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Guns, Motor Vehicles and the Deaths of Young People

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    This has frequently been brought up in discussions about firearms comparing them to cars regarding number of deaths, regulation and etc.. This piece looks at that comparison. This piece also considers not just gun deaths but rates and rates of gun injuries.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/crime/250044-guns-motor-vehicles-and-the-death-of-young-people

    Guns, motor vehicles and the deaths of young people

    What if we treated guns like motor vehicles?

    Guns, like cars, are a major cause of deaths and injuries in the United States, especially for young people. Motor vehicle crashes have been a leading source of mortality and injury in people ages 15 to 24 since at least 1950. Guns are involved in the majority of homicides and suicides, which are the second and third largest causes of death in young people. Motor vehicles and guns are, together, the source of the majority of fatalities in young people in the United States.

    Yet we know so much more about deaths in young people caused by motor vehicles than guns. For nearly 20 years, Congress has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) from conducting research that "may be used to advocate or promote gun control." And in June, the House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment that would have permitted such gun-violence research.

    While total gun fatalities have remained largely level since 2000, total deaths due to vehicles have declined. The largest drop in motor vehicle deaths, more than 25 percent, has occurred since 1980. If current trends persist, the total of motor vehicle crash deaths will soon drop below the number caused by guns.

    Why have we been able to reduce the harm from motor vehicles but not from guns? First, we have worked hard to make cars safer. Seat belts, air bags and other technological changes have made car accidents less likely to result in the loss of life.

    We also have increased awareness of the hazards of driving under unsafe conditions. Penalties for drunk driving have increased dramatically since 1980. Successful campaigns to reduce drinking and driving have helped to raise awareness. In addition, states have instituted new graduated driving regulations that make it harder for adolescents to obtain a license without a period of training with an adult.

    In sharp contrast to our success with vehicles, FBI data show that mass shootings have increased over the past decade, school shootings continue at an alarming rate and the overall mortality rate attributable to guns shows little sign of declining since 2000.

    Some argue that the problem of gun violence is lessening. Gun fatalities have in fact declined by more than 25 percent since their peak in 1993, and although mass shootings have increased in frequency, they account for only a small proportion of the gun violence problem.

    Despite that, overall rates of gun injury remain higher today than they were in the 1960s, when violence rates began the climb that led to their peak in 1993. The same cannot be said about motor vehicle crashes.

    Our failure to further reduce gun fatalities is surprising for several reasons. We have much better trauma care than we did in the 1960s, saving many more lives from gun injuries as well as car crashes. So, just from our sheer ability to prevent fatalities, we should have seen a reduction in gun fatalities since 1960.

    We also have more police on duty today than we had earlier, and our incarceration of individuals who might perpetrate gun violence is at a far higher rate than ever before.

    Finally, we have reduced rates of other major sources of mortality, such as heart disease, by encouraging behavior that reduces the risks, such as better diets and greater use of medications. Why haven't we been able to do the same with guns?

    I suggest that one factor that contributes to our failure to do more to reduce gun violence is the absence of knowledge about how to do it. We know a lot about what leads to motor vehicle crashes. Years of research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tells us about the conditions that lead to crashes, including the person using the vehicle, the road conditions when the accident occurred and the events precipitating the crash. This knowledge has led us to build better vehicles, develop better training in how to use them and pass laws against behaviors that raise the risk of fatalities.

    If we examine what our law enforcement agencies tell us about gun injuries, we get a confusing picture. As a point of comparison, a recent report from the Department of Justice reviewed the state of gun injury in the U.S. It shows dramatic drops in gun deaths since 1993 across the U.S., reductions in reports of violent encounters, and overall declines in crime. All of this information is reassuring, but it doesn't tell us why those declines occurred, why we still have the highest rates of gun injury in the developed world and why those rates are higher today than in the middle of the last century.

    Buried in this same report is disturbing evidence that gun injuries, rather than fatalities, have actually risen in the last decade. This evidence is based on a survey that was started in 2000 to monitor emergency room visits for injuries in 100 hospitals across the country. These hospitals record the reason for an injury, including whether it was gun-related. In a typical year, the survey projects about 60,000 visits related to gun injury, most of which are attributable to assaults.

    The Department of Justice does not make much of this inconsistency, other than to note that these visits represent a different slice of the problem. But this does not lead us to a solution. If we are to reduce gun injuries and deaths, we will need accurate and useful data about the extent of this problem, who is likely to be affected by it and the conditions that precipitated the injury, data we have had for cars for a long time. Isn't it time we gave the Department of Justice and the CDC the mandate to figure this out?
     
  2. MoonDogg

    MoonDogg Member

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  3. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    Nice.Three things that doom a young man. Guns, fast cars and fast women..
     
  4. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    Surprising not more discussion considering how often this comparison get's made. I'm guessing TLDR. To summarize while cars have gotten safer and the rate of deaths and injuries from cars has been declining the rate of death and injuries from guns hasn't. It is possible that based on rate the deaths from firearms could exceed those of deaths from cars as the leading cause of death for young adults. Note this is rate and not total number.

    The reasons for this are varied and not definitive with one reason being that the Congress has explicitly prevented the CDC from researching gun injuries and deaths while they have researching automobile injuries and deaths.
     
  5. Major

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    It's not TLDR. It's just easier for people to say "cars kill more people than guns! should we ban them too?!" as a way to shut down conversation about gun regulation.
     
  6. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    The article mentions that car deaths have dropped by 25% since 1980. It also mentions that gun deaths have dropped by 25% since their peak of 1993. So, that kind of nullifies the argument concerning death via auto vs. gun.

    The author then goes on to say that gun injuries have risen, yet doesn't offer a comparison of auto related injuries. If the purpose of the article is to compare guns vs. autos, leaving that part out seems a bit disingenuous. Perhaps the auto rate has declined significantly, but the author should include that data.

    Note that I am not arguing that gun safety is not important, but if the author is going to use comparisons to make his point, he didn't do a very good job.
     
  7. Bandwagoner

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    The article is a huge nothing. All fluff. I am a big of a zealot of auto safety as I am for gun rights but this article was a nothing.
     
  8. bnb

    bnb Member

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    Is this a random contributor or a journalist? If it's a journalist, he whiffed on this one. As a high school paper we should give him a C+.

    If most gun injuries are a result of assault....and auto injuries are result of accident, then why should their rise or decline correlate?

    There is a story here....about congress's prohibition on research that might lead to gun control, but it's buried in a mess on erroneous info.
     
  9. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Right. Whatever points he is trying to make are obscured by his reasoning.
     
  10. Remii

    Remii Member

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    You got that in the wrong order... Lol...
     
  11. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Member

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    If you bothered to research gun violence, you would know we already have gun control. When people make comments that allude to us not having gun control, it lets me know they understand little about the real issue.
     
  12. Bandwagoner

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    he clearly meant more gun control
     
  13. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Member
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    The author does note that even though gun fatalities and injuries have declined since a peak in 1993 they haven't declined but increased since the 1960's. Over the same period of time car fatalities have greatly diminished.
    [rquoter]Despite that, overall rates of gun injury remain higher today than they were in the 1960s, when violence rates began the climb that led to their peak in 1993. The same cannot be said about motor vehicle crashes.[/rquoter]

    I agree though it would be better if he posted the stats regarding automobile fatalities and injuries. Doing some digging myself I found this from the CDC.
    [​IMG]
     

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