The Trace's Data Undermines Their Own Assertions On Gun Accidents

The Trace is a non-profit anti-gun propaganda organization masquerading as a “newsroom.” They seem to believe that guns are bad, but they can convince people of that if they just throw enough indoctrination at them.


Their latest effort is to talk about how dangerous guns are due to incompetence by talking about how many people have been accidentally shot so far this year.

So far this year, 71 people have been unintentionally shot at businesses across the United States, according to an analysis of Gun Violence Archive data. The locations include hotels, grocery stores, gas stations, theaters, and fast-food restaurants where Americans conduct their daily affairs. The total works out to about one person every four days. Seven of the shootings proved deadly.

Some of the victims were business owners or employees who accidentally discharged their weapons at work, hitting themselves or co-workers. Others were patrons utilizing state laws that allow gun owners to carry concealed guns outside their homes after undergoing training and securing a permit. (In the dozen states that now have so-called permitless carry laws, licenses are not required.)

Through the first nine months of 2017, an additional 28 people have been shot — one fatally — at businesses where the presence of guns would be expected, most often gun ranges. One of those shootings occurred at a range at the National Rifle Association’s Virginia headquarters; another was at the gunmaker Sig Sauer’s New Hampshire training academy.


To be sure, those accidents are a problem and simply should never happen.

However, while The Trace is crying about 99 people being shot by accident while out and about, they’re missing a key part of the conversation. They’re forgetting just how many guns are out there.

For example, this report from 2016 claimed there were 16.3 million concealed carry permits issued in the United States. If even half of those carry on a regular basis, then we’re still looking at a lot of guns on any given day. This doesn’t count those who carry without a permit in constitutional carry states.

Just for the sake of argument let’s say just 10 percent of concealed carry permits are actually used annually. So, out of 1.63 million firearms carried, we have 99 accidents. That’s 0.006 percent of those being carried are involved in an accident.

I don’t suppose The Trace would be interested in comparing those rates with auto accidents, now would they?

Further, that’s the result of me intentionally trying to stack the deck in favor of The Trace’s numbers. The reality is that I find it very difficult to imagine that only 10 percent of those who have permits use them. Also, as noted previously, none of the data regarding permit holders count those who carry firearms in constitutional carry states where they’re not required.


In other words, for all their scaremongering, they’ve actually proven just how rare accidents with firearms are out in public.

Over at The Truth About Guns, they offered this bit of wisdom:

The bottom line: according to the stats above, you’re 21 times more likely to be accidentally shot — or shoot yourself — in a grocery store than a strip club. Of course, there are other dangers: salmonella vs. syphilis. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

Probably not the most productive thought, but it amused me…and it’s accurate.

The truth is, The Trace’s data doesn’t illustrate how dangerous guns are in private hands. What it does is suggest that the vast majority of firearms in public are never even noticed, much less discharged in a negligent or accidental manner.



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