In the U.S. over the past decade, improved safety standards have dramatically reduced traffic fatalities–but with little firearm regulation, gun deaths have increased, according to an analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). Nationally, between 1999 and 2010, motor vehicle deaths dropped 16.7%, from 42,624 to 35,498, while gun deaths increased 9.7%, from 28,874 to 31,672. (See the chart below.)
The decline in motor vehicle deaths resulted a public health strategy that included safety-related changes to vehicles and other factors, according to the VPC, and it demonstrates how health and safety regulations can help reduce deaths. With guns, America “continues to pay an unacceptable, yet equally preventable, price in lives lost every year to gun violence,” the report states.
The VPC recommends comprehensive regulation of the firearms industry–including bans on assault weapons, limits on firepower, and minimum safety standards.