Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

Cause of death statistics – Hint, guns not in top 10

The statistics below and to the right are occasionally compiled. I carried one such list on a card in my wallet for a decade. The numbers ebb and flow year-to-year, but their position on the causes of death list rarely move much.

There are 32,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms. The U.S. population is 324,000,000.

Thus: 0.00987% of the population dies from gun related actions each year.

-80% are through criminal activity, gang and drug-trade related
This is one cost of “our” war on non-prescription drugs.

-60% of those deaths are by suicide
A similar per-capita rate to non-gun-owning countries.

-8% are by police.

-3% are accidental discharge deaths.

Look at how those deaths distribute across the nation:

1. Los Angeles…1,141

2. Chicago…1,139

3. New York…1,101

4. Philadelphia…729

5. Houston…701

6. Detroit…686

7. Miami…594

8. Dallas…469

9. Washington DC…440

10. San Francisco…439

42% of all non-suicide USofA gun death happens in 10 cities

All of those cities have strict gun laws.

But what about other deaths each year?

Nearly 75% of all deaths in the United States are attributed to just 10 causes, with the top three of these accounting for over 50 percent of all deaths. Over the last 5 years, the main causes of death in the U.S. have remained fairly consistent. Note that the ranking below and chart top right are from different years, different sources.


1. Diseases of the heart … 28.5%
2. Malignant tumors … 22.8%
3. Cerebrovascular diseases … 6.7%
4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases … 5.1%
5. Accidents (unintentional injuries) … 4.4%
6. Diabetes mellitus … 3.0%
7. Influenza and pneumonia … 2.7%
8. Alzheimer’s disease … 2.4%
9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis … 1.7%
10. Septicemia (blood poisoning) … 1.4%
11. Suicide … 1.3%
12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis … 1.1%
13. Hypertension and hypertensive renal disease … 0.8%
14. Parkinson’s disease (tied) … 0.7%
15. Homicide (tied) … 0.7%

Guns don’t even make the top ten list. And homicides, at number 15, are more blunt instrument weapons than firearms. Why the focus on guns?

Taking away guns gives control to governments. The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did by trying to disarm the populace of the colonies. It is not difficult to understand that a disarmed populace is a controlled populace.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that gun control is about saving lives, look at these facts and remember these words from Noah Webster: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed.”

In researching this article, I found a huge range of numbers and statistics. In the end, I had to fall back to CDC, FBI and other trusted number publishers. Since I was mixing and matching, there may be occasions where one part of this article does not directly relate to another. The big picture, however, is consistent.