The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report detailing causes of death in the United States using data from 2013. While the report does mention firearm-related deaths – including accidents, homicides, and suicides – their numbers are not as high as they need to be in order to place even in the top 15 causes of death. Following the release of the CDC’s “National Vital Statistics Report” on February 16th, gun control groups such as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, have been curiously silent on the report’s findings.
Here are the top 15 causes of death, according to the report:
- Diseases of heart (heart disease) – 611,105
- Malignant neoplasms (cancer) – 584,881
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases – 149,205
- Accidents (unintentional injuries) – 130,557
- Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) – 128,978
- Alzheimer’s disease – 84,767
- Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) – 75,578
- Influenza and pneumonia – 56,979
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease) – 47,112
- Intentional self-harm (suicide) – 41,149
- Septicemia – 38,156
- Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis – 36,427
- Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension) – 30,770
- Parkinson’s disease – 25,196
- Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids – 18,579
Even Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety acknowledges that fewer than 12,000 people are murdered every year with firearms. While that number is high, it obviously pales in comparison to other causes of death.
A couple months ago, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut said that “this nation would be up in arms” if we experienced as many deaths from illnesses as we do from guns:
“If 30,000 people in the United States of America fell sick of flu or ebola or polio this nation would be up in arms, there would be drastic, effective action, 30,000 people falling sick as a result of a public epidemic, dying as a result is a public health crisis,” he said. “We have in this nation truly an epidemic of gun death and gun disease that is taking lives, 90 of them every day and should be treated as a public health crisis.”
“Congress is complicit by its inaction,” Blumenthal claimed in his speech. “Congress is complicit by failing to enact a universal background check so we keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
Funny, he didn’t mention heart disease or cancer. Or automobile accident deaths.
These numbers will always be too high, and they will always be used for political purposes.