numbers he uses to support his perspective of “common-sense gun
legislation" in his recent guest column ("What automobiles, tobacco and guns all have in common," April 1). His comparisons to the automobile are suspect, and he never
really defines what he means by “common-sense” laws. He does reference
background checks for all gun sales and indicates he is not lobbying for banning
guns, then goes on to praise businesses for doing just that.
Reviewing the “Murder Victims by Weapon” from 2012-2016 in FBI Uniform
Crime report, about 10,000 people are murdered with firearms annually. This
equates to about 27 per day, not the 50 (18,250 annually) that he states.
From the same report, rifles account for 300 to 400 of those 10,000 murders.
The AR-15, which the “common-sense” people want to be banned, is considered a
rifle. The data do not distinguish between AR-15s and other rifle styles.
Even if we assume that all of the instances of murder by rifle were AR-15s,
then AR-15s account for, at most, 3 percent of all murders.
In February of this year, USA TODAY reported an estimated 40,000 people died
in auto accidents in the U.S. in 2017, DOWN 1 percent from the 2016 numbers. While
this is close to the 35,000 figure cited by Pepper, it is conveniently
leaving out an additional 13 people killed daily by auto. According to the
CDC, the number of people killed in the U.S. In auto accidents is about double
other “high-income” countries. In the call for “common-sense” gun
laws, we frequently see comparisons to the gun laws of other countries. So it is
only fair to recognize that our cars appear to be more deadly than cars in
other countries, despite all of the progress Pepper praises.