Good News, Americans! Cars Are Now Killing as Few People as Guns!

The numbers don't justify the outrage and fear.


Take a look at this graph below. It's an illustration of something wonderful, something to be happy about. It shows a massive decline in both vehicle-related deaths (since then 1970s) and gun deaths (since the 1990s). This chart was blogged at The Washington Post yesterday:

Washington Post

Regardless as to what factors one might attribute these drops, both the trends shown on the graph are positive developments. Now, here's the headline The Washington Post decided was appropriate for the graphic:

"Guns are now killing as many people as cars in the U.S."

I cannot imagine why people's trust in the media is so low. Christopher Ingraham, in writing the piece that goes along with graph, is at least not oblivious to what the numbers actually mean, despite the deliberately misleading headline:

The convergence of the trend lines above is driven primarily by a sharp drop in the rate of motor vehicle fatalities since 1950. In the late 1960s, for instance, there were well over 25 motor vehicle deaths for every 100,000 people in the United States. Since then, that rate has fallen by more than half.

Over the same period, gun deaths rose, but by a considerably smaller amount. Gun homicide rates have actually fallen in recent years, but those gains have been offset by rising gun suicide rates. Today, suicides account for roughly two out of every three gun deaths.

Two out of every three gun death is actually a suicide. So actually, if that "gun violence" line only counted violence against others, it would plunge down as well. And then the two lines wouldn't even be converging. So the whole chart itself is a bit questionable.

But despite what the numbers actually mean, the gun control obsession is whatever Democrats decide this time counts as an "assault weapon."