Law Office of David L. Scott

More People Shot to Death in Tennessee Than Killed in Car Accidents

You might spend more time in a car than you do in dangerous situations or around people who have guns, but if you live in Tennessee, your chances of being shot to death are greater than your chances of dying in a car accident. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that deaths from gun homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings have increased in Tennessee over the past decade, while deaths from vehicle-related deaths, including pedestrians hit by vehicles, have decreased.

In 2004, there were only 865 gun-related deaths in Tennessee. In 2014, there were 1,020. Meanwhile, there were 1,191 vehicle-related deaths in the state in 2004 but only 906 in 2014. The data about vehicle-related deaths comes from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Some argue that vehicle-related deaths have decreased thanks to the safety measures we have enacted, such as laws regarding seat belt use, fines and penalties for speeding and other traffic violations, and improvements in automotive technology that make cars safer in the event of an accident. They argue that gun-related deaths could also be reduced if similar safety measures were enacted for guns or gun use.

No data was provided about the cause of these gun-related deaths, such as if gun homicides were primarily perpetrated by people who knew the victims or as part of random crime, such as a home invasion. There also was no information about the cause of the accidental shootings, such as if these were bystanders in the area of a shooting or if they were children who had discovered guns in the home.

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you cannot escape the risk of gun injury. You may visit a person’s home and have no knowledge that they own a firearm. Or your children could spend the night with a friend and discover a gun in the home. Many gun owners follow rules for responsible gun storage and handling, such as keeping guns unloaded and locked in a safe when not in use. However, not all take these measures.

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