The Journal Gazette
Saturday, August 10, 2019 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

Gun violence's toll tallied in lost years

As the nation once again ponders whether anything could be done about the gun violence epidemic, an Ohio researcher offers some numbers that put the toll in his state into perspective.

Firearms accounted for almost half a million years of lost life in Ohio between 2008 and the end of 2018, according to Orman Hall, who authored the study.

Working on behalf of Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and professions, Hall used Ohio death-certificate data to ascertain the ages of the 13,001 suicide, homicide and accident victims who died by gun during that decade.

Then, he subtracted the age of each victim from their expected lifespan according to U.S. Social Security tables.

The result was 484,122 years of lost life because of firearms. Last year's toll of 55,154 was down a bit from 2017, when Ohioans lost a projected 59,515 years of life. If the study updates its data at the end of 2019, it will include the nine victims of a mass shooter in Dayton last weekend.

Lucas County in Northwest Ohio had the sixth-highest rate of projected years lost to firearms deaths during the decade. Gun violence cost victims there 20,172 years of presumed life, according to the study, which was released by the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health.

The study is available at

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