Gun deaths are on the rise, and in three years, more Americans will die from gunshot wounds than in car accidents, a report has found.
Traffic deaths have dropped by 22 percent since 2005, while shooting deaths, including suicides and accidents, have crept up from historic lows a decade ago.
In 2010, 31,328 people died from killer weapons, up from 28,393 in 2000, Bloomberg News reports.
In three years, Centers for Disease Control numbers forecast nearly 33,000 shooting deaths, compared to 32,000 traffic deaths, the New York Daily News reports. ”It’s a testament to how much safer our roads are,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, said.
“There’s the analogy, you have to have license and training to buy a car, why don’t you need them to have a gun?’” Winkler said. ”Guns are obviously more dangerous than automobiles, and we need to think seriously about what kind of laws we need to make the world safer with so many guns,” he added.
According to the report, the shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the second mass killing in less than five months, brought fresh outrage against gun violence and calls to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.
“We haven’t had a year like 2012 for mass shootings before, with each one being more disturbing than the last,” Daniel Webster, director of gun policy research at Johns Hopkins, told Bloomberg News. ”It’s harder to chalk this up to random acts than to flaws in our gun laws,” he added.
Studies show that household gun ownership and murder rates have slumped over the past decade. Some 32 percent of households in the U.S. own guns, the lowest since 2004, and last year, murder rates in the U.S. were down by 19 percent since 2006, the report said.
But, overall, there are more guns in U.S., with estimates landing somewhere around 300 million. Meanwhile, on the roads, fewer than 40,000 people were expected to die in traffic accidents this year, down from 53,524 in 1979, Bloomberg News’ numbers show.
Every day in the U.S., 85 people are shot to death, more than half by suicide, according to Bloomberg News’ numbers. At least one of the victims being below the age of 14, the report added.