Myth 9 – Statistics show…

The problem with statistics is that you can always find ones that fit your narrative, especially if you play with how they are presented.  I am not going to attack or defend any of the numbers directly.  I just hope you dig deeper rather than accept anyone’s numbers at face value.  A couple of examples:

  • The number of gun deaths (38,658 in 2016 per CDC which is similar to automobile deaths at 40k), yet they don’t take out suicides. In my opinion if someone uses a gun to commit suicide, they are determined to die, not crying for help.  Just like in previous myths, if you take away the gun, they will use another method.  Suicide by gun accounted for 22,938 deaths of the 38,658. This drops the number to 15,720.  For perspective, the flu and pneumonia account for 55k deaths per year. Heart Disease is 614k.
  • The US has one of the highest murder rates (#8 of 219 in 2015 at 15,696 according to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime).  Well yes, but only by total numbers.  When correlated against the total population, it drops to #94 at 4.88 per 100,000.

I will point out one statistic in favor of gun owners and specifically concealed carry permit holders.  The state of TX keeps detailed statistics related to concealed carry.  Of the 27.9 million citizens, 42,797 were convicted of a crime in 2016.   That equates to 153 per 100,000.  How many concealed carry permit holders were convicted of a crime in 2016?  148.  That is 0.53 per 100,000.  Now perhaps that number is not presented fairly. In 2016, there were 937,419 permit holders.  So if we compare crimes to permit holders, the number is 16 per 100,000.  So look at all the numbers you want, but using the worst number, your average citizen is about 10 times more likely to commit a crime than someone carrying a firearm legally.  Using the best number, the average citizen is 290 times more likely to commit a crime than someone carrying a firearm legally.