I had a post ready to go full of levity and self-mockery of my brief stint in online dating, but it’s 5:07 AM and I can’t sleep because I’m frustrated at how callous we’ve become about gun violence. I think about how selfish people are, valuing their ‘right to bear arms’ over the lives of their fellow citizens – KIDS, FOR THE LOVE – and I feel this overwhelming vexation because even if they can’t see beyond their own whims to preserve the lives of others, surely they can see how gun deaths impact their own lives as gun owners, right? To that end, I have a few pie charts.
It’s a pie blog. There have to be pie charts, and I’m not sorry about that in the slightest. They’re also not the prettiest things ever, but it’s 5 in the morning and I haven’t slept.
First, a relatively simple chart (source: FBI) depicting total homicides, divided by gun-related and not gun-related.
So what does this pie chart mean? It means all the bullshit “Oh, let’s ban knives and cars while we’re at it!” rhetoric can just stop. Guns KILL PEOPLE. Cars drive you places, and knives cut bales of hay and cheese and cool ass paper art, but guns exist for one purpose, and sadly they do it all too well. When guns kill more than double the number of people that knives, cars, bare-handed strangling, shoving people into trains, poisoning, drowning, and whatever other methods do, maybe the time to think about knife safety shouldn’t supersede thinking about how to reduce gun violence and increase gun safety. Which brings me to Pie Chart #2 (source: CDC):
These borders I didn’t crop out are driving me fucking insane, but I’m so frustrated and tired that I have no shits to give. According to the CDC, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. More than half of these deaths are caused by people shooting themselves. This article articulates why guns in particular are so problematic, but the gist of it is this: guns do irreversible damage that no amount of reconsideration or reflection or regret can undo if fired upon oneself.
Though guns are not the most common method by which people attempt suicide, they are the most lethal. About 85 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm end in death. (Drug overdose, the most widely used method in suicide attempts, is fatal in less than 3 percent of cases.) Moreover, guns are an irreversible solution to what is often a passing crisis. Suicidal individuals who take pills or inhale car exhaust or use razors have time to reconsider their actions or summon help. With a firearm, once the trigger is pulled, there’s no turning back.
So which group is most affected by gun-deaths? It turns out it’s gun owners themselves.
“But Jenny! Guns save lives too! They PROTECT! They protect LOTS!” OK yeah, I have a pie chart for that too (source: CDC). And it has borders.
Huh, look at that. Justifiable homicide accounts for only 2% of gun-related deaths, with suicide at 61% and suicide and homicide together at 95%. There are more people accidentally killing each other than justifiably. Kids shooting their siblings and horrifying accidents like that outnumber how many people are ‘justifiably’ killed. I’m sure gun enthusiasts will moo and howl about how many threats to their safety are deterred and unaccounted for, but how many accidental deaths and suicides and school shootings make that deterrent worth it?
Come on, gun nuts. Get it together. We want your guns to stop killing babies and fellow students and women and innocent people, but we also want your guns to stop killing YOU. Here, read some fucking articles. I’m going to bed.