LETTER: Stats on gun deaths faulty?

Richard Green takes issue with attention paid to a recent report.

A reader criticizes a report on gun injuries in Canada.

This month there has been considerable media attention paid to an article which appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The article reported that there are a large number of injuries and deaths among Ontario youth involving firearms: average just under one injured youth per day, with three-quarters occurring accidentally.

Whether the article is transparent or not, you be the judge. It presents youth as being anyone under the age of 25. It includes BB guns and paint ball guns as firearms. It ignores sources of many more injures and death affecting youth.

Let’s consider accidental deaths. Statistics Canada has data which reports, for the twelve years 2000 to 2011, that there were 26 accidental deaths involving firearms in the under 20 age group, which is just over 2 per year.

During the same period, due to accidents in the same age group, there were 16 who died of medical complications, 241 drownings, 85 who died of burns, 117 killed in falls, 91 who died cycling, and 3947 who died in motor vehicle accidents. Total: 4533, just over one per day during the twelve years.

The source of this data is Statistics Canada, External Causes of Morbidity and Mortality, Causes of Death.

This tells us that accidental deaths involving firearms among youth (up to to 20 years old) amounts to 0.57 per cent of the total – about one out of every 200 deaths. Yes, every one of those deaths is heartbreaking, and disastrous for the family involved, but there are much bigger areas of concern as shown by the above statistics. Perhaps the CBC, CTV, and Global TV and the print media could, and should, put the picture into perspective?

Richard Green

Nelson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

Grade 7 Trafalgar students show off posters they put up around downtown Nelson with information about residential schools. Photo: Tyler Harper
Trafalgar class puts up residential school history posters downtown

The Grade 7 students made their own websites and QR codes

The Capitol Theatre has been transformed into a courtroom for the trial of Const. Jason Tait that started on Sept. 28 and continues. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Defence begins presenting evidence in Nelson jury trial of RCMP officer

Const. Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after a Castlegar incident in 2015

The West Kootenay Cycling Coalition says GoByBike Week was a success. Photo: Submitted
A round of applause for GoByBike Week supporters

Nearly 200 cyclists participated

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read