Data recently released by the National Center for Health Statistics shows that in 2008, the number and per capita rate of firearm accident deaths fell to an all-time low. There were 592 firearm accident deaths (0.19 such accidents per 100,000 population) in 2008, as compared to 613 accidents (.20 per 100,000) in 2007. In 2008, the chance of a child dying in a firearm accident was roughly one in a million.
Firearm accidents accounted for 0.5% of all accidental deaths; well below the percentages accounted for by motor vehicle accidents, falls, fires, poisonings, and several other more common types of mishaps.I say this is more substantial because it relies upon moving a far greater number of people. To achieve a victory in Congress, as difficult as that can be, requires affecting the behavior of fewer than 300 people -- often far fewer, since bad bills can often be killed in committee.
To bring the rate of accidental gun deaths down to so low a level requires influencing the behavior of millions. This required a commitment to gun safety in perhaps a hundred million households nationwide; it required discipline and education on the part of all those families. Nevertheless, quietly, it was achieved.