Distorted Facts…

Dear Editor,

Steve Brixen, I agree with your analogy that guns (in your case, apparently, a rifle), in being like cars (in my case a pick-up truck), do not cause harm by themselves. Rare exceptions noted.

So hopefully you’re in agreement that we should treat the two a little more alike. You must pass a test and get a license to drive. If your license lapses, you must pass another test. You must register your vehicles and have liability insurance. You must have additional training or qualifications for some vehicles and some are not allowed. Make certain mistakes, you lose your rights.

Where I have problem is your cherry picking of the data that you reference. Let’s start with your comparison of rifles verses vehicles. Using your logic I can state: Total firearm homicides 2016: 11,004. Total pick-up truck deaths 2016: 4,601.

So let’s agree that if we are going to talk about guns and vehicles, we include all types of both. But wait, there’s more!

You chose only to include homicides for gun deaths, yet include all auto related deaths. Once again, using your method, I can state: total number of firearm related deaths (five-year average): over 33,000 per year. Total homicides by vehicle is not a stat in your source, but it does include: other weapons or weapons not stated, 903. So we can extrapolate that the number is somewhere below 903.

So let’s also agree to compare all gun related deaths to all motor vehicle related deaths acknowledging that most gun deaths are suicides and most vehicle deaths are accidents. If you really just want to compare homicides let me know but I am trying to help you out here.

We now have a fair comparison. An average of over 33,000 gun deaths a year and 37,461 vehicle deaths in 2016.

Now let’s look at licensed drivers vs. estimated gun owners in the U.S. In 2016 there were roughly 222 million licensed drivers and an estimated 129 million gun owners. That works out to one gun related death for every 3,909 gun owner and one vehicle related death for every 5,926 licensed driver.

So as you suggested, I did the homework. If you compare gun deaths to vehicle deaths, both are tragic, but guns are worse. I look forward to your support of responsible, common sense gun laws that are at least as comprehensive as motor vehicle laws.

David Marx

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