Are gun deaths negligible in the U.S?

We all know the debate:

Take away gun from people and criminals will still have and use them, allegedly leading to a possibly rise in violent crime and gun deaths. On the bright side, murders of passion (spouse, family, friends) and accidental gun deaths (children, inebriation) would allegedly decrease dramatically enough to make up for it several times over, resulting in a net decrease in dyingness.

My question is: Does it really matter if gun deaths remain at the current level? In the grand scheme of things, they only represent a minuscule fraction of all deaths, do they not?

Have we reached the point of diminishing returns already? The point at which any measure taken to effectively reduce gun deaths is much more expensive than the value of lost lives from a detached governmental perspective?

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics

That’s a very % of homicides.

That’s not what he asked.

Murder rates have not decreased in countries which banned guns. If you Google up “murder rate gun ownership”, all but one link you click off of on the first page will go through what all studies there have been and come out negative for a reduction in murder or crime with lower gun ownership.

And you should note that the way Google works is by counting how many times people click on a link and sorting it towards the first page. So either there’s a whole lot of gun nuts on the internet clicking those links, or that’s just the way it is.

CAUSES OF DEATH, USA, 2002 FORMAL NAME INFORMAL NAME % ALL DEATHS
(1) Diseases of the heart heart attack (mainly) 28.5%
(2) Malignant neoplasms cancer 22.8%
(3) Cerebrovascular disease stroke 6.7%
(4) Chronic lower respiratory disease emphysema, chronic bronchitis 5.1%
(5) Unintentional injuries accidents 4.4%
(6) Diabetes mellitus diabetes 3.0%
(7) Influenza and pneumonia flu & pneumonia 2.7%
(8) Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s senility 2.4%
(9) Nephritis and Nephrosis kidney disease 1.7%
(10) Septicemia systemic infection 1.4%
(11) Intentional self-harm suicide 1.3%
(12) Chronic Liver/Cirrhosis liver disease 1.1%
(13) Essential Hypertension high blood pressure 0.8%
**(14) Assault homicide 0.7% **
(15) All other causes other 17.4%

Per previous numbers if we assume 50% of the .07 is gun related, guns are responsble for approx 3/10ths of 1% of all deaths + a % of suicides.

There’s an entire industry dedicated to trying to figure out how Google’s ranking algorithm works, and that ain’t one of the factors. Did you maybe mean “how many people link to the page”?

It’s nothing to sneer at, and it is something that can be addressed, but it must be addressed carefully, without infringing upon the Constitution. Of course, that is a matter of debate as well.

The problem, simply put, is this: a tremendous percentage of the US population own guns. The vast majority never fire their weapons in anger. As a result, they are detached from the problem of gun violence and see no need to regulate them. Therefore, any attempts at passing gun control seem to be nothing less than an infringement of their Constitutional rights. Yet in other places guns are a scourge, costing those localities scores of people, most of which represent their future.

There has to be a way out. Having said that, we have yet another problem. The people that pass laws see the way out as wholesale proscription of certain classes of guns. People who are not victims of crime see that as the first step down the road to total proscription, and that is unacceptable. Admittedly I am one of those people, but you know, I’m not unreasonable. There is room for compromise, but it must be genuine compromise, not “this is what you must do, now suck it down and deal with it”.

Laws are very much knee-jerk reactions to problems. Craft a law carefully and ask for input from he people it will affect and I suspect you’ll have better luck in getting it passed, and with much less resistance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank

Ahah, I’d always assumed that their http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html thing had been more allegorical than that.

The useful calculation would actually be the difference between how many deaths would still be committed with another weapon and those that wouldn’t.

If a guy doesn’t have a gun, so he stabs his wife to death, that’s not a net reduction in murder.

So we’re talking about a small fraction of 3/10ths of 1%.