Gun Deaths vs. Vehicle Deaths

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by TexasT, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. TexasT

    TexasT Devil's Advocate >:) Forum Contributor Forum Contributor

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    I have a friend who insists that guns are violent and are used to kill people yadda yadda yadda and all that good stuff. He doesn't like my "hobby" but he spends hundreds if not thousands of dollars to mod his car and make it fast and pretty and what not. I want to put up a good argument against him about how many people die in car deaths vs. gun deaths but I can't seem to find any good stats on gun deaths. I did find this link on car deaths that seems pretty good: Fatal Car Accident, Crash Statistics: Stats Auto, Traffic, Car, Collision, Traffic

    Does anybody know the number of people that die of gun related accidents in the US? I can't find any websites.
  2. Jimcav

    Jimcav G&G Newbie

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    Rouighly the same

    According to Statistics, Facts and Quotes there were [FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]30,694 gun-related deaths in the US in 2005 vs Fatal Car Accident, Crash Statistics: Stats Auto, Traffic, Car, Collision, Traffic showing 43,443 vehicular fatalties that same year. So guns overall are about 71% as deadly as vehicles in the US.

    I've thought for a while that the comparisons between guns and cars would make a good argument for sensible gun laws. Both can be safe when used responsibly but deadly when used carelessly or with criminal intent. As a society we accept the inherent danger of cars, I don't think I've ever seen anyone propose banning them because of the number of deaths they cause, but some eople who are rational about vehicles can get very emotional about guns being too dangerous for anyone to own. On the other hand, I also haven't seen anyone propose unregulated, unlicensed or unrestricted access to vehicles for anyone who wants to use them. We do try to control who can drive and enforce rules to follow to minimize their danger and force responsible operation. You need a license to operate a car and have to provide some identification to buy one and register your car before you can drive it. Gun owners accept those as reasonable controls of deadly machines but some become positively apoplectic about any rules for gun ownership and use.

    Seems a middle ground for both guns and cars would give access to people who are responsible enough to use either safely while screening out some of those who really should no't be operating dangerous toys.
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  3. Rave

    Rave G&G Enthusiast

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    I heard years ago that most gun related deaths were suicide,might be different now with so much gang activity.
    I would think that many of the auto related deaths might fall in to that same catagory?:thinking:
  4. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

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    Another thing to remember is that they lump all of the gun-related deaths together regardless of circumstance. To me, someone shot during the commision of a crime shouldn't carry the same weight as
    someone murdered with a gun by said criminal. I'd like to see it broken down into justifiable\self-defense shootings, accidental deaths\suicides, and murders. That way you could actually get some useable stats instead of meaningless numbers.
  5. cremley

    cremley G&G Newbie

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    +1

    TexasT, this is a link for guns that you will find helpful

    http://www.rmgo.org/images/GunFacts4-2-Press.pdf

    As far as cars go, I know that there are more deaths caused because of negligent driving than there are from guns but I can't find a link. I hope someone can because this could make a very good argument.
  6. Onesonek

    Onesonek G&G Newbie

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    I agree, it needs to be classified some how. I'm not sure on accidents, suicides, but the murders commited the last I looked been running around 9300 per yr in the USA the past few years.

    I'll see if I can find all those stats again.

    Dave
  7. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

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    This oughta get you pointed in the right direction, TT. The first one is a CDC report; the other two are from the fact sheet section of the NRA website and have pretty extensive bibliographies within the topics themselves. Without going too far into verifying the credibility of the CDC report (which may or may not have agendas attached to it) close to 28K firearms related deaths in 2000; of these close to 60% were suicides.

    First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws

    NRA-ILA :: More Guns, Less Crime (Again) in 2007

    NRA-ILA ::

    I think it important to reiterate there are no such things as "gun deaths," "gun crimes," "knife deaths," or "car deaths." All of these are caused by individuals and actions (a gun is no more or less inherently dangerous than a hammer or screwdriver). One could argue that cars are much more inherently "dangerous" in that mechanical failures/maintenance (although fairly low on the accident causing totem pole) is a causal factor in a greatly higher percentage of injuries and deaths with cars than mechanical failures causing an AD with firearms (whose safety devices normally work as advertised). Any vehicle also carries orders of magnitude more energy than any ordinary firearm, and is capable of far greater carnage when misused.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  8. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

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    That's exactly right, and that's why I believe you have to get the stats from the FBI. They give the total number of "gun-related deaths," but then break it down by type: suicides, hunting accidents, accidents in the home, LEOs who have to shoot in line of duty, self-defense, murders, like that.

    If you take the raw data and then deduct the things like LEO righteous shoots, suicides and self-defense, the actual number of gun-related deaths is substantially lower.

    I just went to the FBI site and went to the violent crime section. They have a breakdown by crime, and by weapon used in the crime. In the section on murder, they have a breakdown by method, including firearms, and a sub-breakdown by type of firearm. And absolutely not surprising me, the vast majority of firearms murders are by pistol, NOT by rifle or shotgun - which cuts the ground right out from under the arguments of the gun-banners who are after assault weapons bans. Texas has the highest number of shotgun murders, and California the highest number of rifle murders at 58 and 74 respecitively. But in only ten states do the stats say there are double digits in both categories, and mostly those numbers don't even top 25 in both.

    And to my amusement, in my home state of New York, one of the most restrictive anti-gun states in the country, the number of murders commited with rifles was 12 and the number with shotguns was 9. Gee. 21 murders with rifles and shotguns combined in the whole state! Pity they don't list the guns that were used - I'll bet weren't none of them guns like detachable magazine shotguns, revolving magazine shotguns, or the dreaded black rifle.

    Also, I note the site seems to define 'murder' the same way we do, of a perp killing a vic. It does not seem to include self defense or righteous shoots, and does not include suicide or accidental shootings like hunting accidents or idiots who leave guns where kids can get at them.

    According to the FBI, if their Excel spreadsheet is correct there were 37,169 murders by gun in the United States in 2007. That's all types of guns, and is the number of murders ONLY. It does not include gun accidents, suicides by gun or righteous shoots by LEOs in line of duty.

    Here is a link to the Uniform Crime Report table if you want to see how the FBI breaks down their murder causes of death:

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_20.html

    It might be interesting to compare and contrast how many deaths due to drunk driving there were in 2007. I'd bet it's a lot higher than the number of murders by gin in the United States. But I will observe I feel much less safe on the highway than I do at home or at the range.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  9. Onesonek

    Onesonek G&G Newbie

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    In some quick searches , it's hard to find any two report that match. But,,,the general concensus is, that suicide is double that of murder, and unintentional deaths is only a 1/2 of a %. I found it funny, that just breezing by the brady statistics, that they are opposite of the rest in numbers on the suicide/murder rates.
    Some of the numbers I seen ,,,vehicle= 42000+ deaths a year, firearms ran about 29000+. Now if you take away the self inflicted suicide, you have about 12-13000 firearms deaths either by murder or accident.
    So your chances of dying in a vehicle are in a sense is about 3.5 to 4 times greater than by firearm. There could be some some arguement s in the odds with regards to actual vehicle/firearm numbers. There roughly 250-270 milion vehicles in the USA, as to the reported 197 -200 million guns. I'm not sure that is all that accurate however. Gun deaths are on the decline while gun numbers increase by about 4.5million per year.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  10. Death Metal

    Death Metal G&G Newbie

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  11. Dr.Jess

    Dr.Jess G&G Newbie

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    The only reason you have to register and license your vehicle is so they can collect taxes on it. It has nothing to do with safety, a lot of states don't have vehicle safety inspections.
  12. Dookiebutt

    Dookiebutt G&G Newbie

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    Welcome Dr. Jess.
  13. LarryO1970

    LarryO1970 G&G Enthusiast

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  14. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

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    All very interesting stuff !! Welcome to Jimcav and Dr Jess !!
  15. 147 Inches

    147 Inches G&G Newbie

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    Cyrano,
    Thanks for that link.

    Steve, I'm not hijacking your thread, but I wanted to point out the deaths in NY and Cali. Both States with some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Those laws really work don't they...Not.

    I think you have plenty of "ammo" to debate your friend. Good luck on changing his mind. Have you taken him shooting?
  16. SightNSqueeze

    SightNSqueeze G&G Newbie

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    I guess it’s safe to say that gun deaths by unjustifiable homicides and carelessness are far less than automobile accidents, especially when you keep those factors separate from justifiable homicides. If your friend wants to cite injuries, the stats are probably even wider with automobile injuries much higher. If you add ATV’s and off road motorcycles, the stats will continue to spead. Years ago, it was determined that even swimming pool injuries were greater than firearms injuries. That might make a nice study too.
  17. bigV

    bigV G&G Regular

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    I did a paper on gun deaths last year, so this data is a year old. Here's a paste from the paper.

    The CDC is tasked with tracking gun deaths independently from the FBI’s annual crime reports. The CDC’s most recent report does confirm 31,000 gun deaths, however, the FBI’s annual crime report of the same year only showed 17,000 murders and non-negligent manslaughters. Upon deeper exam, of the 31,000 deaths, 60% were suicides and 15% were accidents or “clean” shootings. Only 25% of the deaths are non justified point to point killings. That 25% represents less than half of the murders in the nation.

    Fun Fact: according to the FBI, the #1 weapon used in violent crimes is the baseball bat.

    Sorry T don't know where to find car deaths.

    I can send you the whole paper and presentation if you want.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  18. bigV

    bigV G&G Regular

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    okay, to answer your question more directly, cdc.gov tracks total gun deaths (I think they were broken down into suicides, murders etc.). I guess they call it "high impact lead poisoning and write it off as a disease. fbi.gov tracks the number of murders and their respective means. Hope that helps

    toolman, the numbers are broken down by cause but we always hear the total number because the average public will assume them to all be murders. It's just anti-gun politics.
  19. DWFan

    DWFan G&G Enthusiast

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    quote from Jimcav:
    "You need a license to operate a car and have to provide some identification to buy one and register your car before you can drive it. Gun owners accept those as reasonable controls of deadly machines but some become positively apoplectic about any rules for gun ownership and use."

    City ordinances, which I consider illegal, that mandate a current tag on any vehicle sitting on your property for the sake of reducing the number of "junk" vehicles creating an eyesore not withstanding....
    You do NOT need a license, nor does the vehicle have to be registered or insured if that vehicle is used solely on your private property and nowhere else except areas so designated for their use, ("off-road"). Operation of that vehicle can be by anyone you see fit, regardless of age, gender or qualifications. You are not required to have a valid driver's license to purchase any vehicle. The same is true of tractors, heavy equipment, racing and recreational vehicles. I am not required to show any form of id at all to purchase a vehicle if I don't finance it. I don't even have to be present; it can be purchased by proxy, over the phone or internet or even the mail with full expectations of that vehicle being sent to any address that I specify.
    Oh, and a criminal record, including vehicular homicide, does not prevent you from buying a vehicle.
    If you apply the same logic to firearms laws that we do vehicle laws, someone opening fire in public and killing a person while under the influence of alcohol could recieve nothing more than a slap on the wrist; maybe 90 days in jail with one year's probation and sent to a training class.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2009
  20. heilung

    heilung G&G Newbie

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    Gang Bangers

    Another interesting category would be to determine how many of the real and intentional murders are gang related. That is, gang bangers shooting each other, and shootings related to the "conclusion" of Drug Transactions. Those shootings seem to further isolate the apparent "gun danger", unless of course you live in their neighborhood.
    Heilung
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