All News & Blogs
In response to Walter E. Kreutzer's March 12 letter, "Auto deaths surpass those by firearms," the writer claims that simply by looking at which of these two mechanisms kills more individuals in any given year we can determine which is deadliest. He goes on to cite some statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the CDC for motor vehicle traffic crashes resulting in death and gun deaths, respectively. He found that in 2010, 32,885 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes and 31,513 were killed by firearms.
Seems cut and dry, but how many of these deaths were intentional? Did some of the deaths by car happen because someone maliciously drove another person down and killed him? For the sake of the debate on gun control we need to look at intended deaths. Deaths caused by one human being using a gun to kill another human being. That is what everyone is truly upset about, right?
I accessed the National Vital Statistics Reports for 2009 and a total of 177,154 deaths were classified as injury related. The report states that the manner or intent involves whether the injury was inflicted on purpose and, when done intentionally, whether it was because of suicide or assault. In 2009, 34,485 deaths occurred due to motor vehicles and firearms resulted in 31,347 deaths. However, the two major component causes of all firearm injury deaths were suicide at 59.8 percent and homicide at 36.7 percent. Firearms were used in 11,493 homicides. Motor-vehicles were used in 60 homicides.
It's the manner in which guns are being used, intentional killing, that causes a need to put vehicles and guns in two different categories when it comes to regulations and laws for each.