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Sports vs. firearms statistics

January 9, 2013

I see a lot of statistics concerning firearm fatalities, especially in the wake of the Newtown, CT shootings and the subsequent call for more gun bans. Please allow me to give you some other statistics to think about, if we all want our children to be safer.

In a study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), during the 2005-06 school year, the high school sports-related injury and death rate was 2.4 per 1,000 incidents among all sports and 4.36 per 1,000 incidents for football in particular. There are 67,000 diagnosed concussions per year, and in the 2008-09 school year, there were 120 sports related deaths, a number that has been steadily on the rise from year to year.

In contrast, firearm related fatalities were approximately .03 per 1,000 incidents. I would think that any reasonable person would conclude from this data that high school sports should be banned, with football being the first to go in order to ensure the safety of our children. I’m sure a lot of folks think that banning sports is a ridiculous idea, but it’s just as ridiculous to me that some would ban certain firearms in the name of “safety.” Is it any less tragic for children to be injured or killed by playing sports? I think not, but yet we encourage our kids to participate in school sports. We cheer them on and think nothing of the fact that they are 100 times more at risk of injury or death than they are from being shot.

Remember that these statistics came from the CDC. I didn’t make them up.

I hope that this comparison will encourage some of you gun-hating folks out there to see things a bit differently. Should something be done about all violence? Yes. But banning “things” isn’t the answer. Let’s all get together and think of some common-sense ways to deal with the problem.

Rod Bryant
Honesdale, PA