lotus



previous page: 1. Where is the latest version of this FAQ list? (can.talk.guns)
  
page up: Guns in Canada FAQ
  
next page: 3. But even if most of the deaths are suicides, won't gun control help?

2. What about the 1400 Canadians who are killed each year with guns?




Description

This article is from the can.talk.guns FAQ, by Skeeter Abell-Smith ab133@sfn.saskatoon.sk.ca with numerous contributions by others.

2. What about the 1400 Canadians who are killed each year with guns?

That was only true for a couple of years, and it's only a partial truth.

Deaths with firearms from 1980 to 1990 can be broken down like this:

    Suicides    80%
    Homicides   15%
    Accidents    5%
    TOTAL      100%

However, over the last ten years:

              gun used  no gun used
              --------  -----------
    murder      33%      67%
    suicide     30%      70%
    accidents    1%      99%

Two-thirds of all Canadian homicides do not involve firearms[9].
Stabbings, strangulations and beatings account for the majority of
homicides[10].

The percentage of homicides involving firearms has varied from 45% to
29% over the years. Since 1926, firearms have been involved in about
37% of murders.

For example, causes of death in Canada in 1992:

                    Total  Involving Firearms
                    -----  ------------------
    Suicides        3,709   1,050   28.31%
    Homicides         732     247   33.7%
    Accidents       8,801      63    0.72%
    Deaths        196,535   1,360    0.69%

and from Selected Canadian Mortality Statistics 1994:

    FOR ALL:        Total  Involving Firearms
                    -----  ------------------
    Suicides        3,749     975   26.0%
    Homicides         596     196   32.9%
    Accidents                  38
    TOTAL                    1209
  
    FOR WOMEN:      Total  Involving Firearms
                    -----  ------------------
    Suicides          780      59    7.6%
    Homicides         199      39   20%
    Accidents                   3
    TOTAL                     101
  
    FOR MEN:        Total  Involving Firearms
                    -----  ------------------
    Suicides        2,969     916   30.9%
    Homicides         396     157   39.6%
    Accidents                  35
    TOTAL                    1108

    Mortality 1991 - Statistics Canada - Summary List of Causes
    Accidents, Suicide; Homicide (from Juristat)
    -------------------------------------------------
        Causes        Number   Percent
    -------------------------------------------------
    ALL CAUSES             195,568   100.00%
    ACCIDENTS                8,212     4.20%
    SUICIDE                  3,593     1.84%
    HOMICIDE                   753     0.39%
    ALL OTHER CAUSES       183,010    93.58%
  
    ACCIDENTS                8,721   100.00%
    Transport                3,882    44.51%
    Falls                    2,053    23.54%
    Poisoning                  699     8.02%
    Drowning                   390     4.47%
    Inhaling Food              341     3.91%
    Fire and Flames            318     3.65%
    Medical Misadventures      146     1.67%
    Other Firearms              62     0.71%
    Electric Current            39     0.45%
    Theraputic Drugs            33     0.38%
    Explosives                  22     0.25%
    Lightning                    5     0.06%
    Handgun                      4     0.05%
    All other accidents        727     8.34%
  
    SUICIDE                  3,593   100.00%
    Other Firearms           1,065    29.64%
    Hanging, Strangulation   1,034    28.78%
    Drugs                      502    13.97%
    Gas                        393    10.94%
    Other Solid or Liquid       46     1.28%
    Handgun                     43     1.20%
    All Other Means            510    14.19%
  
    HOMICIDE (Juristat)        753   100.00%
    Stabbings                  224    29.75%
    Beatings                   140    18.59%
    Other Firearms             135    17.93%
    Illegal Handguns           131    17.40%
    Legal Handgun (Est.)         5     0.66%
    All Other Means            118    15.67%

Note: There are numerous errors in the 1991 Mortality Tables, totals
that don't match the range they are supposed to cover, etc. I took the
figures for homicide from Juristat because they are better. The
mortality tables list about 200 fewer homicides than Juristat, and far
fewer handgun homicides.[Prof, H. Taylor Buckner]

It's also interesting to note that while 33% of homicides involve
firearms, over half of murders involve alcohol or illicit drugs.
Alcohol and drug use was evident in 50% of all homicides in 1991[14].
Historically, alcohol has been estimated as the most important
contributing factor in two of every three homicides in Canada[15].

Roughly half of Canada's murder _victims_ have serious criminal
records.[StatCan] In 1991, two-thirds of all accused murderers had
criminal records, of which 69% were prohibited from acquiring or
possessing firearms due to previous violent offences.[43]

Firearm homicides typically represent less than 2% of all
externally-caused deaths in Canada[11]. Since 1975, the homicide rate
for Canadian men has been twice as high as women's[12]. Lightning
killed more Canadians in 1987 than did legally-owned handguns [13].
Between 1961 and 1990, less than 1% of all homicides involved firearms
legally registered in Canada. [42]

[9] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 12 No.18, "Homicide in
Canada 1991" (Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice
Statistics, Oct 1992) p.2.
[10] Ibid, p.8
[11] Health Reports Vol. 1 No.1, "Mortality: Summary List of
Causes 1987", (Statistics Canada, Health Division, Oct. 1989), p.60.
[12] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 No.21, op. cit., p.11.
[13] Health Reports Vol.1 No.1,"Causes of Death 1987", (Statistics
Canada, Health Division, Oct. 1989) pp, 176-178
[14] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol.12 NO.18, op. cit., p.15.
[15] Neil Boyd, "The Last Dance: Murder in Canada", (Prentice-Hall
Canada, 1988) pp. 156-157
[42] Number of Restricted Guns Used in Homicide Offences by Year,
(Statistics Canada, Can. Centre for Justice Statistics, Law
Enforcement Program), pp.1 to 8
[43] Juristat Service Bulletin Vol. 12 No. 18, Homicide in Canada
1991, (Statistics Canada, Can. Centre for Justice Statistics,
Oct. 1992), p. 15

 

Continue to:















TOP
previous page: 1. Where is the latest version of this FAQ list? (can.talk.guns)
  
page up: Guns in Canada FAQ
  
next page: 3. But even if most of the deaths are suicides, won't gun control help?