Someone would have to be detached from reality to compare guns to automobiles as an intentional killing tool. One doesn’t run to the driveway to get their weapon of choice to commit homicide. They pull it out of their night stand drawer by the bed they sleep in.
Well, when you put it like that…
Car or Gun: Which poses the greater threat in domestic violence cases, suicides and homicides?
In their defense of unlimited and unrestricted gun ownership 2nd amendment zealots always like to inform those of us who support sane gun-control measures that limiting and restricting gun ownership isn’t going to stop people from killing other people. They then like to go on and tell us that cars kill more people than guns. “Are we then expected to get rid of cars because people die from them” they lamely argue. It’s the same convoluted arguments comparing other objects to guns used in killings.
But the don’t tread on me crowd won’t be able to use the gun vs. car death argument much longer. 2013 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, the most recent nationwide numbers available, reveal that though auto accidents – 33,804 – did exceed the number of gun related deaths – 33,636, they did so by less than 1%. Not surprisingly we’re finding that in some states, death by gun now exceeds deaths by automobile, with an upward trend in more gun deaths than automobile deaths. Where we demand that cars and trucks be made smarter and safer to reduce traffic deaths, the same cannot be said for guns and those who deal in them.
Now the gun zealots will point out that most of the gun related deaths were suicides – about 60% – but all this actually demonstrates is that the gun is the choice for those who want to terminate their life for obvious reasons. It is the easiest, swiftest and least likely way of failing for someone who wants to end it all. There is also the high probability that gun-related suicides are so high because they are in easy reach and tend to occur in those states where many homes own guns. Why get in a car and find a bridge or mountain road to run it off of when suicidal urges strike, when the more immediate means of carrying this out is available in the next room?
I think one can also safely say that most automobile deaths are accidents whereas gun deaths are almost exclusively intentional.
Gun deaths are significantly higher in the U.S. over other developed countries for one simple reason – ease of access to guns through relaxed gun laws. In states with high household gun ownership rates, gun deaths are significantly higher than states with the lowest household gun ownership rates. Alaska for example, with the highest household gun ownership rate in the U.S. has nearly 20 gun deaths per 100,000 population where Hawaii with the lowest household gun ownership rate has just under 3 gun deaths per 100,000 population.
The notion that we are safer with guns at our disposal is not backed up by the research. Guns can make people feel psychologically safer “but studies show they actually make us less safe. Statistically, if you own a gun, it’s more likely to be used to kill you or someone you love than a stranger in self-defense.”
89% of unintentional shooting deaths of children
occur in the home—and most of these deaths occur when
children are playing with a loaded gun in their parents’
So when you remove the factors that makes guns the choice of suicides and demonstrate that merely having a gun in your home will likely kill more loved ones than “bad guys”, the argument that cars kill more people than guns loses credibility rather quickly. According to the 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine of National Academies, “Few other consumer goods available to Americans are as deadly as guns. Using guns, we kill ourselves and each other in a yearly slaughter of war-time proportions.”
It should be noted here too, as I have done in every argument that raises the gun vs.cars issue, that automobiles are not designed to kill humans. They are designed to take us from point A to point B. We travel to entertainment venues, church and vacation spots with our families in automobiles. Some of us have perhaps made love for the first time in the back seat of our car or the bed of our pickup truck. Strict laws by states require all of us to prove we have the skills to safely operate an automobile.
Guns on the other hand are designed for one thing and one thing only. To kill or maim. Owning and using a gun has fewer state restrictions in many states than the licensing process for car ownership. In my home state of Texas for example, it takes less training to get a gun than a driver’s license if you’re under 25.
Burglars don’t threaten store cashiers with their cars. A car doesn’t accidentally discharge killing someone you care about. Women and children are not held hostage with cars in domestic violence cases. Gang members and terrorists would be highly unsuccessful at their trades if they tried to intimidate people by running them over. It is the deadly ease of gun power that allows death rates in the U.S. to exceed other civilized societies.
Five frightening facts about guns and women…
46- Number of American women shot to death each month by current or former intimate partners.
500% – A woman is this much more likely to be killed in a domestic violence situation where a gun is present.
44% – Proportion of women murdered with guns who were killed by current or former intimate partners (in 2011).
57% – Proportion of mass shootings that involve incidents of domestic violence (2009-2013).
1100% – Women in the U.S. are this much more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries. SOURCE