Media Misses on Gun Deaths and Vehicle Deaths Once Again

Vox is cherry picking data again…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month their annual “Underlying Cause of Death” report, and the media has, predictably, zeroed in on data related to firearms.

According to the report, the rate of homicides committed with a firearm remained static between 2016 and 2017, while the suicide rate jumped from 7.1 per 100,000 people to 7.3. The overall rate of gun-related deaths also rose from 12 per 100,000 people to 12.2, which is about 1.6 points higher than the average since 1999.

So why the media frenzy? First, the total number of people killed in firearm-related incidents in 2017 (39,773) was higher than ever, as the Huffington Post points out in this inflammatory headline. But raw numbers don’t mean anything in national statistics. The population of the United States has also been growing each year, which accounts for the rise in the number of “gun deaths.”

But the media has also glommed on to the fact that gun-related deaths surpassed car-related deaths in 2017. Vox, for instance, published a piece titled, “Guns killed more people than car crashes in 2017” and noted that the CDC puts the car crash death rate at 11.9 per 100,000 people, 0.3 points higher than the gun-related death rate.

The problem, of course, is that nearly 60 percent of gun-related deaths are due to suicide, and the other 37 percent are due to homicide. It’s tough to compare either of these types of events to car crashes, the vast majority of which are accidental. Also, unlike guns, the editors at Vox aren’t calling for restrictions on car ownership, despite the fact that nearly as many people die in cars as are killed with firearms.

SEE ALSO: Everytown Claims Victory in 2018 Over NRA ‘Cockroaches’

The article addresses suicides after the break, citing a number of studies that claim to have found links between gun control and a reduction in suicide. But nowhere does the piece mention the fact that many countries outside the United States deal with comparable or higher suicide rates while enforcing strict gun control measures.

South Korea, for example, has a suicide rate of 29.6 deaths per 100,000 people, but civilian gun ownership is nearly nonexistent. By contrast, even with hundreds of millions of firearms in civilian hands, the United States has a rate of 21.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Japan (20.5), France (17.9), Ireland (17.6), and Finland (20.8) all deal with suicide rates similar to the U.S. while severely restricting gun ownership. If suicide could actually be prevented by restricting access to the “the deadliest means,” as the author suggests, then the rates in these countries should be extremely low.

This is not to say that nothing should be done to prevent suicide, and the pro-gun community has and continues to implement measures to reduce those rates. But if we want to effectively address these issues, obscuring reality to push an anti-gun agenda isn’t going to get us there any sooner.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Chris Biller December 15, 2018, 1:40 am

    Fact that is missing, death caused by officer involved shootings. Chicago, city which prohibits fire arms, murder rate has skyrocketed.

  • DocLoch December 14, 2018, 3:46 pm

    I didn’t look this year, but I will bet a new Ferrari, that the CDC failed to even report again that 400-500,000 deaths each year are caused by medical error. All gun deaths don’t even make the map on this form of homicide!

  • Winston December 14, 2018, 12:35 pm

    US NY-Hollywood-Washington, DC corporate media is now Establishment propaganda- including FOX News minus some of Tucker Carlson’s editorials- while all US government ‘news’ from VOA, NPR, PBS, VOL, and RFE is nothing but liberal Establishment propaganda. The long-term goal is to disarm the non-coastal white majority to ensure the ruling class Ivy League Coast oligarchy will never be challenged. Once Trump’s wall is built, we will be trapped inside and eventually disarmed.

  • Clint W. December 14, 2018, 11:07 am

    I hate yahoo mail, because when you exit out of it, it takes you to their news pages, and I can’t stand their propaganda delivered in a National Enquirer sort of way. But, I have to say, it would help us all for everyone who knows and reads the true information about firearms to log on and leave a pro-firearm, pro- 2A comment to refute the articles and other commenters on places like VOX, and Huff Post, and all liberal story sites. Don’t go back and re-read what folks will tack onto your comment, because it will be vitriolic and ignorant, you can’t reason with cretins. At least you get the truth out there on a liberal medium. Use the liberal mantra on them, if by posting there, you change one persons mind, or cause them to go check you facts, then it was worth it. You can makeup several canned replies in Word on your computer and just copy and paste to your input line. I also urge you to have your Congressman and Senators email portal saved in your bookmarks. Write, write often, and send the same letter to your Reps, just change the greeting to the right person. This story here is a prime candidate, point out the high points of the misinformation and misdirection of facts, and be nice about it. They all prefer emails now, all letters are scanned for opened and scanned for toxins. Some will say this will make no difference, but to not try and then fail, leaves you without the satisfaction of at least putting up a fight.

  • KimberproSS December 14, 2018, 10:52 am

    Figures lie and liars figure…

    Anytime someone states statistics, the data source and data used must be disclosed as well. I learned many years ago as a Manufacturing Manager that statistics can tell whatever story you need to support your agenda if those details are left out. Therefore anytime I read statistics in articles such as this, I don’t believe them.

    • David Boerboom June 20, 2020, 1:12 am

      iiiiits alllll in, HOW YOU RIGHT THE REPORT! Yep, you are right. ….. And Though….yes, math IS an exact science; you can make the number say whatever you want them to say….. You are so right. Diving deeper into the fieldcraft of it, next stop is the presentation of such…. It’s all in the presentation…. The proper presentation of the concisely prepared report.

      Sound the Charge.

  • Alan Robinson December 14, 2018, 9:55 am

    Vox is nothing more than a Lefty Propaganda outlet, AMYOME who believes other wise is one of those that Vox is indoctrinating.

  • Mario December 14, 2018, 9:31 am

    Actually, according to the National Safety Council, the number of traffic deaths in 2017 was 40,100, higher again than the “gun violence” number. But let’s not spoil the false narrative with facts.

  • joefoam December 14, 2018, 7:53 am

    If you stop lumping in suicides with ‘gun deaths’ the rate is reduced dramatically.

    • Dr Motown December 15, 2018, 11:08 am

      Exactly. Suicides by prescription drugs are NEVER classified as “medical malpractice” or “pharmaceutical error.” Likewise, suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning is never classified as “vehicular homicide.” The CDC became highly politicized under Obama and can no longer be trusted to give independent opinions

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