Keeping your numbers straight

Continuing my watch on the enemy I found Washington Ceasefire does a very interesting dance with numbers. From their Gun Facts page:

  • Last year in the United States, approximately 214 children died from accidental shootings and more than 1,000 suffered from non-fatal firearm injuries.
  • In 2001, there were 14,571 kids injured by a firearm.
  • Every 7.5 hours a child or teen was killed in a firearm-related accident or suicide in 2000.

At first glance you think they aren’t consistent. After all if a child was killed every 7.5 hours you would have almost 1200 dead in a year instead of the 214 on the first line. But the first line just references accidental shootings. The last line includes suicides, justifiable and praiseworthy homicides, and is for a different year as well. And doesn’t injury in the second line include those killed? Well… probably the 1,000 in the first line refers only to accidental shooting that were not fatal and again it’s for a different year. And “injured by a firearm” would include injuries on the “non-business” end of the gun such as “scope eye” from shooting a rifle with your face too close the to scope and recoil from firing cause it to hit your face (typically just above your eye).

And it’s interesting to me they spend most of their time on “kids and guns”. Apparently they are shooting for maximum emotional appeal.

The numbers they should be looking for are the ones that answer Just One Question.