Arizona Still One of Few States Where More People Die From Guns Than Car Crashes
Arizona is still one of a handful of states where more people die from being shot than die in motor-vehicle accidents.
Arizona was one of only 10 states with more deaths-by-gun than deaths-by-car in 2009, and is only one of 12 states in 2010, now the most recent data available. As you can imagine, a pro-gun-control group has issued this report.
In 2010, 931 people in Arizona died from gunshots, whereas 795 people died in motor-vehicle accidents.
Last year, one of our colleagues , Ray Stern, called bullshit on the Violence Policy Center's report, declaring the comparison bogus because 71 percent of the "gun deaths" in Arizona were suicides, as if suicides weren't on the same level of tragedy as homicides. Contrary to his opinion, it might seem that if you think gun control is the answer for lowering the rate of murders, you'd also think it would be good for reducing suicides as well.
Illustrating that point is when Stern also called bull because it wasn't clear if suicides by motor vehicle were included in the count of deaths by motor vehicle, although a quick glance at the suicide stats will show you that firearms are the leading means of suicide in Arizona by far, and suicide by motor vehicle isn't a category that exists (although there were nine suicides by "other" means in 2009, and 40 by gas or vapor poisoning, some of which could possibly be linked to vehicles).
With that out of the way, yes, "gun deaths" includes suicides, which makes states with more suicides (Alaska, Nevada, Arizona) more likely to appear in this comparison of gun deaths and motor-vehicle deaths.
And, as we already mentioned, this report's being touted by a group pushing for more gun control.
Justifying the comparison, the report says, "The health and safety regulation of motor vehicles stands as a public health success story, yet firearms remain the last consumer product manufactured in the United States that is not subject to federal health and safety regulation."
Click here to read the report.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.