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:46 PM

35. I put lead abatement above any other cause, personally (nt)

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