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The Center for American Progress produced the above chart, republished in‘s post Bangers and Bullets. You may notice that CAP’s anti-gun agitprop team carefully crafted the chart to single out a specific age group that conforms to their alarmist agenda. But even if or when the overall number of “gun deaths” exceeds the number of motor vehicle-related deaths what does that prove? Cars are getting safer and . . .

gun control advocates are barking up the wrong tree.

If the Center for American Progress really wanted to make progress on reducing firearms-related fatalities, they’d lobby for a nationwide suicide prevention campaign and work to change the justice system to keep violent criminals off the streets. * crickets chirping *

Yes, well, that’s not their goal is it? Their real motive: remove the ballistic impediment to state control over the populace. Here’s the key part of CAP’s mission statement:

We believe an open and effective government can champion the common good over narrow self-interest, harness the strength of our diversity, and secure the rights and safety of its people.

I’m thinking that CAP’s love of gun control comes firmly under the heading of “champion the common good over narrow self-interest.” I wonder if the Brits used the same sort of rhetoric when they seized Massachusetts’ colonists gunpowder supply. Anyway, expect to see more of the “cars vs. guns” comparison in the weeks and months ahead, part of the antis’ ongoing attempt to drive fence sitters into disarmament disaster.

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  1. Note that fewer teens & young adults have been getting a driver’s license, at least in part due to the economy

    I think it’s likely those numbers will start to change as the economy improves and with current gas prices under $2, so their projection won’t hold

    • I believe that their projection will hold because of the specific demographic that they highlighted.

      And what demographic did they highlight: almost all people killed in gang-on-gang violent attacks. Since there is no reason to project any reduction in gang-on-gang violent attacks in the next few years, there is no reason to project any reduction in deaths of people between the ages of 15 and 24.

      Of course statistics are not relevant when it comes to rights. Even if they were, the actions of gang-bangers between the ages of 15 and 24 are not a sufficient cause for policy that only targets non gang-bangers.

  2. The trends for both are down, cars are just going down faster than guns. As Matt in CO says, fewer teens are driving and that likely has an effect, cars are also getting safer, and I know that at least in my state, the required with parent driving hours to finish a learner’s permit and get a license doubled from 50 to 100 hours in recent years. I’m sure other states are following suit.

    There would only be a problem with guns if gun deaths (already misleading) increased above cars, rather than cars decreasing to below guns.

    • Another thing to note is that huge drop not only coincides with the recession (less money for more expensive gas means less joyriding), but also with the general timeframe that several states placed additional restrictions on drivers under the age of 18 (such as only being able to have one other person in the car if a guardian is not with you) in order to reduce accidents involving new drivers. It is unlikely that it is the primary reason deaths have gone down, but it has contributed to the decline.

  3. Good points all around. My wife works in mental health and part of her state funded job here in the Old Dominion is suicide prevention. Well really it is stopping the act during the crisis. They aren’t funded or empowered in any way to help people before that point.

  4. Gun grabbers didn’t want to compare cars with guns before. Now they do??? I wish they would make up their minds. Either way, what they have shown is that the number of gun related deaths as steadily declining since 1995. When are they going to realize that every time they try and prove a point against guns, they end up proving the opposite. Thank you for proving our point that guns save lives.

  5. They’ve obviously tweaked their numbers, as is per usual for the gun control crowd, because according to the NHTSA, CDC, and FBI traffic incidents still kill more people every year even now.

    • “people aged 15-24”

      ….which also happens to be the age range commonly associated with bangin’.

      So yeah, they’re cherry-picking.

  6. “We believe an open and effective government…” Well, there’s the crux of their failure right there...WHICH “open and effective government” are they referring to? We haven’t seen such a Government for decades in the U.S., so to pin their Mission Statement on a non-existent entity is uproariously funny…except it isn’t. *wipes mixed tears from his eyes*

  7. So many questions; so much wrong with that chart, and the ostensible conclusions.

    First: data analysis 101: Thou Shalt Not Extrapolate. Forecasting is utterly irrelevant.

    Second: why the isolation of the Irresponsible Age (15-24)?

    Third: what is the scale? Looks like deaths per 1,000? Which would mean that the forecast shows fewer than one percent of all deaths of that age group coming from firearms, and around one percent of all deaths of that age group coming from firearms and motor vehicles, combined?

    Maybe it would be more worthwhile to address the contributing causes to the other 99% of deaths of that age group?

    Fourth: why is the comparison of firearm-related deaths to motor vehicle-related deaths in any way relevant?

    Fifth: the 15-24 age group is the primary demographic for gang activity, which, I’m guessing, only serves to inflate the ratae of firearm-related deaths for that age group – a rate that continues to decline overall (refer back to question about cherry-picking that age group).

    Sixth: what is the ostensible solution to the manufactured issue (firearm-related deaths exceeding motor vehicle-related deaths among 15-24 year olds)? More gun control? Considering that 60% of that demographic (those aged 15-20) are already subject to laws in pretty much every state that criminalizes their possession of firearms – or, at least, possession of handguns, which are used in the vast majority of firearm-related deaths – what new laws would effectively address that issue?

    • The data I would like to see added to the chart over that time period is ‘firearms ownership’ and ‘car ownership’ for the relevant age ranges. Then we might be able to draw some useful conclusions, one of which could very well be “whoever made this chart is a hack”.

  8. If they wanted to save lives, they’d advocate for hand washing and bleach wipes in hospitals. As many as 100,000 die each year from hospital transmitted infections.

  9. ” an open and effective government ”

    LMAO let me know when you find one…

    “secure the rights and safety of its people.”
    Now where is my Inigo Montoya meme 🙂 Im not sure what rights they are trying to secure, but it definitely isnt the ones that help promote my personal safety. Maybe its those safety feelings I keep hearing so much about…

  10. You can sum up whats really wrong with this comparison in just a few words – Accident vs Intent. Nearly ALL vehicle fatalities are accidental whereas most gun fatalities are intentional. If we changed that graph to include only apples to apples data, the result would be far different. Removing the tool will never remove the intent. But of course WE all know that…

  11. Let me try my hand at this:

    Young and inexperienced drivers cause many of our road accidents.

    Obama’s economy is proving tough for young drivers:

    Gen Y isn’t buying as many cars as prior generations:

    Therefore, less young drivers on the road doing stupid things.

    This has nothing to do with guns. This has everything to do with young people not being able to find work.

    How’s that hope and change going?

  12. Note that the plunge in traffic fatalities coincides with the mid oughts escalation in gasoline prices. American are driving one third the mileage they were before this escalation. Traffic fatalities should revert to the mean if gasoline prices remain low. In October there was a 30% increase in U.S. fuel consumption.

  13. Chip already addresses the problems with the statistical analysis. More could be added, but that is a more than sufficient analysis at this point.

    Beyond the bad analysis, I’ve got a fundamental issue with this constant comparing of guns and cars. A state managed privilege just doesn’t compare to a natural law right. It’s practically a red herring fallacy.

    If you must make a comparison, I would suggest that comparing guns and abortion is more apt – and more effective. Both are claimed as rights by their respective sides. Both sides advocate a minimum of restriction in the exercise of their favored “right.” For me, at least, it also gives me a double win because it allows me to both advocate gun rights at the same time as challenging the taking of innocent life.


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