Gun Safety Data Is In — 2015 Was A Good Year For The Good Guys! Why Basic Firearms Education Is So Important


I know I harp on this a lot but basic firearm safety is something that makes everyone safer. The more people that know and abide by the four basic rules of firearm safety, the less chance of a negligent discharge or accidental shooting of another person.

Whether or not firearms education had anything to do with it, the National Safety Council reported that 2015 had the lowest incidence of accidental injury and death by firearms since 1903.

Then National Safety Council is a government institution that tracks and reports causes of death and injury within the United States. They weed through all the data reported from hospitals and medical institutions to determine what’s causing people to die and get injured.

In 2015, they reported that 489 people died from accidental gunshot wounds.

“That’s about three-tenths of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes. The decrease came in a year that saw record firearms sales to many millions of Americans,” according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s representative.

That doesn’t mean we take those 489 deaths lightly but it does put accidental deaths attributable to guns down into the range of dying from riding a bicycle and dying on an airplane. In fact, according to the NSC’s 2014 data sheets, you’re way more likely to die from riding a bicycle than you are from an accidental gunshot wound.

via the National Security Council

However, before we get caught up in that, we have a second figure that needs attention: death by assault with a firearm. The 2014 numbers from the NSC show that 1 in 370 people will die due to getting assaulted with a firearm. That number was quite a bit larger than I had anticipated.

For those in the cheap seats, this means an individual’s chance of dying by intentional assault by firearm versus negligent discharge is 18 times greater. It’s about twice as likely a person will die being assaulted by a firearm than they will getting hit as a pedestrian.

This really dismantles the argument that I’ve heard where someone says he doesn’t want a gun because his chance of ever needing it to defend himself is far less than the chance he will be hurt because of it.

That argument holds no weight in light of these recent statistics.

In fact, you’re far more likely to get killed by a bad guy with a gun than you are by accidental drowning.

All of these statistics from 2014 and 2015 come after two record-breaking years of gun sales. More and more Americans are purchasing guns — many for the first time — and yet the statistics on accidental injury and death are dropping to the lowest levels since the NSC began recording statistics on the subject.

With more people purchasing guns and getting their concealed carry permits, that means more people going through basic firearms education and learning how to safely use their guns.

It’s encouraging data and it further elucidates the point that Americans are capable of being competent and safe. So, for the majority of you guys out there — continue to carry concealed every single day and keep reinforcing those basic tenets of firearm safety. It’s working.


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About the Author

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 26 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his Sig Sauer SP2022 in a Dara Holsters Appendix IWB holster.

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