Interesting Infographic on How Guns are Being Used by American Citizens Each Year - ITS Tactical

Shop the ITS Store!


Interesting Infographic on How Guns are Being Used by American Citizens Each Year

By The ITS Crew

how_are_guns_used_by_citizensvia infothread dot org

Image via – Click Image to Enlarge to View Sources

Are you getting more than 14¢ of value per day from ITS?

Thanks to the generosity of our supporting members, we’ve eliminated annoying ads and obtrusive content. We want your experience here at ITS to be beneficial and enjoyable.

At ITS, our goal is to provide different methods, ideas and knowledge that could one day save your life. If you’re interested in supporting our mission and joining our growing community of supporters, click below to learn more.


  • Bill Smerdon

    This should but front page news and the lead story on every network!

  • Casey

    I really like this infographic, but its a little unfair to correlate the “error rate” of police versus armed citizens. An armed citizen doesn’t have the responsibility of spending 40 hours a week responding to police calls for service. When you consider that hundreds of police calls occur every day where police draw their weapons, and that an armed citizen is exposed to a violent encounter maybe once in their lifetime, those stats become incomparable. I would also guess, that since the reference to this statistic is from 1993, with the introduction of Tasers, the police “error rate” is considerably lower now.

    Otherwise, fucking great.

    • Peter W.

      Take note that the error rate is expressed as a percentage, not raw figure. This IS the valid way to make the comparison, and yes…. a policeman IS more likely to shoot the “wrong” person in a violent confrontation.

      The reason for this is not as you state, but because the police are far more likely to arrive after the confrontation has developed, they have not had the luxury of watching it happen from the start, are far less likely to know all the players involved,,, and have a greater need to “control” the situation, rather than just preventing harm.

      These are reasonable excuses (mostly) for police errors, but the stat is still valid evidence that armed citizens are not unsafe.

  • Leo

    Wow, certainly are a lot of very enlightening facts here…. however, a lot of them are half-truths, while others are flat out not true. You can, in fact, own a handgun in the United Kingdom, just it has to be over a certain length and other requirements. In addition, there are more overall proportionally more violent crimes in the UK than in America per year, but there are also significantly fewer homicides, and very few are the result of guns. Lastly, with regards to the first statistic, that may be true as far as incidents, but I do believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that were are far more fatalities as a result of accidents, suicides, etc. than there are from self-defense. It’s not just the crime… it’s also about mortality. Still, quite intriguing, keep it up.

    • Peter W.


      Let’s not fall into the trap of arguing that the method used – whether for homicide or suicide – matters.

      In homicide, the victims are just as dead regardless of the method used, their families are just as grieved and the crime is just as detrimental to society. No family of a stabbing victim comforts themselves with the thought that at least their beloved was not shot.

      I suicide, we are kidding ourselves if we believe that making one method harder is going to deter suicides when there qare so many methods available.

      We we are going to talk about half-truths, then pretending that we can treat gun-crime or gun-suicide as seperate subsets with any validity must surely rank high above them.

    • Leo

      I don’t believe that I wrote anything to open up the debate of homicide versus suicide, as I included suicide in the same group as homicides and accidents, but while we’re here…

      1. The majority of suicides within the military are committed with firearms. That’s a fact. Would limiting who had access to firearms reduce this? Quite possibly. Hard to say for certain.
      2. When Australia enacted sweeping gun control legislation several decades ago, the suicide rate went down significantly.
      3. It seems quite logical to me that if someone has a means of committing suicide easily available, they are more likely to commit it. Think about suicides without much premeditation. Far more people temporarily contemplate committing suicide in the heat of the moment than actually make the conscious per-meditated decision to do so. I can obviously not provide statistics to support this due to its nature, but I think basic reason should suffice.

      Lastly, you mentioned knife violence, which is a valid point. However, there is a significantly higher chance of dying after being shot than there is after being stabbed based on the nature of the wounds and types of attacks.

    • Skeptical_Realist

      Leo, I realize this post is a little old, but some of your “facts” are statistical omissions of truth (aka, not true).

      Do a search for DoDSER (Dept. of Defense Suicide Event Report). The reports are publically available. The stats for 2011 show that firearms are the method of suicide for just under 50% of SUCCESSFUL suicide attempts, which is higher than all other methods (still not a majority, btw). However, if you include ALL ATTEMPTS, and not just deaths, firearms are used in only about 5% of DoD member suicide attempts. By far the highest method is some sort of drug overdose.

      Please check your stats for Australia, as well. Did overall suicide attempts decrease, or just the success rate? I think you might also want to track how the “sweeping firearms legislation” affected the rates for rape, burglary, robbery, and other violent crimes. I think you will find they all went up.

      There are plenty of easy suicide methods that are affective. Your logic is flawed. From all the “suicide awareness” training I’ve been forced to endure, it is NOT a “heat of the moment” decision. It is almost univerally a mental problem that has grown over time that is compounded by events, failures, frustrations, or abuse. If there is such a thing as suicide in the heat of the moment, it is statistically insignificant, and should not shape policy.

    • Sharpie

      Honestly, I couldn’t care less about suicides, if someone was going to off themselves they would do it with or without a gun.

      My uncle shot himself when I was 8, my dads boss hung himself around the same time. The lack of gun didn’t prevent him from killing himself now did it?

  • Steve B.

    Great info post! It is always intriguing to me that info like this never circulated in the media during the more frenzied times in the gun control debate.

  • Smith

    The Gabby Giffords mass shooting did not happen in a gun free zone, that is the only exception to the rule that I’ve heard of. The chart needs to be corrected for accuracy.

  • Mustang

    One statistic that is frequently left out, and unfortunately not tracked as much as it should be, is the “Aggravated assault mortality rate”, in other words, how many people die as a result of being shot? With the advances in field-grade medical support, reductions in medical transport times, and the general improvement in emergency trauma care, there are far more people surviving gun shot wounds these days.

    As such, while gun-related homicides would appear to be on the decline, I suspect that what is actually occurring that aggravated assaults are on the increase, while deaths attributable to those incidents are declining.

    In other words, the world is NOT getting safer, we are just in a better place to survive being shot.


    • Tim

      Do you have anything at all to substantiate your claim? The fact that laws are being generated based on emotions and “how people feel”, as opposed to facts, is the reason that the gun control debate exists in the first place.

  • halderon

    After spending 32yrs. in Law Enforcement, I am glad to see that the info gram shows the real statistics on guns. Police, of which I am a member showed the majority of Officers voting for more effective control than background checks. I have handled murder cases-most done in the Heat of the Moment-but the key to these mass murders seems to be accurate communications with Mental Health organizations. As a former Crisis Worker, I am aware of the amount of people that should be referred to the Police,but can’t be because of the confidentiality of Mental Health. We have to work this out together. We are in it together-no gun fires itself-people pull triggers. If we did away with all guns,would we confiscate all bows and arrows? How about knives? Call your Congressman-tell him where the real problem is-and change bad laws to good laws-it is our salvation-and the salvation of our way of life.

    • John

      “If we did away with all guns,would we confiscate all bows and arrows? How about knives?”

      The fact that anyone considers this a remotely good argument proves that the gun debate will never go anywhere in the US.

      How many people are killed with bows and arrows every year? How effective do you think criminals would be with bows and arrows? This is a technology first used in the battle of hastings in 1066, is it really a widespread problem today? As for knives, the comparison to guns is simply stupid. Guns are made to kill things, that’s their purpose for existing. Knives have a million and one uses other than killing things, so the cost/benefit analysis is entirely different.

      If you want to argue against gun control, don’t make yourself sound like a cartoon doing it.

  • James

    I find it funny that when ever someone opposes a view on ITS that so many viewers mark a negative thumbs down and hide it due to low ratings. There is a lot of truth in what LEO has said. For a website that is opened minded and advocates bringing new ideas to the table and freedom of speech, you sure shut down anybody who does not agree with your point of view. One more thing, your first statistic about ” homicide+accident+suicide vs self defense ” could not be more wrong. If you take the number of suicides by guns, homicides by guns, be it a legal weapon or not, and accidents, it far exceeds the number of self defense cases nation wide. I am a big advocate for personal firearms but false statistics are not the way to prove a point. That is another problem with statistics, many times they are biased to a cause and record one variable more than another.

    • Peter W.


      When people are asked to rate a comment, it is hardly surprising that some comments are low-rated. There is nothing sinister about this.

      As for your claim that the self-defence stats are actually lower than those for deaths, kindly post your refences. Claims without cites are difficult to respect.

    • Leo

      I hope that the National Institute of Health is legitimate enough to be your cited source.

      Has a bit more ethos than an infographic on a generally pro-gun website, does it not? Oh well. The truth is a difficult beast to pin down. Also, I don’t feel the need to vote down comments that contradict my views on gun control. Just curious as to why others feel the need to vote down mine.

    • michael davis


      The NIH study you cite is based on reported shootings. A gun does not have to be shot to be used in self defense.

  • Crooks

    Awesome! But just so I know how to explain it to gun-grabbers, how is it that Guns are used in 31,672 Self-Defense Incidents total, but 200,000 Self-Defense Cases against Sexual-Abuse>

    • Topher

      Check the key. It’s 31, 672 incidents PER gun image, not total.

  • Ruby

    May I just say that while everything in this info-graphic is true, it’s all relative?

    When comparing gun ownership to homicides. how in the world does this have any relation in the statistics used? First of all the gun rate is per 100 people and the homicide rate is per 100 000, a little confusing? Also it isn’t homicides with use of guns, it’s just homicides. Although the use of guns is quite high in Honduras, however Honduras is a DEVELOPING country, not a developed one. Also while there are approximately 4.8 deaths per 100 000 people in the US, this source doesn’t mention the 3.2 of these homicides are committed with the use of firearms.

    My second example is how it compares Europe to the US, comparing a continent with the population of 739.2 million with a country that has a population of 311.6 million. While Europe does have 3 of the top 6 mass school shootings, the US alone has 2 of the 6, the largest of any country. When you add up all of firearm related homicides in the continent of America the total is 276.8 people per 100 000, in Europe when you add the total firearm related homicides, it comes to 5.1 per 100 000.

    So while all these statistics are technically correct, when comparing them you have to look at everything and not just what you see at first glance.

  • Josh RR

    “God made all men, but Samuel Colt made them equal”. Which means without a  gun the stronger and more confident person will win the fight which is normally the aggressor.

  • MatthewJoeCarr

    wat… the figures are crap… as someone else has mentioned comparing a country of 300 million to one of 70 million is BS… one FACT I can give you is there have been 16 homicides (Gun, knife and other) in all of London a city of 8 million people in the past MONTH, Compare that to Chicago lets say… a City of 3 million people that over 1 weekend this month had 25 gun related homicides (not including others or knives) I mean another weekend had 15 gun related homicides… 
    A city less than half the size of Englands capital had a murder rate nearly 3x as high? Somethings not looking right there. And after that decade… you’ll also notice the same increase in the USA it has sharply dropped off… whereas in the USA it hasn’t.
    Keep fondling your guns ‘Murika… least I don’t have to worry when I go to the shops that someone batshit insane might turn up and start shooting random people just because.

    • JMD

      So you believe comparing two countries with significantly different populations is invalid and refute the article by comparing two cities with significantly different populations?  
      Your choice of Chicago to illustrate gun crime in America is particularly telling.  Chicago has the strictest gun control of any city in America.  The fact that it also has one of the highest murder rates further illustrates the futility of most gun control laws.
      The point of the infographic is that gun control does nothing to deter criminals.  It disarms the law abiding rather than the criminals, leaving the citizens defenseless and the criminals emboldened.  In countries where gun control is so severe that guns are difficult to find even for criminals, they just turn to other methods – knives, bludgeoning, etc. – safe in the knowledge that their victims are completely unarmed.  
      There are plenty of examples where X country with high gun control has lower crime than Y country with little gun control, but when you aggregate the numbers and look at overall trends, there is a correlation between higher gun ownership and lower crime.  When the citizens are armed, the criminals look for other lines of work.

  • GarrettCianain

    @MatthewJoeCarr Civilians can not carry firearms in Chicago, but it also has a ratio of 250 gang members per cop. So Your comparison or your own figures is also incredibly biased.

  • Patrick Westgate

    @Ruby It’s really not that confusing for someone with basic math skills. You also go on to dismiss the Honduras’ homicide rate because it is a “developing country” yet you throw all of the developing countries in North America (which includes Honduras) in your comparison to Europe.  A bit confusing as you would put it.  Not that any of that is relevant to the infographic.  More guns means less crimes.  Granted, proper background checks are necessary to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and individuals with serious psychological problems. Restricting rights like concealed carry, magazine size, gun free zones, and “assault rifle bans” are against the 2nd amendment and only hurt law abiding citizens.

Do you have what you need to prevail?

Shop the ITS Store for exclusive merchandise, equipment and hard to find tactical gear.

Do you have what you need to prevail? Tap the button below to see what you’re missing.