Politics Magazine

Gun Vs. Auto Deaths In The U.S.

Posted on the 23 December 2012 by Jobsanger
Gun Vs. Auto Deaths In The U.S.One of the favorite arguments of those who defend the easy access and availability of guns in the United States is the fact that there are more automobile-related deaths than gun-related deaths. They say that if we want to outlaw guns, then we should also want to outlaw autos because they kill more people than guns. This is a silly argument on its face, since the two things have far different purposes -- with the only real purpose of a gun being to kill something (either humans or some other member of the animal kingdom), while the purpose of an auto is to transport people from one place to another.
And while autos may kill, it is nearly always an accident. But the deaths caused by a gun are almost always intentional (homicide or suicide) rather than accidental. It's like comparing apples to oranges --while both have their good points or bad points, they are definitely not the same thing. But even if we were to play their gave of make-believe, and treat autos and guns as though they were the same, the truth is that the argument won't be valid for much longer. Within another 3 or 4 years, guns will surpass autos in the number of deaths caused by them.
Currently there are about 36,361 auto deaths each year in the United States compared to 31,236 gun-related deaths. That's about 11.87 auto deaths per 100,000 people, and about 10.19 gun deaths per 100,000 people. But if you look at the chart above from Slate, you will see that the two are moving in opposite directions. With all the restrictions and laws we have in place for autos, not to mention safety improvements, the number of auto-related deaths has been declining each year. But the lack of common sense laws and restrictions on guns has resulted in the number of gun-related deaths continuing to rise each year. It is predicted that those two lines will cross in about the year 2015 -- and then gun-related deaths will outnumber auto-related deaths in the United States as a whole.
In fact, for ten of our fifty states those lines have already crossed -- and those ten states already have more gun-related deaths than auto-related deaths. Those states are listed in the chart below (also from Slate). Soon the other forty states will join them, and then that argument will no longer be even as marginally valid as it currently is. But it doesn't have to be that way. We can pass some common sense gun laws that will reduce the accessibility of guns for those that shouldn't have them, while protecting the right of law-abiding citizens to possess them -- and in doing so, start reducing the number of gun-related deaths in the U.S.
Gun Vs. Auto Deaths In The U.S.

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