Dispelling the Myth: Firearm is more dangerous than Drunk Driving

After seeing all this debate about gun control and comparing it to drunk driving, I decided to find the facts out for myself. If there is a strong principle that I advocate whole-heartedly, it is this:

Independent investigation of Truth

And so, I set out to investigate the numbers on my own using the sources available to me by the Department of Justice and Center for Disease Control.


More people die or get injured by Firearms annually than drunk driving. According the the Bureau of Justice statistics for period of 2005-2010, the average annual death/injury/terrorization by firearm is 155,250 victims (Source: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/vvcs9310.pdf – Page 7, Table 9)

According to Center for Disease Control, the 2010 statistics alone for drunk driving lead to death of 10,228 in 2010 alone (source: http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Impaired_Driving/data.html)

For both cases, further control and regulation reduced deaths in each scenario.

Myth: Busted

Extra: Mental Health and Gun Violence

Data about Mental Health vs. Non-Mental Health that committed crime:

According to the Bureau of Justice, nearly 1 in 5 violent crimes are done by someone considered mentally unstable (whether psychological, drug based, or alcohol). Based on 2006 research, they found:

“Female inmates had higher rates of mental health problems than male inmates—in state prisons, 73 percent of females and 55 percent of males; in federal prisons, 61 percent of females and 44 percent of males; and in local jails, 75 percent of females and 63 percent of males.”

The cause behind such mental problems are:

“When compared with other inmates and probationers, the mentally ill inmates and probationers reported higher rates of prior physical and sexual abuse and higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse by a parent or guardian while they were growing up. Among mentally ill state prisoners, nearly a third of men and three-quarters of the women said they had been physically or sexually abused in the past. More than 40 percent of the mentally ill inmates said their parents had abused alcohol or drugs. More than half said a parent, brother or sister had also been in prison or jail.”

And finally, to dispel the firearm matter when it comes to mental health:

“Use of a weapon did not vary by mental health status

Convicted violent offenders who had a mental health problem were as likely as those without to have used a weapon during the offense (table 9). An estimated 37% of both State prisoners who had a mental problem and those without said they had used a weapon during the offense. By specific type of weapon, among convicted violent offenders in State prisons who had a mental health problem, slightly less than a quarter (24%) had used a firearm, while a tenth (10%) had used a knife or sharp object.”

Source: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/mhppji.pdf