A Given Definition of “Exceptional”: Regulation and Death Rates
There were 535 deaths in air crashes in 2009 according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s report. Air transportation is closely regulated. Pilots are licensed and carefully examined. Aircraft are regulated and inspected. It’s not perfect, but the death rate is 0.05 passengers per billion miles flown.
There were 32,885 deaths in the U.S. from automobile accidents in 2010, according to the Center for Disease Control. That’s about 1.25 deaths per million vehicle miles travelled. Automobile operator licensing is much less strictly regulated than air pilots; automobiles themselves are hardly regulated at all. As a result, it is 200 times more dangerous driving to the airport than it is on the flight when you leave. Still, most states, even Alaska, do require drivers to have insurance in the event of an accident. You have to pass a driving test and a written test. You have to appear and demonstrate you can still see every five years.
There were 31,513 deaths from firearms in the U.S. in 2010. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. Neither firearm ownership nor firearm manufacture are regulated. There are no requirements for insurance of any kind. There are no tests of any kind for the right to possess a firearm.
Unlike aircraft and automobiles, which serve a useful purpose, firearms are created primarily to injure and kill, and to do so at a distance. In any sane world, we’d closely regulate and license the right to carry or use such a tool. We’d require liability insurance before you could carry one around. But this is America. This is the Second Amendment. This is the mass insanity of the National Rifle Association.
Remember, too, that less than half of American households report that they own or possess firearms. Those 31,513 deaths come from half of the population. Automobiles, by comparison, are owned by 89% of Americans. With half of the ownership rate, firearms cause a nearly-equal number of fatalities.
Airplanes carry us places. As do automobiles. Firearms serve no documented useful purpose, except in the narrow area of hunting. There is no evidence that owning a firearm makes you safer; exactly the opposite, in fact.
On the evidence, there’s a direct relationship between the level of regulation and the level of harm. Firearms are about as dangerous as you can get. And are utterly unregulated.
Is WC the only one who thinks this is utterly wrong? Or “exceptional”?