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MM16-1By David A. Lohr
Taxidermist for Kosh Trading Post

I normally try not to touch on the political end of things in these articles but feel that with all the things going on today in our world somebody needs to point out the full picture.
A couple things I want to point out before I start: As a taxidermist a large percentage of my income is derived from people who use firearms (hunters). Next, is thst I am not interested in changing anybody’s opinion; I just want to give some facts on a couple statistics so as to give everybody a chance to put things into perspective.
This article is not necessarily the opinion of Hill ’n Holler, or even me, as I don’t have any intention of stating an opinion; I only am giving the readers data that I am getting from the web sites from FBI, CDC, and DOJ, among others.
In the United States in 2013 we had about 8,000 accidental deaths from heroin, almost 5,000 from cocaine, almost 7,000 from Benzodiazepines, and about 15,000 deaths from OD on prescription pain pills. (www.drugabuse.gov).
Next I would like to talk about our favorite summer pastime, water sports. From 2005-2009 we averaged 3,533 accidental drowning in the United States per year that were not boat related and an additional 347 per year that included a boat each year.
Next let’s check accidental falls. According to the CDC 30,208 people die in this country each year from falls, Another 33,804 in auto accidents with over 10,000 of those related to drunken driving. Some 38,851 from accidental poisoning, and we lose about 15 children a year to playground equipment.
As far as I can tell the biggest cause for accidental death in this country is medical errors, with estimates of about 210,000 per year (ProPublica). Hospitalsaftyscore.org puts medical error now as the third leading cause of death in the United States.
We don’t see any of our leaders demanding we stop swimming or going to a doctor (in fact they demand we participate in health care), but there seems to be a major uproar about the only one that I am going to mention that is protected by the Constitution ( you know the one they are sworn to uphold). This fact alone must mean that this death rate is so high that it should take precedence over all else. What I am talking about is death by firearms.
But that isn’t the case. An a matter of fact the total death from firearms in this country are roughly 32,000 per year. Of those, about 60% of those are suicide, 34% homicide, and only about 3% are accidental. We see the push for assault rifle bans when in fact even the murder rate from all rifles in this country in 2012 was only 322, and that same year you had 1,589 murders with knives, 12 people poisoned, 518 people killed with blunt objects, and 678 people beat to death. However, if I were to be fair to the gun lobby, I should compare apples to apples and tomatoes to tomatoes. All the other causes of death were only related to accidental deaths, so let’s talk about that for firearms as well.
According to the statistics for accidental deaths from guns (accidental is all I am considering here for any of the statistics), such deaths range yearly from 500 to 800 deaths per year (I will figure the highest number for fairness). Your chances from dying from an auto accident is about 42 times greater than a firearm (it’s greater even if we included murder), 44 times greater of dying from a drug overdose, 5 times more likely to drown, 38 times more likely to die in a fall, and as far as medical error (saw estimates as high as 410,000 per year, but will use conservative 210,000) you are 262 times more apt to die from going to the doctor. Even if you included intentional gun deaths (murder and suicide), you would still be almost seven times as likely to die from a doctor’s visit. However, playground equipment got us hands down.
I have just tried to provide some insight into our real world. These numbers can be found on any computer at any time with the help of the Internet. We live in a world where so often we only hear what some politician wants us to hear. If you believe it worth giving up your rights, at least get informed.
I don’t sell guns, but I do hunt. I have a law enforcement background, so there was a time when I had to carry a gun daily (if you notice the pictures, it’s been a while since I was a cop), and under no circumstances would I have preferred gun control as I have always felt we would have been a far more violent society without the deterrent of firearms.
We at Kosh Trading Post do not sell guns or ammo, but as I said early on, we do benefit from hunters using guns. So I would have to say I am not totally neutral, and that is why I spent hours of research before even starting this article.
If you would like to share your thoughts with me or just shop at out store, Kosh Trading Post, 206 Bingham, Koshkonong, Mo. See our Facebook page, E-mail koshtrader@hotmail.com or phone 417-280-6304.
Don’t forget safety when in the field. The absolute first gun safety rule (which also applies to archery) is ALWAYS POINT IN A SAFE DIRECTION!!!

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