“Well, I say one life is worth more than all the guns in America.”
– Sarah Chadwick, Parkland School Shooting Survivor
The gun control lobby is continuing a strong emotional push for legislation abridging the constitutionally protected right of millions of Americans to keep and bear arms, most recently with the so called “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C. that featured several of the survivors of the Parkland School Shooting. Though their movement is heartfelt, and I don’t doubt for a moment the sincerity of the students who, after the deaths of their classmates, found common cause with gun control advocates, the facts of reality simply do not match up with their propaganda.
Of the 214,008 people who died of injuries in 2015, 57,567 people died of poisoning, with the vast majority of those people (82.5%) dying unintentionally. 34,488 people died of falls in 2015, with an astounding 96.8% of these falls being unintentional. A total of 36,252 people died from injuries from firearms. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60.7% of these firearm deaths were suicides. Only 35.8% of these firearm injuries were identified as homicides, accounting for 12,979 firearm deaths in 2015.
In that same year, 36,161 people died from injuries sustained in traffic accidents, and, while this number is smaller than the overall number of those who died from gunshot wounds, it is almost three times as many as those who died of gun homicides. 8,313 were occupants, 4,431 were motorcyclists, 675 were killed when they were hit by a car while they were riding a bicycle, 5,719 pedestrians were killed when struck by a car, and then there’s the 17,008 people who were killed without a specific category other than it involved a car accident.
While drunken driving and distracted driving can create the necessary conditions for an accident to occur, it is simply a fact that the number one physical cause of automobile fatalities is speed.
“Once a pedestrian has been hit by a car, the probability of serious injury or death depends strongly on the impact speed.”
– Neville Fletcher, University of New England
What if I told you that we could cut fatalities in automobile accidents by more than half tomorrow? Consider the basic facts. That would mean that 20,000 people who were killed in 2015 would still be alive today. That another 40,000 people (based on 2015’s numbers) killed in 2016 and 2017 would be still alive today, home, healthy and happy with their families. I’ll even go one further. What if I told you that we could cut automobile fatalities to fewer than a few thousand people every year with one simple change in the law?
How would we do this? Limit the speed of all cars, trucks, buses, and large trucks to 25 MPH. At 25 MPH, the only kinds of accidents that would have even a remote chance of causing a fatality, given all of the advancements in airbag and safety belt technology, would be head on collision at maximum speed (25 MPH for each vehicle). If saving the lives of children truly justifies the infringement of Second Amendment Rights, then surely we, as Americans, can surrender our privilege of driving a motor vehicle faster than school zone speeds. After all, think of the children.
Think about the millions of people right now who, every single day, abuse their driving privileges by speeding above speed limits that are already deadly. Even using conservative estimates, more people would be saved every single year by implementing this safety standard than if firearm related homicide was somehow made physically impossible. 20,000 lives saved is clearly larger than 12,979 lives saved, and the best part is that no one’s rights would be infringed at all. There isn’t a constitutional right to driving a car, let alone to drive a car at a speed that can kill someone. There’s no NRA for driving fast. Saving lives is what matters, right?
I wonder how many of the speakers at the March for Our Lives rally thought nothing about climbing into a car after the rally and driving far over lethal speeds, willfully endangering the lives of the hundreds of people they passed on the road home. It’s almost as if they don’t really care about saving people’s lives at all…
Liberty is For The Win!