Gun deaths outpace vehicle deaths in 12 states and D.C.


Gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths in 12 states and the District of Columbia in 2010, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center.

Nationally, the VPC said there were 31,672 firearm deaths and 35,498 motor vehicle deaths in 2010, the most recent year the data is available.

The VPC notes that more than 90 percent of American households own a car while a little more than a third of American households contain a gun.

In 2010, gun deaths – including gun suicides, homicides, and fatal unintentional shootings – outpaced motor vehicle deaths in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

The data was collected from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

VPC said motor vehicle deaths are on the decline as the result of a decades-long, public health-based injury prevention strategy that includes safety-related changes to vehicles and highway design. But firearms are the only consumer product not regulated by the federal government for health and safety.

“Proven injury prevention strategies have been very effective in reducing deaths on our highways,” said VPC legislative director Kristen Rand. “The time is long overdue to apply an equally comprehensive strategy to reduce gun deaths in America.”

The 2010 stats:

Alaska: 144 gun deaths, 71 motor vehicle deaths.

Arizona: 931 gun deaths, 795 motor vehicle deaths.

Colorado: 555 gun deaths, 487 motor vehicle deaths.

District of Columbia: 99 gun deaths, 38 motor vehicle deaths.

Illinois: 1,064 gun deaths, 1,042 motor vehicle deaths.

Louisiana: 864 gun deaths, 722 motor vehicle deaths.

Maryland: 538 gun deaths, 514 motor vehicle deaths.

Michigan: 1,076 gun deaths, 1,063 motor vehicle deaths.

Nevada: 395 gun deaths, 289 motor vehicle deaths.

Oregon: 458 gun deaths, 324 motor vehicle deaths.

Utah: 314 gun deaths, 274 motor vehicle deaths.

Virginia: 875 gun deaths, 728 motor vehicle deaths.

Washington: 609 gun deaths, 554 motor vehicle deaths.

The VPC recommended, to reduce the number of gun deaths:

• Detailed and timely collection on gun production, sales, and use in crime.

• Minimum safety standards for firearms.

• Prohibit certain types of guns that have no sporting purpose.

• Limit the firepower of firearms available to the general public.

• Prohibit possession of firearms among those known to present a higher risk of misuse, such as those convicted of a violent misdemeanor.

The report did not contain statistics for Wisconsin.