News release from Violence Policy Center:
Washington, DC — With the National Rifle Association annual meeting opening in Nashville on Friday, a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) finds that gun deaths surpassed motor vehicle deaths in Tennessee and 16 other states, along with the District of Columbia.
The VPC analysis refers to gun deaths and motor vehicle deaths in 2013, the most recent year for which comprehensive state-level data is available. Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
The analysis found that in 2013, there were 17 states where there were more gun deaths than motor vehicle deaths: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming, along with the District of Columbia.
More than 90 percent of American households own a car while fewer than a third of American households have a gun. Americans’ exposure to motor vehicles vastly outweighs their exposure to firearms. Yet nationwide, there were 33,636 gun deaths and 35,612 motor vehicle deaths in 2013.
In Tennessee, the latest data available shows 94 percent of households have a car and 46 percent of households have a gun. Yet even though motor vehicles are far more prevalent than guns, there were 1,030 gun deaths and 1,027 motor vehicle deaths in Tennessee in 2013.