One of the favorite arguments of opponents of gun control has always been, “cars kill more people than guns,” but that argument may soon lose any validity.
In Missouri, the argument is already a moot point. In 2013, the state recorded fewer traffic fatalities than gun deaths by a considerable margin, 880 to 781, and the trend is not confined to one state. In several other states, the number of gun deaths are nearly equal and in some they are higher as in Missouri.
Some experts are predicting that this year for the first time in many years the number of gun deaths nationwide will actually surpass the number of traffic deaths.
Automobile fatalities are declining not only in Missouri but nationwide due to engineering advancements, increased safety measures, and increased enforcement.
In Missouri, the number of traffic deaths have not been as low as in 2013 since the 1940s, when the state had about 2 million licensed drivers as opposed to 4.2 million today.
In just the last decade the numbers have declined by 37 percent.
As traffic deaths have steadily declined by 17 percent over the last decade, with increased safety regulations and enforcement, while gun fatalities have risen by 13.75 percent in the same time frame.
One of the reasons gun deaths continue to rise is that politicians are reluctant to take the same kind of regulatory steps for guns as they have for cars, due to pressure from the gun lobby and those who see any regulation as a step toward confiscation of their guns.
Another reason for the increase in gun deaths is an increase in suicide by gun. It is not so much that more suicides choose a gun over other methods, but in the lethality of the method, more gun suicides succeed than suicide by other methods.
Of course, gun advocates continue to make the false comparison to cars saying that no one wants to ban cars, but it is an argument that doesn’t hold water. While a small minority would choose to ban guns the majority of those calling for better regulation have no desire to ban the ownership of guns, they want only to better regulate them so that they are less likely to fall into the wrong hands.