Homicide and Firearms - Some Facts

While I was researching this post, a Facebook friend posted this  picture.  I commented, giving information I discovered and found surprising.  The stats are below, under domestic violence.  A friend of my friend then commented, Dearest Willa......useless, worthless statistics.  Lies, damn lies and statistics.  Go back to class and learn forgiveness, and while you're at it....drop dead!

Well.  That was disturbing.  To my knowledge, I do not know the person who called me Dearest Willa, said I need to learn forgiveness, and then told me to drop dead.  It occurs to me that facts have power, if they evoked this response.

My facts come from the Centers for Disease Control, Bureau of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, from reports and data bases that count people who died and how they died.  That is all these sources did -- they counted.  They made no policy recommendations.

I make no policy recommendations in this series, either.  I am reporting their numbers.  I do hope they are not useless numbers.  I offer them to you to help you weigh the costs and benefits of gun ownership.

How Many Killed Since Newtown?

Technical difficulties have delayed my research on homicide and firearms.  I can't figure out how to make the story not tedious.  So I will skip it.  Maybe next week...

Until then, here is a resource to keep you up to date.  Slate Magazine and the Twitter feed @GunDeaths are crowd sourcing data to answer the question:

How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?

The answer is not easy to find.  Coroners do not publish this information in real time.  Perhaps you noticed that my statistics last week were from 2009 and 2010.  The tally is collected only at the end of the year, and it is not official for some months after.  Suicides, in particular, are underreported, even in official statistics.  They get caught up in investigations that take months beyond the reporting date.  Eventually the numbers for 2011 will be corrected, when these investigations are completed.  Meanwhile, the smaller number has been published in places that will not be corrected and will nonetheless be repeated (including Prozac Monologues, if I try to publish the most current sources.)

Guns and Death, Death and Guns

I have a friend, a young mother of two toddlers, whose New Years resolution is to get her license to carry.  This series is for her.  Live long and prosper, dear one!

My Next Series -- Facts About Firearms

I have a plan.  No, not that kind of plan.  Well, yes, I do.  But that is not the plan I mean right now.  I plan to do a series about firearms.  It is my intent to provide facts, just facts.  There are a lot of facts out there about firearms.  A lot of nonsense is disguised as facts.  But genuine facts are available, and more useful than our impressions for making sound decisions.

I am not going to write about my opinions about firearms, because, well really, who cares about my opinions.

Keeping Track of How People Die

Firearms are a cause of death, which means that the US Centers for Disease Control keeps track of them.  Wait, wait -- it doesn't keep track of the firearms, just the deaths.

Best of 2012 - Which Do You Choose?

Healthline.com is sponsoring a Best Health Blog of 2012 Contest, and Prozac Monologues is one of the contestants.

Click on Best of 2012 to vote Prozac Monologues the Best Health Blog of 2012!  The list is long -- find Prozac Monologues alphabetically.  You can vote every day until February 15th.  The contest started on December 21, so I am behind on the multiple vote front.  Tell your Facebook friends!  Tell your neighbors!  Tell the people using their SmartPhones at the coffee shop!  I guess you have to use a Facebook or Twitter account to cast your vote.

Meanwhile, I went back to look over my own work for the year, and invite you to do the same.  Click on the word comments at the bottom of the screen to weigh in on what you think of this body of work, or any particular piece of it.

Favorite Post

Judging by page views, the Popular Vote far and away goes to Dopamine - Can't Live Without It from March 23, 2012.  Coming in the middle of a series on the Stages of Change approach to changing the way we eat, this post traces the brain circuits that brought you from your grandma's cocoa to your daily Starbuck's habit, or from The Cocoa That Ate Your Brain to Pimp My Cocoa.

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