More Deaths from Firearms than Vehicles in the US?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by sherman123, Dec 11, 2015.

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  1. sherman123

    sherman123 Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    I've seen gun control advocates flaunt this a fact and claim this year there are more Deaths from guns than cars. Does anyone know where they're getting these stats? Claiming over 30k gun deaths each year?
  2. MErl

    MErl Member

    May 18, 2006
    The 30k+ number is what I've seen as well from FBI data. It includes suicides which account for over half. Make it hard enough to commit suicide by gun and more people will start intentionally driving their cars into trees.
  3. Librarian

    Librarian Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    Concord, CA
    You want CDC WISQARS -

    2004 - 2013, United States
    MV Traffic Deaths and Rates per 100,000
    2004 	43,432 	292,805,298 	14.83 	14.70
    2005 	43,667 	295,516,599 	14.78 	14.61
    2006 	43,664 	298,379,912 	14.63 	14.44
    2007 	42,031 	301,231,207 	13.95 	13.77
    2008 	37,985 	304,093,966 	12.49 	12.31
    2009 	34,485 	306,771,529 	11.24 	11.06
    2010 	33,687 	308,745,538 	10.91 	10.70
    2011 	33,783 	311,582,564 	10.84 	10.61
    2012 	34,935 	313,873,685 	11.13 	10.85
    2013 	33,804 	316,128,839 	10.69 	10.40
    Suicides are irrelevant to this discussion.

    2004 - 2013, United States
    Homicide Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000
    2004 	11,624 	292,805,298 	3.97 	3.94
    2005 	12,352 	295,516,599 	4.18 	4.17
    2006 	12,791 	298,379,912 	4.29 	4.27
    2007 	12,632 	301,231,207 	4.19 	4.20
    2008 	12,179 	304,093,966 	4.01 	4.03
    2009 	11,493 	306,771,529 	3.75 	3.78
    2010 	11,078 	308,745,538 	3.59 	3.62
    2011 	11,068 	311,582,564 	3.55 	3.59
    2012 	11,622 	313,873,685 	3.70 	3.76
    2013 	11,208 	316,128,839 	3.55 	3.61
    In short, the folks who are talking to you are either innumerate or lying.
  4. chipcom

    chipcom member

    Jan 15, 2013
    Wayne County, Ohio
    When you add in suicides by firearm, the death rates for the two get pretty close.

    Whether suicides are irrelevant or not kinda depends on what you are trying to prove or disprove with the numbers. Perhaps to compare apples to apples, we need to compare the number of homicides by firearm and by automobile...but I am not sure we'd like how those numbers come out unless you ensured that all possible charges concerning negligent use of a vehicle, including DUIs are included. A better comparison might be homicides and accidental deaths by each...which would then skew the numbers towards motor vehicles.

    It's easy to make numbers look like how you want them to look.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  5. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    E/Cntrl Fla.
    You've also gotta consider that a substantial number of the MV deaths ARE suicides. Too, a comparison of relative INJURY, less death, dramatically increases the incidence of hurt in comparing one issue to the other...

    Simply stated, there really IS no valid comparison............that's a comment from well over three decades as a LEO and a ClEO.....seen and done it all!!
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    That's an apples and oranges deception comparing the two (and we make the mistake more than they do).

    Auto deaths are primarily do to accident/negligent incidents where firearms deaths are primarily suicide and murder (both intentional acts). Accidental firearm deaths are very few and any comparison should be between the very few accidental/negligent firearms deaths and auto deaths.
  7. DMK

    DMK Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Over the hills and far, far away
    I never understood the fixation on suicide by the anti-gun crowd.

    While tragic if it is someone you know and care about, how is suicide a threat to society in general? How is it a public safety problem?

    To put it coldly, with the state of the world today, we actually have an over-population problem. If a significant number of our society want to check out voluntarily isn't this actually better for the rest of society?

    Now, I don't condone suicide at all, but I also don't see it as a threat to public safety.
  8. rule303

    rule303 Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Motor vehicles can be extremely dangerous when misused. Firearms can be extremely dangerous when misused. You are far more likely to be killed accidentally in a motor vehicle than you are by a firearm. You also have a constitutional right to own a firearm, there is no such right to operate a motor vehicle. Statistics are use by both sides to paint the picture they want the masses to see. These figures could just as easily be used by someone looking to ban the private ownership of cars.
    The same politicians and media pundits that want to control access to guns more tightly, have no problems with the adjudicated mentally ill driving, illegal immigrants driving, marijuana users, felons, etc. All it would take is one turn of the steering wheel to murder one or more innocent citizens.
    It is a mind set (mental deficiency?) that some people think any one inanimate object is somehow more evil than another. A car driven into a crowd of people at 70 mph would do as much or more damage than a shooter in the same crowd.
  9. suemarkp

    suemarkp Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    Kent, WA
    When I looked recently, I found the number of people killed by drunk drivers was similar to the number of people killed by guns excluding suicides.

    You can argue that we tolerate drunk driving (prohibition didn't work). Putting an interlock on every car would lower the number of drunk drivers. But the sober 99% of the population would be inconvenienced by blowing into a sensor every time before driving.

    It will be a similar result for guns (prohibition -- banning guns, will just create a whole new set a problems and people will just be killed other ways). Gun control is mostly inconveniences, and I"m tired of putting up with them. If as many people who drive bought guns, we wouldn't have so many controls.

    Its that fraction of a percent of people who cause the mayhem regardless of the tools used.
  10. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Rock Harbor,Florida
    Librarian has made the case in Post #3. It's open and shut, IMO. As he said, "Suicides are irrelevant to this discussion."
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    I disagree. The last number I saw had 60% of firearm deaths as suicides. The suicide rate in this country is no greater than any other similar country and lower than many. This fact is often left out and we need to make sure it is known. Suicide by car is also becoming popular. People drive to scenic places and drive over cliffs.

    The 30,000 firearms related deaths each year is pretty accurate as far as I can tell, but the numbers need to be put into perspective. Nearly 2/3 of those would choose another method and still die even if guns were completely outlawed. That gets us to around 12,000 firearms deaths/year

    There is a good graphic here comparing the USA to Canada. We have about 11/100,000 commit suicide, Canada has a higher rate at 11.5/100,000. They used fewer guns, but still had a higher suicide rate.

    The 30,000 number also includes justifiable shootings by LE and private citizens which happens far less often in other countries. When you get right down to it the chances of a law abiding citizen here being killed in a gun related incident other than suicide is pretty slim. And the facts show that not having a gun won't prevent a suicide.
  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    There are more deaths from bad decisions by doctors and mistakes by pharmacists than there are from Firearms and Vehicles combined. And the answer is?

    Since most auto deaths are accidents rather than suicide or murder, wouldn't the proper comparison be autos 34 thousand versus guns less than 1 thousand?

    Suicides and homicides are intentional acts. Firearms are selected because they are commonly viewed as effective weapons. (That is why they are also selected for hunting, self-defense, military preparedness training, and other legitimate uses.)

    Most gun deaths are suicides. Suicide prevention specialists have abandoned the idea that banning one particular method will impact the over all suicide rate; it will just change the means.

    The Right-To-Die suicide advocates routinely publish lists of suicide methods that rank methods of suicide equal or better than many types of gunshot wounds based on type of guns and target organs.

    On homicide, even a gun hater like criminologist Marvin Wolfgang admitted that his detailed study of hundreds homicides, homicide victims, their prior interactions and the circumstances of the homicide convinced him that most homicides due to shooting would have been completed with other weapons and he admitted that the presence of a gun was not a cause but was a result of intent.

    Perspective and proportion:
    15 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S.A., 2009
    Rates per 100,000 population per year
    Population estimate 30 Dec 2009 308,400,408. 
    National total of 2,437,163 deaths; rate 793.8 
    Rank & Cause of Death                      Rate  Deaths
    ------------------------------------------ ----- -------
     1. Diseases of heart (heart disease)       195.2 599,413
     2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)            184.9 567,628
     3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases       44.7 137,353
     4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)        42.0 128,842
     5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)       38.4 118,021
     6. Alzheimer’s disease                      25.7  79,003
     7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)             22.4  68,705
     8. Influenza & pneumonia                    17.5  53,692
     9. Nephritis, nephrosis (kidney disease)    15.9  48,935
    10. Suicide [Intentional Self-Harm]          12.0  36,909
    11. Septicemia                               11.6  35,639
    12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis      10.0  30,558
    13. Essential hypertension and renal disease  8.4  25,734
    14. Parkinson's disease                       6.7  20,565
    15. Homicide [Assault]                        5.5  16,799
    --- All other causes (Residual)             152.9 469,367
       Gun accidents 2008                                 592
       Gun homicides 2009                               9,203
       Gun suicides  2009                              18,735
       Total gun deaths                                28,530 
    I copied this on one of my visits to Brown's Mountain Cemetery:

    Martha Brown
    May 29, 1873
    July 6, 1929

    Friends and strangers passing by,
    As you are now so once was I,
    As I am now you soon shall be,
    Prepare for death & follow me.

    Of course, in between times we should take reasonable precautions to avoid untimely death, but no law will ever make us immortal. I do think that laws that disarm the law abiding do not deter deliberate criminal acts, and may encourage the unarmed brutes.
  13. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

    Jan 26, 2011
    North Mississippi
    I've had 5 friends die from "car crime".
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    There are no deaths from either cars or firearms. Inanimate objects do nothing to anyone.
    "..."Suicides are irrelevant to this discussion."..." Nope. If somebody, anybody, uses stats to make a point, in or out of context, all the stats matter. Otherwise you're doing exactly what the assorted anti-firearm groups do. Pick and choose the stats that "prove" their point.
  15. JR47

    JR47 Member

    Aug 16, 2008
    N. Georgia
    I spent 35 years in Fire/EMS in Prince George's County, Maryland. Just outside of D.C. I can tell you that a LOT of automobile accidents could have used a bit more scrutiny than they received. When a person driving on a sunny day, on a flat, straight, road, manages to hit a tree with no signs of braking, it's suspicious. Yet, if they leave no note, it's an accident, not a suicide. Similar "accidents" happen far too frequently to be happenstance. Note, as well, that putting your car into the garage, then sitting in it as it runs isn't consider a "vehicle death" for the stats, either.

    There is no equal comparison involved between automotive deaths, and firearms deaths, unless you consider only deaths, and not break it down into accidental, homicide, and on and on. Besides, ALL firearms deaths count, no matter the arm used. So, shouldn't all motor vehicle deaths be totaled? You know, trucks, buses, ships, and so on? Think of it as transportation deaths vs. firearms deaths.
  16. Red Wind

    Red Wind Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Rock Harbor,Florida
    I must disagree with jmr40 and Sunray and stick with Librarian and Carl Brown. Japan has vastly more gun control than the USA and virtually no firearms in "civilian" hands.

    Yet Japan's suicide rate is quite larger than ours. If a person is bent on self destruction there are hundreds of ways to do it.

    See this chart. Japan is 17th. The USA is 50th.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  17. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    Another vote that suicides are irrelevant to the discussion of injury deaths as they relate to public safety, and irrelevant to the subject of firearm related deaths. Short of institutionalization, there is not a thing that can be done to prevent one from engaging in self harm if they are intent on it. And even at that, it's difficult; my mother did an internship at a mental health facility, and there were many attempts and a few successful suicides by patients who where there for exactly that reason. One kid ripped the steel grille off the lighting fixture, broke the diffuser panel, shattered a bulb and sliced his wrists. People have even bitten off their own tongues and bled out or asphyxiated.

    As Red Wind noted, there is absolutely no correlation between firearms ownership and suicide rates, nor between other forms of intentional and unintentional injury rates and suicide. Culture, economics, and even weather & sunlight hours affect suicide rates, but not firearms. Firearm suicides represent a large portion of the methods used here in the USA because they are an available and efficient means, but the fact that we are so far down the list of rates despite the exponentially higher rate of firearm ownership clearly demonstrates that people will get it done by whatever means necessary.
  18. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Johnson County Texas
    Tons of things kill more folks than Guns to argue otherwise is to ingenious or mathematically dishonest.
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