Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

In the post below, “Gun-Polluted” America?, I quoted a lawyer by the name of Kimberly Croyle who stated that there were an average of “20 workplace murders per week” in America, and I wondered where she got her statistic.

Now I know, and unsurprisingly her data is way out of date.

An Associated Press piece recently released (and little commented upon) informs us that:

Working got safer last year, according to the government’s annual tally of workplace deaths, released Wednesday.

Nationally, 5,524 workers died on the job in 2002 — a significant decrease from the 5,915 who died in 2001, a number that did not include those killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“It’s the largest year-to-year decline we’ve ever seen,” said Scott Richardson, program manager of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The bureau began publishing the data in 1992.

The decline extended a downward trend since 1997, when 6,238 workers died. Workplace homicides also declined, down to 609 last year from a 1994 peak of 1,080.

Note that. AT THE PEAK in 1994 (a bad year for homicide in total) the rate was just over “twenty per week.” It’s declined every year since to reported current rate of 11.7, a decline of almost half. But what statistic does Ms. Croyle use? The worst one she can find.

I have repeatedly said that the actual numbers are bad enough, why must gun control proponents inflate them?

Here’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics graph of workplace homicides for 1992 through 2001.

Note that during this entire period, the number of guns in private hands has been increasing at a rate of well over three million per year (33,367,000 from 1994 through 2000 according to the Violence Policy Center, 11,094,000 of which were handguns – and that’s just domestic production, not including imports) and the number of states with “shall-issue” concealed-carry laws has increased with a corresponding increase in permitted persons.

No, I am not implying causality, I’m impugning it. More Guns do NOT EQUAL More Crime.

Note also that there have been no noticeable changes in national firearms law during this time period with the exception of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban that (according to which gun control group you listen to, and what day it is) either was circumvented by the manufacturers because of NRA engineered loopholes and was useless (thus needing to be “strengthened”) or was effective, but still needs to be “strengthened” because it didn’t do enough. I haven’t found any data indicating the relative percentages of workplace victims of “assault weapons” versus your average, say, Walther PP which was used in the recent Chicago auto parts warehouse murders.

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