One of the biggest hazards every gun owner must address and be constantly aware of are the dangers of accidental shootings. We would like to think that every gun owner simply follows the Four Rules of Gun Safety and that should be enough, but in the real world, we know that isn’t always the case.
However, according to data from the National Safety Council, efforts to spread the word about the importance of gun safety may be doing some real good.
This post from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which sponsors numerous gun safety programs such as Project Childsafe and Own It? Respect It. Secure It, says the NSC’s data reveal that the number of fatal firearms accidents dropped by 17 percent from 2014 to 2015 to 489, the lowest total since record-keeping began in 1903.
These accidents account for about 3/10 of 1 percent of the 146,571 total accidental deaths from all other listed causes, which are up overall by 8 percent for the same time period.
And the decrease—which came in a year that saw record firearms sales to many millions of Americans—was the largest percentage decline of any accident category.
For some perspective, here are the number-one causes of accidental deaths by age group, according to the NSC:
|Age 1 and younger:||Suffocation with 1,125 deaths accounting for 87%|
|Ages 1-4:||Motor-Vehicle Incidents with 400 deaths accounting for 33%|
|Ages 5-14:||Motor-Vehicle Incidents with 800 deaths accounting for 56%|
|Ages 15-24:||Motor-Vehicle Incidents with 3,500 deaths accounting for 57%|
|Ages 25-34:||Drug Overdose with 8,900 deaths accounting for 51%|
|Ages 35-44:||Drug Overdose with 8,500 deaths accounting for 53%|
|Ages 45-54:||Drug Overdose with 10,100 deaths accounting for 49%|
|Ages 55-64:||Drug Overdose with 6,400 deaths accounting for 35%|
|Ages 65-74:||Falls with 4,000 deaths accounting for 33%|
|Ages 75-84:||Falls with 8,000 deaths accounting for 56%|
|Ages 85+:||Falls with 15,000 deaths accounting for 69%|