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Guns Projected to Overtake Cars as Leading Cause of Non-Medical Deaths

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the United States.  By 2015, firearm deaths will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time. While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22% from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000.

The fall in traffic deaths resulted from safer vehicles, restricted privileges for young drivers and seat-belt and other laws.  It is much easier to look at the numbers for auto deaths and see the effects of changes that have been made.

When you look at all the numbers in regards to violence and guns, one can draw some conclusions. But it is a very complex issue that can be looked at many ways and many different conclusions made from the same data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at and projected out the numbers for what they expect to happen. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based trends.

There are concerns that while recent gun sales haven’t led to an increase in crime, research indicates that over time, higher levels of gun ownership are associated with increased rates of homicide and suicide

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