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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: guns

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May 29, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Report: Gun deaths outpace motor vehicle deaths in Washington

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Click to enlarge (Source: Violence Policy Center)

Washington is among 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, where deaths from firearms outnumber deaths from motor vehicles, according to a report from the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C.  In 2010, there were 609 gun deaths compared with 554 motor-vehicle deaths in the state.

The numbers for firearms deaths include accidents, suicides, and legal interventions in addition to homicides (according to CDC data, most of Washington’s gun deaths were suicides–464 of the 609 fatalities).

Nationally, motor-vehicle deaths still outpace gun deaths.  However, the gap between the two numbers has been narrowing; since 1999, motor-vehicle deaths have declined by 20 percent while firearm deaths have jumped by 10 percent.

The other states with more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths are: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia (see table below for data; columns are sortable by clicking on the heading).

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Comments | More in Reports | Topics: cars, firearms, guns

December 21, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Who’s packing heat in Washington?

To conservatives, gun ownership is a matter of self-reliance and self-defense.  To liberals, handguns mean one thing — violence.

Conservatives believe that gun ownership is an absolute right, enshrined in the Constitution. Liberals counter that today’s easy access to guns has nothing to do with the “well regulated militia” protected by the Second Amendment.

Conservatives fear that liberals will use any means possible to legislate guns away from them.  Liberals feel that conservatives will fight even the most common-sense restrictions on handguns.

There is seemingly no common ground between the two sides. And like many divisive issues, this one falls along partisan lines — pro-gun Republicans and anti-gun Democrats.  This is confirmed by national survey data on gun ownership.  It’s a classic red state/blue state wedge issue, much like gay marriage.

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Comments | More in Government Data, Public Records | Topics: guns, Washington State