Banning Cars Would Make Us Far Safer Than Banning Guns

by Dave Blount | September 4, 2015 4:16 pm

What will they do to us next to make us safe, if they succeed in rendering us defenseless by taking away our guns? Maybe they ought to confiscate our cars. Chris Conover makes some comparisons:

• There were 310 million guns in the U.S. in 2009 (a Congressional Research Service figure I have no reason to dispute), a figure that likely grew to perhaps 350 million by 2013.

• These guns result[ed] in ~33,000 deaths in 2013, of which 64% were suicides, leaving ~500 accidental deaths and 11,200 due to homicides (these are official CDC figures reported in Table 10).

• There were 269 million registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2013.

• These result in ~33,000 deaths a year, roughly half of which are drivers (these are official NHTSA statistics).

Let’s leave suicide out of this, since if people don’t use guns they will find some other method, possibly one more likely to harm others like jumping off a building or driving at an oncoming truck. Crunching the numbers,

if we leave aside self-inflicted deaths, the average car is 1.8 times as risky as the average gun. That is, my owning a car is 80 percent more likely to result in the death of another person than my owning a gun.

But wait; there’s more:

Fully 96% of non-suicide death rates from firearms are due to homicides (again, derived from Table 10). There is no defender of the Second Amendment who argues that the Constitution accords citizens the freedom to kill one another. Clearly, anyone who uses a firearm for that purpose should be severely punished; moreover, no one could credibly include murderers in the count of “responsible” gun owners. So the rate of “accidental” firearm deaths is astonishingly small: 1.4 deaths per million guns, i.e., less than 2 per day.

Contrast that with cars. About 31% of all vehicle deaths are due to drunk drivers–a group for whom society has little sympathy. Many would be prepared to declare that driving drunk is criminal and that those found guilty of killing someone in an inebriated condition warrant being dealt with severely… But it also turns out that the drunk drivers themselves constitute 65% of drunk driving deaths. If we remove the non-driver deaths from drunk driving from our count of overall non-driver vehicle accident victims, we end up with a net of about 12,700 non-driver “accidental” deaths a year (36.2 accidental deaths for every million vehicles). In short, the typical car is 25 times as likely to kill someone accidentally as the typical gun.

If they really wanted us to be safe, our rulers would ban cars first and then come back for guns, power tools, sharp objects, blunt instruments, et cetera.


On a tip from Torcer. Hat tip: Bearing Arms. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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