Washington Post Pushes for More Car Deaths

 

shutterstock_89786395At least that’s how I interpreted Thursday’s panicked WonkBlog article, “Guns are now killing as many people as cars in the U.S.” Earnest gun control fans are passing around the headline on social media — especially those in other countries — tut-tutting those cousin-kissing, gravy-swilling rednecks who shoot first and ask questions never.

For the first time in more than 60 years, firearms and automobiles are killing Americans at an identical rate, according to new mortality data released this month by the CDC. In 2014, the age-adjusted death rate for both firearms (including homicides, suicides and accidental deaths) and motor vehicle events (car crashes, collisions between cars and pedestrians, etc) stood at 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

It’s shocking that gun deaths have increased so rapidly, isn’t it? Actually, that’s not what happened at all:

The convergence of the trend lines above is driven primarily by a sharp drop in the rate of motor vehicle fatalities since 1950. In the late 1960s, for instance, there were well over 25 motor vehicle deaths for every 100,000 people in the U.S. Since then, that rate has fallen by more than half.

Over the same period gun deaths rose, but by a considerably smaller amount. Gun homicide rates have actually fallen in recent years, but those gains have been offset by rising gun suicide rates. Today, suicides account for roughly two out of every three gun deaths.

imrs

As you can see, gun violence plummeted in the ’90s and has remained fairly stable since. The only reason gun deaths equal motor vehicle deaths (age-adjusted, by the way) is because cars are safer than they’ve ever been.

But a headline like “Car deaths at an all-time low” wouldn’t give our media betters a chance to push a partisan agenda. If the Washington Post is so desperate to reverse this trend, perhaps they should insist Americans only drive Fiat 500s.

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  1. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I’d like to see the gun death line with suicides broken out.

    And then again, with gang/drug-related violence broken out.

    That would be quite informative.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    A bartender acquaintance of mine says that there are a lot of drunks taking Uber home.  In fact, they take Uber to the bar, and then take Uber home.

    Fewer inebriated morons = fewer wrecks.

    More to the point: there are a lot of uncontrolled variables in those statistics.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    7BCsLQW

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    The suicide rate is suddenly an on-going trend in the gun debate. They can’t make a case unless they include it. And here’s how you shut it down:

    “Look, you lefties are constantly pushing euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide and the like. Why are you suddenly against it? Or do you just hate the fact that someone is taking charge themselves and not begging for the government’s blessing and assistance to off himself?”

     

     

    • #4
  5. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Jon,

    Here is an interesting question. What if we just look at gun violence by “registered guns” v. automobile deaths by “registered vehicles”? Gun control only controls registered guns. Most of the gun deaths involve illegal guns. Aside from Bonnie & Clyde I don’t think there are a lot of auto deaths coming from illegal vehicles.

    As always the left specializes in red herrings. On a trisket, delicious. As an argument, not so much.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I estimate that buying a Prius is 6 times more likely to result in a fatality than the purchase of a handgun based on fatalities and numbers of each in use. (Vehicle death is 12 times more likely for a new cars in general–Priuses are pretty safe by comparison.)

    The next time there are a multiple fatalities in a vehicle accident, maybe the NY Daily News will call the President of the Alliance of the Automobile Manufacturers a “terrorist.”

    With a somewhat misleading sort, the Washington Post 3 yrs ago managed to claim the US #1 in gun deaths even though we are 25th in deaths by gun per capita globally. Chart here.  We are comparable to most other developed countries in gun deaths per capita even though we have a much higher gun ownership rate.

    • #6
  7. paulebe Inactive
    paulebe
    @paulebe

    If I’m reading this 2013 Pew Research post, gun-related suicides are 35% of total gun-related deaths.

    Mustn’t let facts interfere with the all-important narrative though.

    • #7
  8. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Old Bathos:We are comparable to most other developed countries in gun deaths per capita even though we have a much higher gun ownership rate.

    I like Kevin Williamson’s counter-example of Switzerland every time gun control is brought up.

    • #8
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    James Gawron:Jon,

    Here is an interesting question. What if we just look at gun violence by “registered guns” v. automobile deaths by “registered vehicles”?

    The majority of guns in the U.S. are unregistered, thankfully.  There is no federal gun registry (except for machine guns) and only a handful of states and cities require gun registration.

    • #9
  10. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    paulebe:If I’m reading this 2013 Pew Research post, gun-related suicides are 35% of total gun-related deaths.

    Mustn’t let facts interfere with the all-important narrative though.

    ?

    According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns.[9] 61% of all gun-related deaths in the U.S. are suicides.[10] In 2010, there were 19,392 firearm-related suicides, and 11,078 firearm-related homicides in the U.S.[11] 

    link.

    • #10
  11. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Randy Weivoda:

    James Gawron:Jon,

    Here is an interesting question. What if we just look at gun violence by “registered guns” v. automobile deaths by “registered vehicles”?

    The majority of guns in the U.S. are unregistered, thankfully. There is no federal gun registry (except for machine guns) and only a handful of states and cities require gun registration.

    Randy,

    I stand corrected (well, actually I’m sitting). Let me rephrase this. What if we only measured gun deaths with legally acquired weapons v. automobile deaths with legally acquired vehicles.

    Again, I think we’d see a massively greater risk involving legally acquired vehicles. As the gun control laws won’t do anything to stop illegally acquired guns, the WaPo argument falls apart entirely.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
  12. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    Old Bathos: With a somewhat misleading sort, the Washington Post 3 yrs ago managed to claim the US #1 in gun deaths even though we are 25th in deaths by gun per capita globally. Chart here. We are comparable to most other developed countries in gun deaths per capita even though we have a much higher gun ownership rate.

    And if you take out a certain ~13% of the population, the US gun homicide rates (and homicide rates in general) absolutely plummet.

    • #12
  13. Chris Campion Coolidge
    Chris Campion
    @ChrisCampion

    The chart is mislabeled.  It should say “Vehicle Violence”.

    Not quite sure how a suicide is lumped in with violence, other than that a gun is involved.

    But I digress.  Let’s control guns now.  Through WaPo editorializing.

    • #13
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Were these self driving cars?  Self shooting guns?  Or were people involved?  How many shootings were in some way drug related?  How many motor vehicle deaths were substance related?

    • #14
  15. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    I Walton: Self shooting guns?

    I’m sure there’s a set of people out there who will tell use self-shooting guns are far safer than traditional guns, and one day the public will demand them because of their safety record.

    • #15
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