Mass shootings get a ridiculously disproportionate amount of coverage in the media. A single incident will dominate our 24 hour news cycle and headlines for days, if not weeks.
However, how likely are you really to be killed in one of these events? A new FBI report shed some light on this question.
According to the report, 418 have been killed in active shooter situations from 2000 – 2013 (note that this includes deaths from the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012). This works out to around 30 people per year.
In that same time period over 29,000,000 Americans died from other causes. Of course, heart disease and cancer (all types) along with a host of other medical conditions remain the top killers.
What else are you more likely to die of than being killed by active shooter? Let’s have a look.
Lightning strikes – Lightning strikes kill, on average, 50 Americans each year according to NOAA data.
Riding a bicycle – 800 people were killed by bicycling accidents in 2010 alone.
Falling Down – 26,631 died from injuries sustained in various types of falls from 2010 – 2011.
There are an estimated 300 million firearms in the United States. Compare that number to the 30 people killed in mass shootings each year.
Certainly, I am not trying to negate the value of the lives lost to shooting incidents each year. However, when we’re talking about laws and policy making which will affect literally tens of millions of Americans we have to keep things in perspective.
by Dan Cannon
Oct 6, 2014