Running the Gun Numbers: The Quick, the Dead, and Intent

My latest column for the Ann Arbor Chronicle is up; consider it part two in the series “Things We Need to Talk About Before We Can Talk About Gun Control” (part one is over here):
The Ann Arbor Chronicle | In it for the Money: Running Gun Numbers

Here’s a favorite Glib Gun Lover comparison: There are roughly as many cars in America as guns [9], and there were 2,771,497 motor vehicle occupant injuries in 2010, and 33,687 deaths for a total of 2,805,184 American motor vehicle casualties. Cars are 27 times more dangerous than guns!
But, the thing is, of those 2,771,497 automotive injuries, only 8,954 were acts of malice or sorrow, and only 1,789 were attempts at suicide [10].
Check the pie charts: Orange represents blameless accidents; red and blue (and green) represent active human efforts to inflict pain or suffering. We’d have included a pie chart of Automobile Deaths, but it would have just been an orange circle.
In other words, those 2.8 million car accidents were basically just that: accidents. Those 33,000 corpses on the highway were largely the result of bad decision-making and bad weather, bad maintenance and bad luck. Meanwhile, our 30,000 gun deaths weren’t accidents – sorry, 4% were accidents. The rest were acts. They were deliberate expressions of hate and sorrow and frustration and desperation. That should mean something to us as human beings.