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Old October 12, 2005, 01:29 PM   #1
FLA2760
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Your Chances Of Being Shot

Hi Everyone
I was reading a copy of Outdoor Life at my doctor's office today. It was the doctors magazine. Anyway I came across a sidebar that listed the following statistics released by the National Safety Council on the chances of being ACCIDENTLY killed in any given manner.

1st = Auto Accidents 1 in 228
2nd= Reaction to Medication 1 in 541
3rd= Hanging/Suffocating Yourself 1 in 576
4th= Drowning 1 in 1081
5th= Choking on non food objects 1 in 1267
6th= House Fire 1 in 1471
7th= Falling From Furniture 1 in 4745
8th= ATV Accident 1 in 4800
9th= ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT 1 in 4888


VERY INTERESTING! STEVE

Last edited by FLA2760; October 12, 2005 at 03:23 PM.
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Old October 12, 2005, 01:34 PM   #2
neoncowboy
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I actually probably stand a much greater chance of being accidentally shot, given the frequency with which I shoot guns, handle guns, load and unload guns and associate with people who are doing the same things.

Kind of like since I fly small airplanes, I am way more likely to end up in a plane crash than your average, fly-on-airlines-twice-a-year American.

Doesn't bother me though.
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Old October 12, 2005, 03:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
1st = Auto Accidents 1 in 228
2nd= Reaction to Medication 1 in 541
3rd= Hanging/Suffocating Yourself 1 in 576
4th= Drowning 1 in 1081
5th= Choking on non food objects 1 in 1267
6th= House Fire 1 in 1471
7th= Falling From Furniture 1 in 4745
8th= ATV Accident 1 in 4800
9th= ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT 1 in 4888
Time to ban medication, bathing, and furniture!


Seriously though, I think these are skewed... for instance, hanging/suffocation is suicide, not an accident as implied. And what exactly is "falling from furniture?"

I think also that your "chances of being shot" are greater than this article states. This accounts for accidental shootings. It doesn't appear to account for intentional or criminal shootings. I just read today that shooting homicides are the second leading cause of death in the US behind auto accidents, at roughly 15-20,000 per year (with another 15,000 gun suicides per year).
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Old October 12, 2005, 03:21 PM   #4
FLA2760
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re Stats

Hi Leadcouncil
Yes it is accidental shootings. This study does not address intentional acts.
as far as I was able to conclude since the study did not target any specific age group that the hanging I think #3 must pertain largly to small children who may get tangled in a scarf or a hooded jacket when say climbing a fence or something. This is only my guess. as far as suicide it was not addressed.
Steve
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Old October 12, 2005, 03:57 PM   #5
TimRB
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"... statistics released by the National Safety Council on the chances of being ACCIDENTLY killed in any given manner.

...ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT 1 in 4888"
-----------------

The article is absurd on its face if that's really the way the numbers are presented. More likely they meant to say that 1 in every 4888 accidental deaths is from a gunshot. That is *much* different than saying any one individual's chances of dying from accidental gunshot are 1/4888. One cannot, in fact, assess an individual's risk this way. For example, what if (hypothetically) an individual never ever went close enough to a firearm to be shot by it. His chances of dying from accidental gunshot would be exactly zero.

Tim
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Old October 12, 2005, 04:59 PM   #6
Dead
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The number of 1 out of 4888 would mean about 71,604 people die each year from accidental discharge of firearms, if the US population is 350 million. That number is in no way accurate. Another attempt to give a false impression of guns in general. This is especially the point as how often do you hear about "accidental firearms death" in the news, rather than homicide. I would make one think that "Well if my chances of dying from an accidental shooting, what if I was murdered, I never hear about accidental shootings on the news (or barely do). GASP!"

Oh and auto accidents is not near the top "causes of death" in America, think cancer, and heart disease, etc....

I am sure that playing the numbers game, and controling the "group" that is used I could come close to ~50% death by any means that I might want... Numbers alone do not mean anything, unless you know exactly how they come to those numbers.
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Old October 12, 2005, 05:28 PM   #7
HappyGunner
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It's how you handle them

I really think it's how you handle a firearm. Over the past 50+ years I have read in newspapers or watched a TV news reports of sons shooting fathers fathers shooting their sons while handling a firearm also friends shooting friends. Also the many posting in the firearm forums about people shooting themselves or of shooting others while handling a firearm. This could go on and on My point it's really depends on how someone handles a firearm. Always thinking a shell is loaded will keep you thinking about how you should handle the firearm.
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Old October 12, 2005, 05:42 PM   #8
wayneinFL
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Quote:
hanging/suffocation is suicide, not an accident as implied. And what exactly is "falling from furniture?"
"falling from furniture" is most likely standing on a chair to reach something, or flipping backward and falling off a chair. These things happen more often than people think. And they result in death more often than people think. I wouldn't doubt most of the deaths involve the elderly or very young.

Suffocation and hanging are not always suicides. A friend at church had a young daughter who died in an accidental hanging. She got a window sash cord wrapped around her neck and fell. There was another accidental hanging on t.v. a while back- a seven year old who hung from a slide by the cord on the hood of her jacket. This caused manufacturers to change designs of playground equip[ment to be more snag free. I would imagine the NSC survey covered only accidental suffocation and hanging deaths.

BTW, I have to wonder if any adults die from "choking on non food objects."
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Old October 12, 2005, 05:47 PM   #9
zejs1
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Quote:
The number of 1 out of 4888 would mean about 71,604 people die each year from accidental discharge of firearms, if the US population is 350 million. That number is in no way accurate.
I think the statistic must be over the average lifetime, not annually.
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Old October 13, 2005, 08:50 AM   #10
TimRB
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"I think the statistic must be over the average lifetime, not annually."

But you can't really tell, though, can you? As presented here (and I'm guessing in the original article, too) it's impossible to know what the numbers actually mean.

Tim
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Old October 13, 2005, 03:30 PM   #11
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I don't like it when statistics are misrepresented.

Often we read, "The CHANCES of blah blah happening to you..."

We are not talking about random odds, like the "chance" that 10 will come up on a roulette wheel.


Just because 1 death out of 1267 came from choking on a non-food object, that doesn't mean that we all have a 1/1267 chance of it happening to us. I mean, what if we make a deliberate practice to never put non-food objects into our mouths?!


Many people simply do not understand how analysis of "chances" works.

All "chances" of something happening really amount to is a LOOK BACK AT HOW MANY TIMES THIS HAPPENED DIVIDED BY HOW MANY OPPORTUNITIES IT HAD TO HAPPEN.


For example, crossing the street:

Let's say that in a given year, 100 people crossed Main Street, and of them, 3 got hit by cars.

Some would say, "If you cross Main Street, you have a 3/100 chance of getting hit by a car."

This is not the case.

You have direct control over many of the factors that would contribute to you making it across safely or getting hit.

I venture to say that I will never in my life get hit by a car while crossing the street. Why? Because I exercise caution every time I cross the street. I deliberately check both directions, more than once, before I venture across. So we can say that 3 people did indeed get hit out of the 100 who crossed; we cannot say that the figure 3/100 is a predictor of my odds of getting hit. I maintain that I could cross that street 10,000 times and not get hit.

That list may have reported the number killed out of a total population figure (like crime stats that are reported in "X per 1000 population"), but it does not report what it SAYS, to wit: "the CHANCES of being accidentally killed in any given manner."


-blackmind
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Old October 13, 2005, 03:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
"... statistics released by the National Safety Council on the chances of being ACCIDENTLY killed in any given manner.

...ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT 1 in 4888"
-----------------

The article is absurd on its face if that's really the way the numbers are presented. More likely they meant to say that 1 in every 4888 accidental deaths is from a gunshot. That is *much* different than saying any one individual's chances of dying from accidental gunshot are 1/4888. One cannot, in fact, assess an individual's risk this way. For example, what if (hypothetically) an individual never ever went close enough to a firearm to be shot by it. His chances of dying from accidental gunshot would be exactly zero.

Tim

Tim, +1

How did you manage to say what I wanted to say, but so succinctly?!

-blackmind
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Old October 13, 2005, 04:01 PM   #13
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I take it to mean, that in the lifetime of 4,888 people, 1 of them will be killed by an accidental gunshot. Same for the auto accident, drowning, and house fire.

"1 in ____ will die by ____ in their lifetime."

It's a lifetime stat. Most often, statistics posed in this fashion are lifetime stats. Whether the stats are accurate, is an entirely different beast.

And I know this because I'm always right.
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Old October 13, 2005, 08:18 PM   #14
gddyup
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
"... statistics released by the National Safety Council on the chances of being ACCIDENTLY killed in any given manner.

...ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT 1 in 4888"
-----------------

The article is absurd on its face if that's really the way the numbers are presented. More likely they meant to say that 1 in every 4888 accidental deaths is from a gunshot. That is *much* different than saying any one individual's chances of dying from accidental gunshot are 1/4888. One cannot, in fact, assess an individual's risk this way. For example, what if (hypothetically) an individual never ever went close enough to a firearm to be shot by it. His chances of dying from accidental gunshot would be exactly zero.

Tim



Tim, +1

How did you manage to say what I wanted to say, but so succinctly?!

-blackmind
What if said person just happened to live next to someone who owned quite a few guns, just happened to be cleaning one one day, had an AD that went through the neighbors wall, and killed said person?

Just something off the wall that *may* happen and probably has. I hate statistics!
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Old October 13, 2005, 08:46 PM   #15
Mike40-11
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Statistics like this are averages. Obviously, they don't take into account any actions an individual may take to reduce their risk of a particular outcome.

That being said, I checked the CDC data for 2003 (latest released), and it shows a total number of accidental firearm deaths of 752. Just to pick something unusual off the list, hernias killed 1617 and tuberculosis killed 704.

2003 US population is estimated at 290,788,976. Thats 1 in 386,687. That's not the risk, that's the actual number for 2003. If you assume that it will remain at a similar rate, I would call that a pretty low likelihood. Obviously, intelligent precautions will reduce individual risk even further.

The way they come up with a number like 1 in whatever over a lifetime is to assume that the risk is constant every year and multiply it by the avg. life expectancy. If the rate is 1 in 386,687 for every year you live and the life expectancy is 79 years, you would get a chance of 1 in 4894 over a lifetime.
Seeing as how that's pretty close to the number cited, I would guess that's how they calculated it.
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