Saturday, October 13, 2012

VPC Cars v Guns, an analysis

The Violence Policy Center well, more like the WE HATE GUNS Policy Center because the ONLY violence these wretches care about is gun death.. Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah. VPC just release a "analysis" of 'gun death' verses motor vehicle fatalities in the DMV, which is supposed to stand for the District of Columbia (DC), Maryland and Virginia. Let's take a look at their claims from their press release.

In the District of Columbia there were 99 firearm deaths reported in 2010, 84 of which were identified as homicides and 13 of which were identified as suicides. That same year, there were 38 motor vehicle deaths in the District.

and further down.

Motor vehicle deaths are on the decline as the result of a successful decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy that includes safety-related changes to vehicles and highway design informed by comprehensive data collection and analysis. Meanwhile, firearms are the only consumer product not regulated by the federal government for health and safety. 

So it's the decades long strategy that has reduced the motor vehicle fatalities? So what has led to the reduction in the firearms related fatalities. Visual aid please...

As you can see over this 12 year period, the reduction in the rate of firearm fatalities is over 42%, while the rate of motor vehicle fatalities is nearly identical from the beginning of the period to the end. (2010 is 6.32). I'm curious though, did they stop making these safety devices in motor vehicles in 2000 and start up again in 2009?

And here's this little bit of misleading information.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states "...Nationally, firearm fatalities are approaching motor vehicle deaths despite the fact that roughly three times as many Americans own automobiles as own firearms."

You see how she put that? She's suggesting that firearm related fatalities are are moving UP towards motor vehicle fatalities, when in fact, motor vehicle fatalities are declining to the rate of firearm related fatalities. Back in 1981, the earliest information available from the CDC, Overall Motor Vehicle related fatalities were at a rate of 22.42 while the rate of firearm related fatalities was 14.84.

Another thing you should note about the visual aid above, is that the motor vehicle fatality rate has always been lower than the 'gun death' rate, which is unusual because handguns were banned in DC  from 1976 to 2008. What's also missing from her 'analysis' is that DC has the fourth highest rate of non car owning households.

In short, for all but the last two years in the 12 year period, handguns were banned but DC still had a higher firearm related fatality rate than motor vehicles. It should also be noted as well, that DC has the second highest gun murder rate, second only to Illinois.

Yep, more of that "decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy". I see they only implemented that in 2000 and 2005. It looks like it worked in 2008. I see there's a 23% decrease in motor vehicle fatalities and a 25% decrease in firearm fatalities, and we achieved that without airbags and disk brakes on our firearms. NEXT...

Poor Virginia, they didn't implement their "decades-long public health-based injury prevention strategy" until 2007 but it looks like it's working out well for them. While their 'gun death' rate is about on par with the United States as a whole, their motor vehicle fatality rate is about 20% lower.

Another thing that is misleading about the entire 'analysis' is when the VPC stated " changes to vehicles and highway design..." but then compares intentional acts of violence and self harm  with firearms to motor vehicle fatalities. What they should have compared is accidental motor vehicle fatalities to firearm related fatalities. Regardless of what safety features are included with an automobile, you still can't prevent the intentional use to cause harm. The same can be said with firearms. Even if there were three, four or more safety features on a firearm, you still can't control someone's actions. Visual Please...

What was it that Kristen said again, "...despite the fact that roughly three times as many Americans own automobiles as own firearms." Looks to me like operating a gun is safer than operating a motor vehicle. If you didn't notice, in this 12 year period, accidental motor vehicle fatalities fell by 24%, accidental firearm fatalities fell by 33%, without the need for safety-related changes to firearms and shooting range design.

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