Great news on the accidental injury/death front! The National Safety Council’s 2017 Edition of their Injury Facts report found that accidental gun deaths had dropped to their lowest numbers since records started being kept in 1903!
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) published figures from the report, showing that “fatal firearms accidents dropped 17 percent from 2014 to 2015 to 489.” Moreover, the figure of 489 accidental firearm deaths is so low, relatively speaking, that it represents “about three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes.”
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Read it again and think about it — the number of accidental gun deaths in 2015 was roughly “three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes.”
And while accidental gun deaths fell 17 percent from 2014 to 2015, the total number of accidental deaths for all other listed causes rose 8 percent. NSSF observed, “It should be noted that the decrease, which was the largest percentage decline of any category, came in a year that saw record firearms sales to many millions of Americans.”
The fact that accidental gun deaths has fallen to it’s lowest level since 1903 is amazing in and of itself, but consider a few other facts. In 1903 the American population was just north of 80 million people, in 2017 there are more than 326 Million Americans. Not only that, Americans today own somewhere between 300 million and 600 million guns! There are more guns in America than ever before, and yet crime is at all time low-levels and now accidental gun deaths are too.
National Shooting Sports Foundation President and CEO Steve Sanetti was exuberant about what the latest report meant to the American gun owning community.
“This latest release from the National Safety Council shows that the vast majority of the 100 million American firearms owners meet the serious responsibilities which come with firearms ownership. They store their firearms safely and securely when not in use, and follow the basic rules of firearms safety when handling them. The many firearms safety educational programs sponsored by the firearms industry and firearms safety instructors nationwide, such as the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, are also part of the reason for this ever-downward trend in firearms accidents. We will continue to work with organizations interested in genuine firearms safety to help reduce the number of firearms accidents even further in the days and years ahead.”