Friday, October 12, 2012

Gun Deaths vs. Car Deaths

Josh Sugarmann in The Huffington Post

The analysis, which uses the most recent complete data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, reveals that, in 2010:
  • Gun deaths in the DMV totaled 1,512 while motor vehicles deaths totaled 1,280.
  • In the District of Columbia, there were 99 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 84 of which were identified as homicides and 13 of which were identified as suicides. That same year, there were 38 motor vehicle deaths in the District.
  • In Maryland, there were 538 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 306 of which were identified as homicides and 222 of which were identified as suicides. That same year, there were 514 motor vehicle deaths in the state.
  • In Virginia, there were 875 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 271 of which were identified as homicides, 576 of which were identified as suicides, and 13 of which were identified as unintentional deaths. That same year, there were 728 motor vehicle deaths in the state.
Nationally, there were 31,672 firearm deaths reported in 2010. That same year there were 35,498 motor vehicle deaths nationwide. 

The long-term decline in motor vehicle deaths is the result of a decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy -- centered on safety-related changes to vehicles and highway design informed by comprehensive data collection and analysis -- that has been an unqualified success. Compare that to firearms, which stand as the only consumer product not regulated by the federal government for health and safety.

Interesting ratios between homicides and suicides in D.C and Maryland.  What do you think of that?

Overall there's one clear message.  Guns need to be regulated and controlled as much or more than cars are if we ever expect to see a serious decline in gun violence.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. 1. DMV is a well-known abbreviation for Department of Motor Vehicles. This pathetic attempt to make into a term for the D.C. area must be mocked without mercy.

    2. But look at the data. Homicides in the two control freak areas, D.C. and Maryland, are the leading type of gun death, while suicide leads in Virginia. What that shows is that gun control doesn't work.

    In Virginia, the majority of the deaths are by the choice of the deceased. Virginia has good gun laws. In D.C. and Maryland where the gun laws abuse the rights of citizens, the majority of deaths are homicide--in other words, a death in which the deceased didn't choose to be killed.

    3. Your chances of dying by gunshot in each of the three regions is as follows:

    Maryland: 0.00009%
    Virginia: 0.00011%
    D.C.: 0.00017%

    Note that all three are tiny numbers and that gun control shows no evidence of making a jurisdiction safer than an area with good gun laws.

    If Dog Gone comes around, she'll yammer about how I can't think correctly, but I'll await her specific comment on my analysis of the data.

  2. MikeB: “Interesting ratios between homicides and suicides in D.C and Maryland. What do you think of that?”

    Homicides are overwhelming done by bad people. Excluding self-defense homicides, these are people who are willing to commit one of society’s most heinous crimes- murder. These are morally repugnant people.

    Suicides on the other hand, are committed by everyday people who got caught up in depression, mental illness, physical illness, drugs, pressures of life, or whatever else led them to make such a tragic decision. What makes it a gun suicide is that they happened to own a gun and chose the gun as the method of ending their life.

    When you look at the ratio in DC compared to everywhere else, it is easy to see who was affected by tough gun laws- common everyday people. Very few citizens own guns, so very few of them choose that as a method of suicide. But we see that the bad people, the morally repugnant ones who are willing to murder, the supposed target of tough gun laws- they are quite unabated by gun control.

    1. I think I'm with you, TS. That means if we made guns more available in DC, murders and suicides would go up. Right?

    2. Suicides with a gun would go up, that’s it.

    3. Mikeb, crime is far more the result of demographics, economics, and population density than of gun availability. Deal with the major causes, and the minor one won't even be a cause any more.

    4. Greg, It's not an either/or situation. We are dealing with those major factors. We should also deal with gun availability.

    5. It's not a question of being either/or. It's the fact that your proposals would infringe on our rights. Whenever rights are at stake, we ought to look at solutions first that don't take away those rights.

  3. I didn't figure that Dog Gone would come to this article. When she's given the chance to demonstrate those critical thinking skills on some actual data, she tucks her tail and sneaks away.

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