Social Media Briefing:Myth: "...gunshot wounds being the most common cause of non-natural death, outnumbering, for example, all forms of motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents combined" – Adéle Kirsten, A Nation without Guns?

on 26 November 2020
by SafeCitizen

#SafeCitizen has researched this statement reportedly made by Gun Free South Africa on several occasions, and determined it to be false because it is based on incorrectly recorded data.

  • This claim is made on page 8 of Adèle Kirsten's book, A Nation without Guns?, and references the South African Medical Research Council's 2003 National Injury Mortality Surveillance System (NIMSS).1
  • The NIMSS report presents firearm violence related deaths as 5,387 (figure 11) and transport related deaths as 6,689 (figure 29).2
  • This can only mean that Adèle Kirsten as the author, who is intimately involved with Gun Free South Africa's public profile, has cited incorrect data, that may even be negligent as even a cursory examination of the NIMSS 2003 data would make this discrepancy apparent.

That such a simple mistake can be so easily made by a senior member of an influential lobby group should be of concern to law-abiding citizens. The implication is that important policy discussions by Parliament, the Executive, and our courts, are based on misleading and incorrect data, when creating policy. When these misleading statements are used to influence policy creation, as they are intended to, the civil rights of South Africans are negatively affected. The quality of South African policy formulation is therefore also negatively impacted.

#SafeCitizen is determined to expose untruths and bring you the facts. We call on any persons or institutions mentioned here to either disprove or formally acknowledge that misleading information (intentional or unintentional), has been placed in the public realm and been allowed to proliferate over many years. We further call on these persons and/or institutions to publish corrections and retractions of this untrue information on their websites and on all forums where they published the misleading statement(s).

1A Kirsten, A Nation Without Guns? (2008) 8.

2South African Medical Research Council, A Profile of Fatal Injuries in South Africa 5th annual report 2003 of the National Injury Mortality Surveillance System 9, 14.

Claim Your Place as a #SafeCitizenBecome a member today.It's free.You are the energy and success of #SafeCitizen. By being counted as someone who works for a safe community you can encourage and empower many other people to join forces against crime in our community.Make Me A Member