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Guns Now Kill More People Than Cars in Ten States

Guns Now Kill More People Than Cars in Ten States
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Written by Richard Schiffman

The recent killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in a gated community in Florida has reignited the controversy over gun violence in America.

Whether the shooting was an act of self-defense, as Zimmerman’s lawyer claims, or murder plain and simple has been left to a jury to decide. But clearly it never would have happened if the possession of handguns were illegal, or severely restricted, as it is in Europe, where per-capita gun deaths are only one seventh of what they are in the U.S.

Gun fatalities have been on the rise– slowly but steadily every year since 2002, according to a National Institute of Justice survey. In 1975, 60 percent of the homicides in the U.S. were committed using a handgun. By 2005 that number had shot up to nearly 80 percent, with the rise in gang related gun killings even steeper.

This trend gives the lie to the NRA claim that easy access to guns does not pose a danger to Americans. It does. The more handguns there are out there, the more likely they will be used to commit a violent crime. Last year 31,593 Americans were killed by handguns. In addition, over 40 thousand were injured in nonlethal gun attacks, leaving some victims crippled for life.

Compare these appalling casualty figures to the slightly over 1000 U.S. Armed Service personnel and private contractors who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same period. Clearly we gun-toting Americans are our own worst enemies. The violence that we perpetrate on one another with handguns is more than 30 times as deadly than the attacks of Al Qaeda and the Taliban combined!

Not only that, but in ten states (Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington) you are more likely to be killed by a gun than in a car accident, according to an analysis just released by the advocacy group, the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

This is surprising given that 90 percent of U.S households have cars, whereas fewer than a third own guns, VPC’s Legislative Director Kristen Rand points out.

“Motor vehicles–unlike guns–are essential to the functioning of the entire U.S. economy,” Rand says, adding, “It is time to end firearms’ status as the last unregulated consumer product.”

The reason that cars have been getting safer is precisely because they are regulated. And those regulations are getting stiffer every year.

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214 comments

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5:10PM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

thanks for the article
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/15/1314265/-Morons-with-Guns?detail=email

11:00AM PDT on Jul 10, 2013

Who ever wrote this article is a liar you can not purchase AUTOMATIC FIREARMS IN ANY STATE. Please tell truth, stop the misinformation you are disseminating to further your agenda.

4:05PM PDT on May 1, 2013

Sorry, the last sentence should have concluded....some day soon they will be at the mercy of others that have guns. Which is a totally obsurd notion.

3:59PM PDT on May 1, 2013

Look, background checks are just one part of the equation. Sure, those selling at gun shows or over the Internet don 't say "Who can I sell to Fha wouldn't otherwise be able to get a gun?" However, if you want something but know you will be refused elsewhere and find out about a place where you CAN get it, you would go there right. Making these outlets as few and far between as possible makes sense. Lets face it, many gun deaths or injuries are accidents that could be avoided if people were handling their weapons reasonably (like an elder sib or friend accidentally shooting anouther kid because the gun ower was careless with the gun). Gun saftey and handling training is just as important. And of course, those who have bought into the diatribes of fear mongers who make them believe they must have a gun or sumes day soon they will be

1:47PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

As soon as the criminals start lining up to get a background check and get their illegal stolen guns registered then I will be willing to support gun control till that time no thanks.

9:35AM PST on Jan 24, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:36PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

Notice how long the Zimmerman saga is taking. If the prosecution fails the state should pay for lost wages,and atty' fees. This tactic is the bankrupt innocent people and force them into plea bargains that inflate the win record of the prosecutor and waste billions of dollars.

11:16PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

To paraphrase the original article in light of the Sandy Hook shooting, real life reads like this: "What impact do gun laws have? Gun control proponents claim that limiting the availability of handguns makes us safer, and less vulnerable to criminal gun violence. Their solution: disarm ordinary citizens and assure that the bad guys will have the only weapon(s). But this is a prescription for a massacre. Which we had at Sandy Hook elementary school. Almost two dozen young children and half a dozen adults paid for this foolish belief with their lives. This is a gun control success story having made the school and most others just like it a "no gun zone" Can you and your family live with success like this?

11:15PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

from the article: "What impact do gun laws have? Gun control opponents claim that limiting the availability of handguns does not make us safer, but more vulnerable to criminal gun violence. Their solution: arm ordinary citizens and the bad guys will be outgunned. But this is a prescription for escalating gun violence."

Actually guns in the hands of honest citizens always makes for a safer environment. More guns (going to honest citizens) is not a prescription for escalating gun violence, what it is is a prescription on how to not be a victim of a violent criminal. If anyone harbors any doubt I recommend reading the book "More Guns, less Crime" by Dr. John Lott. You can always borrow a copy from your local library. It is an unbiased look and analysis of gun ownership, use, law, and crime over a 20 year period with data from all areas of the United States.

To paraphrase the original article in light of the Sandy Hook shooting, real life reads like this: "What impact do gun laws have? Gun control proponents claim that limiting the availability of handguns makes us safer, and less vulnerable to criminal gun violence. Their solution: disarm ordinary citizens and assure that the bad guys will have the only weapon(s). But this is a prescription for a massacre. Which we had at Sandy Hook elementary school. Almost two dozen young children and half a dozen adults paid for this foolish belief with their lives. This is a gun control success story having made the school and most o

10:54PM PST on Dec 21, 2012

sorry had a little more to go. we really need to be able to make bigger posts.

As for the over the top idea of shooting down helicopters, I could do that with a rock thrown by hand and/or a slingshot under the right conditions, or even with a 22 caliber target pistol. If the shot hits the pilot, damages an important part of the copter's avionics, or just causes a fuel leak. Our article writer(s) however leave the impression, at least to me of a single shot that blows the copter up like it was hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

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