Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gun Statistics

There's a big gun show in Portland this weekend, and it will have in one building thousands of -- if not tens of thousands -- guns of all stripes -- handguns, rifles, shotguns, assault rifles, even a few submachines guns. Enough ammo to run a small war, and kits to clean up the hardware after.

During the run, a several thousand people will shuffle through, looking, buying, selling. A lot of them will be armed and carrying concealed.

In the wake of the recent tragedy at the shopping mall in Omaha, I wondered how dangerous a gun show might be compared to a mall, vis a vis being shot.

Here's what I found: Dozens of people have been shot at malls, all of whom I could find out about on purpose, and a bunch of them killed.

One person was killed at a gun show, and a handful slightly injured by a ricochet at another show, and both of those accidents ...

So, offhand, I'd say your chances of getting murdered are much higher at a mall than at a gun show.


Argonautica said...

Statistically, I doubt it, just because there are likely thousands of times more people going to malls every year than gun shows.

On the other hand, a gun show is not only more fun, but there's probably a much better chance of a shooter being put down rather than being able to reload multiple times and continue to blast away.

Mark Jones said...

The statistical argument may have some merit--malls are everyday, year-round shopping venues while gun shows come and go. But the point is valid nonetheless.

The argument that would-be multiple homicide shooters do preferentially choose soft targets (malls, churches, schools) instead of gun stores, shooting ranges and police stations is irrefutable. There's a word for someone who walks into a location where many, if not most, of his potential victims are armed and can shoot back. Actually, there are a couple. Idiot is one. Corpse is another.

Dan Gambiera said...

If you go to a mall or a high school odds are nobody else will have a gun. Go to a gun show for a shooting rampage and they'll have to do a second autopsy on your fragments to figure out exactly what was killed let alone who.

Blow away the jocks or the Xmas shoppers and for a moment you have the power of a small g-d. You have the power of life and death. You control the drama and can get back at everyone. Start firing at a place full of guns and the people who love them and crawling with cops and you have the power or at least the appearance of a lace doily. Much less dramatic

Dan Moran said...

Over on Barnes's blog, some days ago, you wrote:

Half the Destroyer writing team passed away -- Richard Ben Sapir -- years ago, and Murphy has kept going. (Sapir, by the way, did a good science fiction novel, "The Far Arena," which is an execellent example of real fighting versus sport.)

I suppose this shouldn't surprise me any more -- but that is one of my favorite novels that no one's ever heard of. Except, evidently, you. I just reread that novel a year or two back -- it holds up wonderfully.

xen said...

Mean dogs know to avoid meaner dogs.