More individuals projected to die by firearm related fatalities than automobile accident fatalities. Some states have already passed the threshold.
Gun Deaths in the United States are projected to surpass the number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents by Year 2015.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has calculated that by the Year 2015, the number of deaths resulting from Gun use (intentional & unintentional) will surpass deaths resulting from traffic accidents.
The data shows that violent crimes and murder rates have fallen 19% from year 2006 to 2011. Contrary to this, the number of gun deaths by homicide, suicide and accident rose in year 2010 (31,328) after it had decreased for the past decade following an all time high in 1993 (37,666).
The fall in related gun deaths following the all time high reported in 1993 has been attributed to an increase in the number of individuals incarcerated, police crackdown on illegal ownership of firearms and a decrease in violence related to drug trafficking.
The number of firearms owned among households has decreased 32% from 2004-2010.
2013 has been a year of increased gun sales (amid potential new gun restriction laws) as firearm companies have seen significant increases in sales; Smith and Weston reported increased sales of 40% in the quarter ending January 31st. Cabela’s, an outdoor and recreation business recorded increases in store sales of 29%.
If more guns are being sold and gun ownership is increasing, then clearly this should correlate with some level of increase in related firearm fatalities right? The Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research reports that “historically” that as the level of firearm ownership increases, it will overtime correlate with increases in related fatalities resulting from firearms; the caveat being that these increases do not appear until over a period of time once the install base has increased.
What about car fatalities?
Fatalities resulting from traffic accidents reported their lowest rate of occurrence since 1949. The National Highway Traffic administration reports that the decrease in traffic related fatalities is a result of improved safety technology in vehicles produced and improved driver response. Together, these factors have aided in reducing the number of recorded vehicle related fatalities.
Nationwide, the number of individuals killed in a car accident still remains high 32,835 while total gun related deaths (homicide, suicide, accident) were reported at 31,672 (suicide gun deaths accounted for 19,392).
Now, looking at individual states across the U.S. some has already crossed the threshold in which gun related fatalities have exceeded automobile related fatalities:
It is important to keep in context that not all gun/firearm deaths result from “homicide” or “violent crimes; firearm accidents and suicides account for a large share of those recorded deaths. Suicides utilizing a firearm accounted for 61% of recorded fatalities resulting from use of a firearm in 2010.
So why compare cars and firearm deaths? Historically, car related fatalities have been emphasized by media outlets, government representatives/agencies and community groups. This in turn may have aided in the development of safety products and services that have become commonplace in new vehicles produced. In conjunction, the emphasis on training and safety courses to enhance driver education.
As we see increases in related fatalities resulting from firearm use, this should as well be a platform by which to advocate for a greater extent and availability of training and safety programs. Not to mention, mental health support services as the majority share of related firearm fatalities seem to be resulting from suicides.
Courtesy of Mother Jones
Courtesy of NBC News Business
Courtesy of The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research