Bad shots, or better EMS and trauma teams in the ER? The commenters there nail this likelihood, which is hard to prove unless perhaps a real statistical analysis is done comparing similar wounds year to year.
My physician wife says the worst time to get sick or have an accident is in June, when the new interns arrive in hospitals nationwide. As the year passes, they get more competent through experience and training, until they are replaced by another crop of know-nothings fresh out of med school.
A similar learning curve likely happens in cities seeing increases in violent crime or car wrecks or other trauma. The initial baseline response by EMS and the ERs eventually gets improved upon through experience, training and resource allocation. Then while the rate of gunshots or car wrecks or industrial accidents can remain the same or go higher, the death rate from a particular source of trauma decreases.
Thus “gun deaths” is about as useful a metric for fixing society’s ills as “newspaper bankruptcies” would be.
Plus, if lots of bad guys get shot, that leaves the less bad guys doing some of the shooting. And “bustin’ a cap in yo a$$” doesn’t work as well as “putting two center ma$$” does it?