Every day I update my list of gun deaths since Newtown. There are nearly 7,000 gun deaths listed from my Slate source. It’s an incomplete list, only drawing from what is reported in the media. Nevertheless, as I was posting the names, ages, city and state of these gun deaths throughout July, it seemed like there were more than any previous month in 2013. Of course, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to look more closely at the data for July 2013, even though it is definitely incomplete. As of the writing of this post, there were 1,038 gun deaths in July 2013, second only to January (1095 gun deaths). That’s roughly 16 percent of the gun deaths so far in 2013. Here are some other breakdowns of July’s statistics:
Female – 14% Male – 86%
0-12 years (16) – 1.5% 12-17 years (52) – 5% 18-19 years (53) – 5% 20-29 years (614) – 59% 30-39 years (197) – 19% 40-49 years (132) – 12.7% 50-50 years (61) – 5.8% 60-69 years (28) – 2.6% 70 and older (47) – 4.5% (the oldest was 95!)
Unknown Name – 47% (Often minor children’s names are NOT listed.)
Unknown Name and Age – 11%. Nothing is known about these poor souls.
According the the Brady Campaign*: Every day, 282 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, accidents, and police intervention. Every day, 86 people die from gun violence: 32 are murdered; 51 kill themselves; 2 die accidentally; 1 the intent is unknown. Every day, 196 are shot and survive: 140 shot in an assault; 10 survive a suicide attempt; 43 are shot accidentally, 2 are shot in a police intervention. If we were to use these statistics to extrapolate more realistic numbers for gun deaths only in July 2013, we’d begin to see a very different story of lives lost and families changed by gun violence:
July 2013 gun deaths from crowdsourced media: 1,038 Averaged monthly gun deaths: 2,666 (86 gun deaths/day x 31 days)
The breakdown for a month would look like this:
- 992 murdered
- 1,581 self-inflicted
- 62 die accidentally
- 31 intent unknown
- 373 female
- 2,293 male
I know numbers make most of us glaze over or they’re numbers we have a difficult time relating to. But what if you were to look at the numbers in relation to something you can relate to, like your friends on Facebook? If I have 60 friends on Facebook and I related it to one of these numbers, roughly all 60 would die from accidental gunshot in one month! Half would die without knowing why! Many have more than 100 friends on Facebook. If roughly 86 people die each day from guns, how many days before all of your friends on Facebook would be dead! Grizzly and scary when you put it in relatable terms. Numbers and statistics are impersonal and separate us from the real lives impacted. We must never lose sight of the fact that each number relates to one person who dies. And each person who dies was connected to a family, a network of friends and co-workers – a greater circle of people whose lives are irrevocably altered because of the misuse of a firearm.
*The Brady Campaign averaged the most recent three years of data from death certificates (2008-2010) and estimates of emergency room admissions (2009-2011) available via CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars/. Data retrieved 12/28/12. Numbers may not sum to 100% because of rounding. **Estimate may be unstable.