You’re More Likely to be Killed by a Gun than a Car

Graphic from Americans for Responsible Solutions
Graphic from Americans for Responsible Solutions
The good news is cars and driving are getting safer, thanks to better construction, a trend away from younger drivers, and maybe even because of harsher penalties for things like texting while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.

The bad news is you’re more likely to take a bullet, especially if you’re under 25.

Deaths by guns…—the great majority suicides, accidents or domestic violence—have been trending slightly upwards. This year, if the trend continues, they will overtake deaths on the roads.

The Centre for American Progress first spotted last February that the lines would intersect [so] that guns will surpass cars this year as the leading killer of under 25s. Bloomberg Government has gone further. Its compilation of the CDC data in December concluded that guns would be deadlier for all age groups.

It gets worse. There are now about 320 million Americans, and about 320 million privately owned guns.

Black Friday on November 28th kicked off such a shopping spree that the FBI had to carry out 175,000 instant background checks (three checks a second), a record for that day, just for sales covered by the extended Brady Act of 1998, the only serious bit of gun-curbing legislation passed in recent history.

And those are just the non-loophole sales. It’s still fine to purchase a firearm from a relative or a stranger at a gun show or online with no background check whatsoever. That’s like letting people drive cars without passing a license or eye exam or registering the vehicle. Which might explain why you’re safer on the road than anywhere you might encounter a gun. And in America, that’s a ballooning number of places.

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