The Economist: Guns More Dangerous Than Cars

Reuters/Jim Young
Reuters/Jim Young

In a column dated January 10 The Economist (TE) argues that “tougher laws and less driving by young people” under the age of 25 have led to safer streets while a lack of more laws on guns means “death by guns [has] been trending slightly upward.”

The Economist attempts to justify this claim by pointing to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) numbers, as well as reports on those numbers by the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) and Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety.

TE quotes quotes CAP’s Chelsea Parsons saying that a comparison of two things Americans love–“cars and guns”–provides “a statistic that really resonates with people.” TE also points to Everytown for Gun Safety’s claim that “one in 30 users of Armlist classified has a criminal record that forbids them to own firearms” and, of course, they kick private gun sales in the teeth by talking about how private sales escape the government’s watchful eyes altogether.

On the other hand, cars are heavily regulated because they “are operated on government-built roads.” As a result, cars have to be licensed and registered, guns do not.

Moreover, “car technologies and road laws are ever-evolving” while groups like the NRA allegedly “opposed…safety features on firearms”–safety features likes smart gun technology, which provides consumers with guns that can be hacked like computers and rendered inoperable by the government or by people with bad intent.

It is important to note that TE does not show any data from the CDC. Instead, they mention the CDC in passing during their opening paragraph then go straight to the claims put forth by CAP and Everytown for Gun Safety. Had they looked at CDC stats for even one year–2010–they would have seen the rate of death for persons 15-24 accidentally killed with a gun was “0.3” per 100,000. The rate of death for persons 24 and under accidentally killed with a car was “16.6” per 100,000.

Had they looked further, say, CDC stats for 2011, they would have seen the rate of death for persons 15-24 accidentally killed with a car was “15.9” per 100,000–number one in the CDC’s list of “Top Leading Causes of Death” for ages 15-24. On the other hand, accidental firearm deaths didn’t even make the list because the rate of death had to be “0.4” per 100,000 or above to break into the top 10.

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