Overdose on Guns

 

From Robert VerBruggen, at Real Clear Policy, this simple graph:imageThree reactions:

  1. I have no idea what explains the steep drop in motor vehicle deaths. I haven’t noticed people driving more safely since 2006. Have you? Could it be gas prices leading to fewer cars on the road? (But gas prices have been dropping …)
  2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?
  3. Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing. Why isn’t Barack Obama having town meetings about that?

There are 61 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Rob Long: 1. I have no idea what explains the steep drop in motor vehicle deaths. I haven’t noticed people driving more safely since 2006. Have you? Could it be gas prices leading to fewer cars on the road? (But gas prices have been dropping …)

    This could be wrong — and, in fact, I rather hope it is — but could Cash for Clunkers be part of it? You know, turning in (older) cars for new ones with better safety standards. Again, I hope there’s another explanation.

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    Good question, needs to be posed more often. Mostly, because it answers itself.

    Rob Long: 3. Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing. Why isn’t Barack Obama having town meetings about that?

    Definitely interesting, especially considering how much play the issue is getting in New Hampshire.

    • #1
  2. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Tom, I think you are probably right about newer cars on the road. Also, youngsters drive less. Getting a license isn’t the thing it once was. There’s less interest in cars. They like bikes. And that’s good because they are nuts. Drunk driving is probably way down too. That’s really been beaten into heads.

    • #2
  3. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    I think both prior comments are partially correct. I think that in the past 15 years seatbelt usage has been universal. When I started driving in the early 90s I’d say seatbelt usage was only 60%, even amongst my peers, and much lower as you moved up in age. Now the drivers who don’t wear seat belts are off the road or through the windshield. Airbags are good and ABS is good and everything else, but if most of your drivers are belted in (even now in the backseat) you’re going to see a drop.

    • #3
  4. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    1. I have no idea what explains the steep drop in motor vehicle deaths. I haven’t noticed people driving more safely since 2006. Have you? Could it be gas prices leading to fewer cars on the road? (But gas prices have been dropping …)

    I agree with Tom, I think it may just be the cars that are safer, not the drivers.

    2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    It’s politically convenient. They have a near pathological hatred for guns so making it a crisis is important. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

    3. Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing. Why isn’t Barack Obama having town meetings about that?

    This is going to sound near conspiratorial and I don’t mean it to but it’s likely that the demographic that’s making up the majority of that upswing isn’t one that the left really cares about.

    • #4
  5. Mr. Dart Inactive
    Mr. Dart
    @MrDart

    Reaction to reaction:

    1. Cars are much safer in a crash now than even 10 years ago.  Air bags, energy-absorbing crumple zones and bumpers plus seatbelt usage all contribute.
    2. Gun deaths may be constant but aren’t homicides down and suicides up? The left wants people disarmed as it makes the state more powerful of course.
    3. Obama doesn’t talk about drugs because it angers his base. You have to be wrecked on drugs to vote for a Democrat.
    • #5
  6. Austin Murrey Inactive
    Austin Murrey
    @AustinMurrey

    Rob Long: 1. I have no idea what explains the steep drop in motor vehicle deaths. I haven’t noticed people driving more safely since 2006. Have you? Could it be gas prices leading to fewer cars on the road? (But gas prices have been dropping …)

    We won’t know for sure however in 2008 the NHTSA concluded that higher than normal youth unemployment had led to a large drop in fatalities amongst younger drivers because reduced incomes had prevented them from “discretionary and
    non-discretionary travel” (which I believe means to and from work.)

    Bernie Sanders is continually claiming that real unemployment is around 10% and youth unemployment is higher than reported – even if that’s not the case there anecdotely seem to be more people getting part time jobs, there are fewer used cars on the market thanks to Cash for Clunkers which reduces the number of cars available to lower income earners which specifically includes younger drivers since earning power increases to its peak around 55.

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    The Left has lost the gun argument and they have finally realized it. Since ordinary people are no longer frightened of the Wild West visiting Greenwich Village or Hollywood Boulevard (or any more than it ever does) they’ve resorted to rending their garments at the death of shooting victims – preferably children.

    Rob Long: 3. Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing. Why isn’t Barack Obama having town meetings about that?

    Because the cosmopolitan voter coalition that the modern Democratic Party depends on either thinks well of drug use in a general sense (mostly of marijuana) or despises broadened police actions on people who “don’t hurt anyone” by drug use and they’re terrified that they’ll fracture the voting bloc they need to maintain control of the bureaucracy.

    Given state legislatures and governorships flipping to the GOP in greater numbers (unless their candidates are abandoned like Ken Cuccinelli was) the Democratic Party has to steadfastly avoid mentioning anything that would turn people off to their message lest the GOP become a permanent ruling party unless or until the Democratic Party purged the leftists who have been pushing blue-collar voters out of their traditional political home.

    • #6
  7. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Drugs, causing deaths? No way, man. The problem with drugs is that they are illegal, man. Which like harshes the vibe of everyone and the bad vibrations lead to death, man. Clearly we need to legalize them, man. Then, everyone will be like, wow! Drugs are legal? That’s cool, man I don’t need to over do them. Just shellax and soak up the love, man. Far out…

    Interesting graph though. I don’t think Cash for Clunkers can explain the car drop, because it seems to happen before the program started. Could it be the criminalization of talking on cell phones while driving? Or perhaps the enforcement of seat belt laws?

    • #7
  8. John Peabody Inactive
    John Peabody
    @JohnAPeabody

    Unsubstantiated guess on vehicle deaths: All of the above, plus fewer miles driven.

    • #8
  9. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Valiuth: Drugs, causing deaths? No way, man. The problem with drugs is that they are illegal, man. Which like harshes the vibe of everyone and the bad vibrations lead to death, man. Clearly we need to legalize them, man. Then, everyone will be like, wow! Drugs are legal? That’s cool, man I don’t need to over do them. Just shellax and soak up the love, man. Far out…

    Great use of hackneyed pot-stoner lingo to represent heroin addicts. Very convincing!

    • #9
  10. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    Cars are safer and we use seat belts more religiously now. And the difference in deaths versus injury is enormous. Also, let’s not discount the amazing leaps in emergency response/medicine, which has likely saved the lives of some car accident victims, who might have otherwise perished in years past.

    • #10
  11. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    The chart and it’s implications are senseless. Three very different things, and all very difficult to remedy by the State, while the assumption for most is that we should try to lower death rates in the aggregate, usually with no consideration of unintended consequenses.

    Gun deaths include suicides, which can be accomplished easily by other methods. Bad guys killing other bad guys probably make up a good portion of the stat and let’s also take out good guys killing bad guys for a more realistic look at the “problem”.

    As to drug overdoses, the only real remedy is legalization and regulation, something most right-wingers don’t want. More enforcement, besides being maxed-out already, would lead to more loss of civil liberties and create more problems. Should we really care about the deaths of people who choose this lifestyle? And would it help if the some miraculous policy was put in place that reduced overdose deaths, thus encouraging more people to take drugs “safely”?

    As to automobile deaths and the reduction thereof, I believe there is one thing police have been pretty effective at of late: traffic enforcement. That’s where most of the money is.

    • #11
  12. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    I think it is a combination of a couple of things:

    First, though violent crime is decreasing, you wouldn’t know it by the new coverage it gets.  Thus, the epidemic mindset feeds itself.

    Second, there is an agenda to remove all guns.  Liberals don’t understand guns, and they want them gone.  As one liberal, who is honest with his opinions because he isn’t running for office, said to me:  nobody needs guns, and you guys having your guns makes the world less safe, so we need to ban them all.  It’s a silly position, but it is the position most honest liberals hold.

    • #12
  13. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    Casey:Tom, I think you are probably right about newer cars on the road. Also, youngsters drive less. Getting a license isn’t the thing it once was. There’s less interest in cars. They like bikes. And that’s good because they are nuts. Drunk driving is probably way down too. That’s really been beaten into heads.

    Quite right; newer cars’ safety features are much, much more sophisticated & effective.  More like NASCAR, they are designed to crumple everything but the passenger cabin.  Seat belt usage continues to go up, which prevents a significant cause of death; being thrown from the car (ex. Derrick Thomas, RIP).  Drunk driving is now so far beyond the pale socially it isn’t coming back.

    Drug overdoses, however, sound like bored young people (and middle-aged white guys, it sounds like) seeking escape in more powerful & exotic drugs (Breaking Bad on steroids, to mix pharmaceutical genres).

    • #13
  14. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Rob Long: 1. I have no idea what explains the steep drop in motor vehicle deaths. I haven’t noticed people driving more safely since 2006. Have you? Could it be gas prices leading to fewer cars on the road? (But gas prices have been dropping …)

    I’d be more interested in seeing the motor vehicle accident rate, then compare that to the fatality rate.

    Also, notice that the rate drops started well prior to cash for clunkers (which only ran for a short time in 2009), so that would not explain it.

    I would guess that a large part of this was a change in the crash ratings of vehicles.  Until a little over a decade ago (or maybe 15 years ago, I’ve not had a chance to look this up), crash ratings (issued by the insurance industry) were mostly for frontal impacts or side impacts, not corner impacts.  When ratings added angled impacts, corner impacts, oblique impacts, etc. (and mind you, these sorts of crashes are more common than head-to-head crashes), crash ratings on older designs dropped precipitously, and a lot of old designs that were still in production saw their sales numbers *ahem* crash as well.

    So, my guess is that the drop you see coincides with a lot of the newer designs finally being on the road in sufficient numbers to affect the fatality stats.

    You may well see another drop in the next 3-4 years as the corner impact ratings were tightened again about a year ago.

    To see what I’m talking about, here is a vid of a crash between a ’59 Chevy and a 2009 Chevy.

    • #14
  15. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Franco: As to automobile deaths and the reduction thereof, I believe there is one thing police have been pretty effective at of late: traffic enforcement. That’s where most of the money is.

    I would dispute this, only because traffic enforcement is only a small part of the picture.  We need to see the total collision / accident rate compared to the fatality rate.

    • #15
  16. Yeah...ok. Inactive
    Yeah...ok.
    @Yeahok

    The victims survive the crashes because of advances to trauma care.

    Some victims are able to parlay their good fortune into a lifetime supply of opiods and ss disability.

    • #16
  17. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Yeah…ok.:The victims survive the crashes because of advances to trauma care.

    Some victims are able to parlay their good fortune into a lifetime supply of opiods and ss disability.

    Was there some major change to trauma care that rolled out in the last 15 years?  That would be a good thing to factor in too.

    • #17
  18. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Some of these are fungible numbers. One can basically have a death wish with a car or drugs – or commit suicide with a firearm. None of these numbers should be used when discussing fatalities – a safer car will not prevent suicide, any more than “good” drugs prevent someone from overdosing.

    The numbers that could be compared are the non-suicide rates for vehicles and firearms.

    • #18
  19. BThompson Inactive
    BThompson
    @BThompson

    You’re such a graph guy, Rob.

    • #19
  20. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    BThompson:You’re such a graph guy, Rob.

    I always had him pegged as a graffiti guy.

    Graffiti

    • #20
  21. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    Two-thirds of the deaths are suicides.  The murder rate has declined.

    • #21
  22. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Frank Soto:

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    Two-thirds of the deaths are suicides. The murder rate has declined.

    Nobody left to murder.

    • #22
  23. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Casey:

    Frank Soto:

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    Two-thirds of the deaths are suicides. The murder rate has declined.

    Nobody left to murder.

    For you anyway.

    • #23
  24. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    skipsul:

    Casey:

    Frank Soto:

    Rob Long: 2. Gun deaths seem to be constant. So, another mystery: Why are lefty progressives acting like it’s an epidemic?

    Two-thirds of the deaths are suicides. The murder rate has declined.

    Nobody left to murder.

    For you anyway.

    That’s one heck of a to-do list.

    • #24
  25. Wiley Inactive
    Wiley
    @Wiley

    skipsul: Also, notice that the rate drops started well prior to cash for clunkers (which only ran for a short time in 2009), so that would not explain it.

    Valiuth: I don’t think Cash for Clunkers can explain the car drop, because it seems to happen before the program started.

    Tom Meyer, Ed.: but could Cash for Clunkers be part of it? You know, turning in (older) cars for new ones with better safety standards. Again, I hope there’s another explanation.

    Austin Murrey: there are fewer used cars on the market thanks to Cash for Clunkers which reduces the number of cars available to lower income earners which specifically includes younger drivers since earning power increases to its peak around 55.

    Cash for Clunkers only moved demand forward and depressed new cars sales after it ended. It really only wasted money. The government spent $24,000 (plus an unknown amount of administration costs) in tax money to stimulate the purchase of one car.
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/28/autos/clunkers_analysis/index.htm?postversion=2009102912

    • #25
  26. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Wiley: Cash for Clunkers only moved demand forward and depressed new cars sales after it ended. It really only wasted money. The government spent $24,000 (plus an unknown amount of administration costs) in tax money to stimulate the purchase of one car.

    Cue the typical lefty response:

    But if it saved even one single life!

    • #26
  27. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    skipsul:

    Wiley: Cash for Clunkers only moved demand forward and depressed new cars sales after it ended. It really only wasted money. The government spent $24,000 (plus an unknown amount of administration costs) in tax money to stimulate the purchase of one car.

    Cue the typical lefty response:

    But if it saved even one single child’s/women and minorities (who are hardest hit) life!

    There, now it’s lefty dialed to 11.

    • #27
  28. Severely Ltd. Inactive
    Severely Ltd.
    @SeverelyLtd

    A lot of good points made, particularly the fact that cars are getting safer and the older ones are disappearing. I’ve also noticed a steady drop-off in hotrod and muscle-car culture. The new generation just doesn’t seem to have as many Skipsuls and Iowahawks. It is a lot more difficult to customize new cars, but a contributing factor could be how few know how to operate a screwdriver.

    • #28
  29. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Severely Ltd.:A lot of good points made, particularly the fact that cars are getting safer and the older ones are disappearing. I’ve also noticed a steady drop-off in hotrod and muscle-car culture. The new generation just doesn’t seem to have as many Skipsuls and Iowahawks. It is a lot more difficult to customize new cars, but a contributing factor could be how few know how to operate a screwdriver.

    That and the fact you practically have to essentially take them completely apart to change something as simple as a headlight, never mind anything to do with the engine.

    • #29
  30. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Mr. Dart:Reaction to reaction:

    1. Cars are much safer in a crash now than even 10 years ago. Air bags, energy-absorbing crumple zones and bumpers plus seatbelt usage all contribute.
    2. Gun deaths may be constant but aren’t homicides down and suicides up? The left wants people disarmed as it makes the state more powerful of course.
    3. Obama doesn’t talk about drugs because it angers his base. You have to be wrecked on drugs to vote for a Democrat.
    1. Air bags, crumple zones, bumpers and seatbelts were not invented in 2006.
    2. It’s a very specific demographic group that is dying by suicide. The dems don’t care about this group.
    3. It’s a very specific demographic group that is dying from prescription drug overdose. The dems don’t care about this group.
    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.