Comparing Vehicle Attacks to Mass Shootings

The gun control debate uses a lot of varying statistics and analogies to try to make claims. The simple truth is that it’s difficult to accurately model or predict how different proposals would really affect American life. So, we look at other countries as evidence. Or, we compare regulation of things outside of firearms.

One of the common points is that we don’t blame cars for the deaths they cause. Liberals respond to that by pointing out how regulated car ownership and operation are. Well, let’s dissect that. Let’s compare mass killings by car to those caused by shooters and see if anything important unfolds.

Vehicle Attacks

Let’s begin by looking at vehicle attacks. It’s extremely difficult to compare gun and car killings across the board, so we need some qualifying criteria to make the comparisons meaningful. For starters, we’ll only consider terrorist vehicular attacks that killed four or more people. We’ll also only be looking at what liberals would often call the “developed world.” Namely, we’re looking at Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Some would argue for the inclusion of a few other specific nations, but this is a good starting point. We’re also only counting incidents since 2000.

With those rules set, here are the numbers for vehicular attacks. A total of 277 innocent lives have been taken. The number injured is easily over 500 and not well defined. It’s worth noting that only 8 of those lost lives were in the U.S., the country with the most vehicles and the most vehicles per capita by far. It’s also worth noting that roughly half of the deaths happened in attacks in the last two years. This is a largely a new problem, and it seems to be growing.

Gun Attacks

Before we draw any conclusions, we’ll lay out the raw numbers. The total kill count for terrorist attacks using guns in the same regions for the same period of time is exactly 200. The injury list is again around 500 and not perfectly countable. Once again, the vast majority of lost lives were in Europe. Also, almost every attack was carried out with illegally obtained and/or possessed firearms. The one big difference here is that the death rates seem to have peaked in 2016. Since then, gun deaths have declined while vehicular deaths have risen.

A Few Simple Conclusions

The first thing we can learn is that with the exception of a single event (9/11), terrorism is a much bigger problem in Western Europe than it is in the U.S. The U.S. has a larger population than this section of Europe, and it is bigger in area. The U.S. has more of both weapon types, cars and guns, than Europe, yet the violence is diminished. Let’s put that information to work.

Liberals want more gun control. They follow two major conclusions. The first is that registering and tracking gun ownership would make it easier to catch criminals or even prevent them from obtaining firearms in the first place. This has proven completely untrue with vehicles, so there is little reason to think it would work for a different weapon.

The second idea is that having fewer guns around would result in fewer gun deaths. This once again proves untrue. Europe has fewer of each weapon class and more deaths and attacks. That’s not a fair statement. Access to firearms in Europe is largely nonexistent in every country with either type of terrorist attack. Yet, they’re seeing more deaths from guns than from cars.

It’s such a lopsided issue that calling it a lie or willful ignorance doesn’t get the job done. It is unfathomable for liberals to be any more wrong than they are on this issue.

Outside of Terrorism

Still, it’s important to acknowledge the limited scope of these comparisons. Looking at international data is always tricky, so we’ll make one more point. In the U.S. only, there are close to 350 million guns. There are only 260 million cars. Despite the fact that guns are made specifically to kill, cars kill more Americans every year than guns. Registration, licensing, proof of competency and a host of other regulations haven’t changed this truth.

We can look at two simple modes of death and see that every gun control proposal on the table is going to fail. It couldn’t be any more obvious. No matter how you draw the lines, guns are nowhere close to a primary problem in America. And, this is all ignoring the most important truth. Guns stop hundreds of thousands of crimes every year. You can’t say the same for cars.

~ American Gun News

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11 Responses

  1. Hi

    I love this article, but I am unable to use in any meaningful way without sources.

    Most liberals will dismiss as a “Right Wing Propaganda” if I can not show sources.

    If you have the sources please add them at the end of the article.

    Thank you

    Good Article

  2. Not every proposal is useless….try my proposal on for size.

    #1 Anybody who is or has been prescribed psychotropic drugs will have their weapon purchasing rights removed permanently. A doctor’s certification would be all that is required to restore these rights. Doctors would be immune from liability for provide such certification. Drug prescriptions are already tracked by DOJ so this would not be expensive to implement. Local communities would decide if they wish to take possession of any guns currently in possession.
    #2 Any student who is suspended for violent acts would be treated exactly the same as #1. Schools would NOT be immune from liability for failing to report such students.

    These two ideas should not cause much debate. Most everybody would agree that in either case these people should NOT be able to purchase weapons. Allowing a doctor to restore privileges is not a big burden (might be hard to find a doctor willing to do it though even with immunity).

    1. Such authoritarian ideas, it borders on the liberal ideal of gun control. The mere fact of having been prescribed a certain med, or having smoked a certain substance, does not make one violent, and in no way should be used as an excuse to remove a constitutional right.

      A student being suspended for violence is a stickier matter. Zero tolerance on somebody defending themself is just as bad as your first idea, having already taken away their right to defend themself. Granted, repeat offenders are another matter and must be looked at more closely.

      Any removal of any right must be beyond reproach, and must never be a blanket approach to any solution.

  3. Finally a common sense article! I still doubt that the liberals will get it since they have single minded tunnel vision when it comes to guns. I wonder if they had rather be run over by a car or shot?

  4. I have reported this information on several different comments. I am a retired military and retired deputy sheriff. I live in Louisiana where almost everyone owns several different types of gun. I was born and raised in north Texas where everyone has several types of weapons. I myself have always had guns. I raised three children and taught them the ins and outs bout guns. The point I am trying to make is that it is not the gun that kills people it’s the individual behind the gun or car or knife or club etc., that does the killing. Education and knowledge of right and wrong is the answer to correction of our problems. also seeing that someone is having some type of problem and giving the,m help will prevent a lot of the killings today.

  5. This is an accurate, well written article regarding a volatile subject . There are strong advocates on opposite ends of the scale , FOR and AGAINST. Some in each camp will never change their position. — However, Intelligent, ,reasonable persons realize that none of us know every thing about every subject. Therefore ,they gather accurate data, listen to educated speakers, and weigh the evidence in order to reach the proper conclusion.
    Those of either camp, PRO GUN or ANTI- GUN , would be wise to read, weigh, and then decide what PLAIN OLD COMMON SENSE dictates.

  6. Liberals always want to jump to the narrative that guns should be banned whenever there is a shooting. They jump on each opportunity to limit the freedoms of law abiding citizens. It is such hypocrisy as the leaders of such liberal outcrys say that guns should be banned even if it only saves ONE life while they continue to have bodyguards with guns protect them. We need to vote out all liberals that do not support the constitution and truly represent law abiding citizens. They are a plague to our freedom.
    Using similar liberal logic, all vehicles should be banned because someone might use the vehicle as a means of killing others. Of course they probably would not advocate such because of the freedom of using vehicles is a needed means of transportation and considered a freedom for most people. If we truly look at things that cause many more deaths than guns or vehicles, perhaps there should be a ban on alcoholic beverages and drugs (both illegal and prescribed) as they are often factors in the deaths of numerous innocent people.
    It is interesting that in my 50+ years of gun ownership, none of my guns have killed anyone or, for that matter, never even been pointed at any person. Guns do NOT kill people. People kill people using guns, vehicles, knives, etc. People killing other people often has causal factors such as mental illness, alcohol use, and drug use. What laws can be legislated to address mental illness, alcohol use or drug use? All the laws in the world do not solve the problem. We have several recent incidents where laws and people contacting law enforcement in advance of attacks indicating possible or likely mental issues, etc. did nothing to prevent the events from happening.
    People need to be accountable and responsible. Most law abiding citizens are. Why should law abiding citizens be punished because of mentally ill people and criminals? Criminals have a disregard for laws and other people.

  7. While I may agree with the sentiments the counter argument is that you cherry picked your numbers. Of course everyone does. However, if you only isolate the numbers of fatalities from terrorism and leave out other mass shootings such as Sandy Hook and Parkland then you are suffering from the same intellectual dishonesty as John Donohue and his cohorts who lower the numbers for “mass shootings”to include any family dispute or gang shooting of more than 2 victims or shorten time lines until they find a hockey stick when in fact the line may essentially be flat. Since gun owners are now being portrayed with the same sympathy as smokers and pedophiles in the press it is incumbent that all of our research and writings correspond to the most brutal of statistical analysis and interpretation. In this case I feel you have not lived up to the standard we should set for ourselves.

  8. The only logical explanation for such adamant support by liberals to control firearms owned by law-abiding American citizens is their true end goal. Socialism, while it has proven many times to fail, can’t even get a good start while there are protected individual freedoms. The 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects our God-given right to own and bear arms.

    Since they haven’t found a way (yet) to repeal the 2nd amendment, they have to instead try to peel away little-by-little, the rights guaranteed by it. More laws, more restrictions, more bans, more infringement – all effectively punishing the innocent law-abiding citizen who has done absolutely nothing to deserve the punishment. They demonize firearms and those who legally own them. It’s all in their quest for control.

    They know very well that criminals will be emboldened when they are confident that the law-abiding aren’t armed. The left is banking on that fact. It gives “reason” for more law enforcement, more tax dollars, more control. In socialism, the government must control every aspect of the lives of its citizenry.

    Any reasonable adult can surely see and understand the problem is not “gun violence”. Any firearm, any design, brand, caliber or age cannot cause violence. It has no thought process, it can harbor no envy, jealousy or hatred. It has no means to take any action on its own. If fully loaded, it will do nothing but lie motionless and eventually oxidize away, unless or until a human takes control of it. Therefore, our problem is “human violence”, plain and simple. But admitting this doesn’t help bring about socialism.

    Anyone who intentionally attempts to harm an innocent person is mentally ill. And a mind intent on murder will find a way to attempt that action, whether there are guns or not. If we could wake up tomorrow and magically find that firearms never existed, there would still be violence perpetrated by humans against innocent humans.

    The left knows this, but they can’t admit it without exposing their true end goals; only the military and law enforcement should have access to firearms in a socialist police-state. They believe that when they can nullify the 2nd amendment, they can easily proceed to destroy the rest of our constitution; the very basis for our great Republic.

    They have a large and growing following, they work in all levels and branches of government, they have the indoctrination camps that used to be our public schools, they have the mainstream media, all in support of their goals. For the most part, the true supporters of the constitution have been sleeping while the left has gained so much ground.

    Beware of the sleeping giant.

  9. I believe a political cartoon I saw decades ago summed up their ideology quite well it showed an 1800s era scene where the bank robber was riding off into the sunset with the loot while the townspeople where to occupied stringing up the pistol he used to notice.

    The hypocrisy of these groups screaming for gun bans etc. after less than 20 people are the victim in a crime while they all but completely ignored a vehicle attack with 286 victims (84 dead/202 injured) as if a STRICTLY regulated commercial Truck being so easily available is somehow more important than law abiding citizens being able to exercise an actual protected constitutional right.

    It has been irrefutably proven that criminals are not affected by even the 100% gun bans imposed by the “GUN FREE ZONE” laws even making their own weapons from scrap so no law could stop them from being armed.

  10. “One of the common points is that we don’t blame cars for the deaths they cause. Liberals respond to that by pointing out how regulated car ownership and operation are.”-

    Concidering there are 250 MILLION cars just laying about, parked in all sorts of places a criminal can come by and just steal one, regulation of car ownership is close to zero. Compare all the hurdles just to get a gun and it proves the leftist hypocracy.

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