Letter to the editor: Auto deaths vs. gun deaths

Auto deaths vs. gun deaths

Received Feb. 19

Recently I read several Facebook discussions comparing gun-related deaths to automobile-related deaths, as if to shrug off gun-related deaths as an acceptable price to gun ownership.

This attitude appears brash, irresponsible and lacks critical thinking.

Obtaining an automobile driver’s license requires training, demonstration of competence and legally enforceable limitations when an automobile operator has a health condition which could compromise safety. Automobile laws (seat belt use, distracted driving, DUI, road design, safer vehicles, minimum drinking age, etc.) have been established to help make driving safer by reducing automobile related deaths.

Yes, automobile accidents happen and death is one unfortunate outcome. However, statistics do show that as better auto safety laws are implemented, the number of lives saved is increased.

Finally, personal liability and criminal laws compel us to obey automobile safety laws. The same should be with gun ownership. Assuming that all countries have similar proportions of unhinged people, and countries with stricter gun laws experience less gun violence, then it is easy to see that easy access to guns and irresponsible ownership results in increased gun violence, especially when one considers that the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but represents 31 percent of the world’s mass shooters.

Until we honestly and critically address access to guns, we will continue to experience gun related violence. To compare automobile safety with the current public menace of guns is dangerous, irresponsible, and an attempt to avoid real solutions.

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