Get Your Priorities Straight: Drunk Driving & Depression Worse Than Guns.

by Dr. Monroe Mann, PhD, Esq, MBA, LLM, ME, EMT

Get ready, cause things are about to get saucy, replete with facts, citations, and more facts and citations.  You’re gonna be blown away by what you’re about to discover.  And yup, we’re actually gonna be doing some old fashioned math and see if the numbers actually say what the media says they say.  Guess what?  They don’t.

Here are the statistics of American gun deaths in 2015 spouted by the mass media: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/03/us/gun-deaths-united-states/

That very CNN article quotes a CDC (Center for Disease Control) statistic that states firearm deaths are just a very close second to motor vehicle deaths.  But those statistics are SO misleading.

That includes ALL deaths by firearm, including the justifiable returning of fire by police on a suspect AND such deaths as black on black and gang death–most of which is due to illegal gun sales.  But are you ready for the real kicker?  You’re not gonna believe this (and NO ONE tells you this):

The cause of the majority of gun deaths per year?  

SUICIDES.  More than 64% according to–TA DA–the CDC.

https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-by-the-numbers/

Want the actual CDC stats by state on gun violence on that?   Yeah, I found those too. Here:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/firearm.htm

Want the actual CDC suicide stats, and particularly by gun?  Voila:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

Only 33% of gun deaths each year are due to homicide.  And only 3% due to accident!  Less than 3% are due to accidents.  READ THAT AGAIN: less than 3%.

I now urge you to pay close attention to how many of those deaths each year are from gun-inflicted suicide.  What’s the number I’m seeing?  I’m seeing 41,000 suicide deaths each year.  How many by gun?  21,000!  TWENTY ONE THOUSAND!   Over half the suicides each year in the USA are by gun, and that magic (actually tragic) number is 21,000.

Now wait.  According to the CDC, how many TOTAL gun deaths are there each year?  Just go back to that very same CNN study I mention above at the beginning of this article.  The magic number?  33,636.

Let’s now do some simple math:
Total gun deaths per year MINUS
Total gun suicides each year =
Total accidental deaths or murders by gun each year.

Using the numbers we arrived at above (straight from the CDC), that is:
33,636 – 21,000 = 12,636.

So no we know that each year, 12,636 people die from either accidental discharge or intention murder by gun.  That’s a lot less than the media wants you to know.

But wait, there’s even more to the story.  Go here:

http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html

It’s the part of the entire searchable CDC database.  Scroll down and select “Firearm”.  Request the report.  It will show you the yearly number of firearm injuries for the year 2014.  What did you get?  I got this number: 81,034.

But… (see statistics are always misleading if you’re not careful) if you use an additional filter to remove ALL instances of self-harm (i.e. suicide attempts), the number drops to (wait for it) a mind blowingly LOW number.  What’s the number? 3,320.  That’s IT.  The number of yearly non-suicide related gun injuries each year by firearm is just 3,320.  (Note: Even 3,320 is too many, so I say “just” with tragedy written all over it.)

Well, now we finally have some accurate data to work with, all of which we have already calculated above:
a) the number of people who die from accidental discharge OR murder by gun per year in the USA is about 12,636 people
b) the number of non-fatal injuries by gun discharge, not including those caused by suicide is about 3,320 people.

These numbers are a lot less scary now, aren’t they?  Suddenly, you’re not so scared for your children to end up dead because of gun deaths.  Suddenly, you realize that all this talk about how guns are the scourge of the earth and the cause of most of our lack of safety… is debunked.

But guess what folks?  We’re not even close to done.  Now let’s turn our head to drunk driving.

Check out this article in Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2015/08/26/americas-gun-violence-problem-in-three-charts/#137008c458b7

This author cites further statistics that today, in the USA, gun deaths outweigh motor vehicle deaths.  But again, so misleading, because when used properly, a car doesn’t kill someone; when used properly, a gun does kill someone.  That’s what it’s used for.  These statistics also–like most of these stories–leave out the suicides and suicide attempts.  The truth is, most of these motor vehicle deaths are caused not by INTENTIONAL murder attempts, but by sheer negligence caused by people being stupid, driving dangerously, or very very commonly (see below), driving DRUNK.  Remember, above, however that the number of accidental gun deaths each year (according to the CDC) is less than 3%.  Yet the MAJORITY of accidental motor vehicle deaths each year are accidental.  Do you see the difference?

Before I go on, let’s first look at some other statistics, this time from MADD and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/about/drunk-driving-statistics.html

EVERY TWO MINUTES, A PERSON IS INJURED IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf.

ON AVERAGE, TWO IN THREE PEOPLE WILL BE INVOLVED IN A DRUNK DRIVING CRASH IN THEIR LIFETIME.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2010.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2014, DOT HS 812 013. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf.

IN 2013, 28.7 MILLION PEOPLE ADMITTED TO DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL – THAT’S MORE THAN THE POPULATION OF TEXAS.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf

EVERY DAY IN AMERICA, ANOTHER 27 PEOPLE DIE AS A RESULT OF DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2014: Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812231.pdf

ADULTS DRANK TOO MUCH AND DROVE ABOUT 121 MILLION TIMES PER YEAR – OVER 300,000 INCIDENTS OF DRINKING AND DRIVING A DAY.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2012.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. August 7, 2015 / 64(30);814-817. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6430a2.htm

IN 2014, 9,967 PEOPLE DIED IN DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES – ONE EVERY 53 MINUTES – AND 290,000 WERE INJURED IN DRUNK DRIVING CRASHES.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2014: Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812231.pdf

Did you get that last statistic?  In 2014–the same year of the CDC statistics I cited above–there were 12,636 people killed due to accidental discharge OR murder by gun per year in the USA and 3,320 people injured by gun discharge, again excluding suicide attempts butttttt–in that very same year, 9,967 people were killed by drunk drivers and (are you ready) 290,000 were injured by drunk drivers.  TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY THOUSAND PEOPLE PER YEAR.

Let me present this in a nice little comparison chart:

2014 DEATHS BY GUN DISCHARGE (non-suicide): 12,636
2014 DEATHS BY DRUNK DRIVING: 9,967

2014 INJURIES BY GUN DISCHARGE (non-suicide): 3,320
2014 INJURIES BY DRUNK DRIVING: 290,000

And yet, everyone is worried about gun violence, the majority of deaths of which are caused by suicide?  (Note: suicide is horrible and I’m going to address that below).

But do you see my point?  There is a far FAR greater likelihood of you or a friend dying from a drunk driving incident or from self-inflicted suicide than from gun violence.  Why?   With drunk driving, the ‘weapons’ are ALL AROUND YOU.  However, you are probably not often in an environment every day that puts you in the presence of someone with a loaded gun (unless you’re in law enforcement or have a gun in the home).  And yet, every week when you drive, the odds are that you are driving on the road with someone who is drinking and driving, or just as bad, texting and driving.  And if you decide to let your depression or that of a friend go unchecked, guess what: there is a higher likelihood of you ending up dead due to that than gun violence.

DON’T YOU REALIZE THIS?  Doesn’t America realize this?

Why is everyone fighting so hard to destroy the second amendment when guns cause SO MANY FEWER INJURIES THAN DRUNK DRIVING?  And why, when the number of deaths by drunk drivers per year is nearly exactly the same as intentional/accidental gun deaths, does the media and it seems everyone on the left decry gun deaths, but say nothing of suicide (which causes most of those gun deaths) or drunk driving (which causes nearly as many non-suicide related deaths as guns)?

Why aren’t we fighting to stop drunk driving?  Why aren’t we putting these people behind bars and keeping them there?  As a public defender, I represented SO MANY drunk drivers.  It disgusted me.  Not so much that they were arrested in the first place for drunk driving, but because they were REPEAT OFFENDERS.  Three, four, five times.  Why are these people even allowed on the streets?  They have fired a loaded weapon (the moving car while under the influence) three, four, five times and yet we keep giving them probation which has no effect.  We keep suspending their license, but most of them don’t care, and decide that driving is their fundamental right, so they drive again, and drunk, and again ended up as my client.  We keep putting them in jail for 1 year, or 2, and they get out and guess what?  Do it again, because they’re still drunks.

Worse: so many of these people arrested for drunk driving… are NOT drunks.  They are ‘normal’ ‘good’ people.  But you know what?   &*(^ that argument.  They are NOT good people.  They are irresponsible people who should never again be able to drive.  If you get arrested (and convicted) even ONCE of drunk driving, you should lose your license for live.  If you are ever again caught driving, life imprisonment.

People balk when I say this, yet, the gun laws (which cause fewer injuries than drunk driving) are more strict than the current drunk driving laws.  Why?  Answer me this: why is someone immediately convicted of a felony (usually with imprisonment for at least three years) for illegally carrying a loaded gun in New York City without even firing it, but if you get pulled over for drunk driving in New York City (essentially firing a loaded weapon) you probably just get probation and at worst a temporary suspension?  ARE THESE LAWMAKERS AND POLITICIANS IDIOTS?  Answer: yes.   On any given day in the United States, you are infinitely more likely to be hit by a drunk driver than you are shot by someone with a gun, and yet, the gun laws are ten times more strict than the drunk driving laws.  Why, why, WHY?!

It all makes me so angry.  If you combine deaths and injuries, there is no dispute that drunk driving is ultimately far more dangerous than guns.

And yet, the fight on the forefront of politics is to destroy the guns and the law abiding gun owners instead of targeting the pieces of s*** who think it’s okay to drive drunk; that it’s okay to drive buzzed.  If you can’t control yourself, DO NOT DRINK AT ALL.  That is called responsible.  But no, let’s not focus on the over 200,000 injuries per year caused by drunk driving.  Let’s instead focus on the guns that cause about 3000 injuries per year.  Let’s focus on the guns that cause about 12,000 deaths per year, but let’s basically ignore the 9,000 deaths caused each year by drunk driving.  What is wrong with everyone?   Are they mad?  No, I think a) they are stupid and simply like to believe what their idiot friend “the media” tells them, b) they are lazy and refuse to do their own research outside of their ‘go to’ sources, and c) they are power hungry and realize that by perpetuating the lies by hiding the truth, they can amass votes from the useful idiots who vote based on heart, not on facts.

As for suicide (I didn’t forget)–why are the anti-gun people not railing against suicide?  Why don’t they even CARE that most of the gun deaths are due to suicide?  Why do most Americans not know this?  Why isn’t THIS plastered across CNN & FOXNews?  Why don’t we know this?  Why?  Because it’s all political.  They don’t care about the facts.  They care about politics.

Me?  I care about the average of 22 fellow service members who kill themselves every day.  Visit http://www.22kill.com for more info.   I assure you: the gun is not the cause of their suicide.  It’s merely the tool, and if not a gun, there are many other ways of making it happen that are just as quick and effective.  Guns don’t cause suicide: DEPRESSION DOES.  And yet, who do you hear in politics railing against depression?  No one, because it’s not political.

Well wake up people and stop being so stupid as to believe everything your idiot friend tells you.  Do some research.  It took me a mere three hours of research to get to the bottom of this controversy, and I’ve proven—beyond a reasonable doubt—that the argument against guns is so misleading.  Do I think gun deaths and injuries are horrible?  Absolutely, without question.  Is it something to focus on?  Of course.  But why focus on the small potato when we could focus on the far bigger one:

If we simply stop drunk driving and stop depression, we will save more lives and reduce injuries exponentially more than if we stop gun sales.  

What I have proven is that guns are not the problem; politics is.

So for all your anti-gun friend: send them the link to this post.  Let them see for themselves the DIVISIVE TRUTH of the matter.