Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Straight Shooting

For some highly mysterious reason, CDC has no links on its web site to information specifically about firearm related injuries. That's not to say you can't find any, but you have to root around in other categories, such as homicide and suicide, meaning there is no evident way to get information on unintentional gun-related injuries. Hmm. Maybe I should get interested in other topics, such as global warming or mercury pollution. I'm sure the federal government has lots of good info about that.

Meanwhile, there's Medline. The latest national data I could find on hunting injuries is from 1996. Sinauer, Annest and Mercy, in JAMA (12 June, 1996) estimated the national incidence of unintentional, non-fatal firearm-related injuries from June 1, 1992 through May 31, 1994, using data from a network of sentinel injury surveillance systems in selected hospital emergency departments around the country. They estimated EDs in the U.S. treated 34,385 people for such injuries during that two-year period. (About 1,500 people die from unintentional gunshot injuries in the U.S. each year.)

12.3% of these were hunting injuries. Smith, Wood, and Lengerich, reporting in the Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection and Critical Care in March, 2005, analyzed hunting injuries in Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1999. That state requires that hunting injuries be reported and investigated. Turkey hunters had the highest incidence of injuries per 100,000 (5.5 in the spring, 7.5 in the fall) followed by pheasant hunters (4.0). Most deer hunting injuries were due to poor skill on the part of the shooter, but the vast majority of bird hunting injuries were due to poor judgment.

Interestingly, the rate of injuries goes down sharply with the age of the hunter. Except for turkey hunters, there were hardly any injuries caused by hunters over 50 yars old. 60% of pheasant hunters who shot people shot members of their own hunting party. It's uncommon for bird hunters to shoot people, especially older, more experienced hunters, but when it happens, poor judgment is almost always the cause.

Well, that's no surprise. When you also get to decide what countries to invade, it's a big problem.

1 comment:

Invertir en petroleo said...

i like this post, is very good.