Countering Couric: More People Die In Traffic Accidents Than Gun Violence

April 8th, 2009 12:26 PM
CBS’s Katie Couric, formerly queen of “Today” show sunshine, has written a very anti-gun piece on her blog, Couric & Co. It seems worthwhile to do a point-by-point response, so below, please note that italics are from Couric's blog, and the response is in normal font.

Thirteen people shot dead in Binghamton, New York.

Four people crushed to death near the Georgia-Tennessee state line.

Eight killed at a North Carolina nursing home.

Four more people crushed or burned to death in Polk County, Florida.

Ten murdered across several towns in southern Alabama.

Seventeen people killed in Coalinga, California.

In the last month, seven mass shootings have claimed the lives of 53 people.

We all know the dangers of driving, but not many of us stop to think about it. Sometimes, a really bad accident can claim the lives of multiple people.

The enormity of these tragedies makes them front page news. But, on average, 32 people die every day in gun-related violence.

The enormous tragedy is, it's not front-page news. But, on average, 113 people died every day in a vehicle-related death in 2008. This is down about ten percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Gun control advocates say it is too easy for the wrong people to get their hands on a weapon.

Some say that it is too easy for the wrong people - young and inexperienced, old and physically unable, illegal immigrants, or even those convicted of driving under the influence - to get behind the wheel legally.

Background checks are meant to keep criminals from owning guns. But just about anyone can walk into a gun show and buy a weapon from a private dealer, no questions asked.

Testing is meant to keep the woefully incompetent from driving. But in reality, just about anyone can walk into a state's Department of Motor Vehicles office and pass a basic proficiency test - no questions asked.

The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence reports that 83% of Americans favor background checks on all gun sales.

There is no comparable campaign to prevent driving-related deaths. There are niche groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but nothing that deals with the entire problem of vehicle deaths.

Legislators have an obligation to protect the Constitution.

They also have a responsibility to protect citizens from more of the tragedies that keep replaying themselves in communities all across America.

But government has no obligation, or right, to deny firearms to law-abiding citizens for the sake of weeding out the minuscule amount of people who are depraved enough to go on murderous rampages. Like owning a vehicle, its proper operation and use can be beneficial and enjoyable - and improper operation and use can be deadly.

That's a page from my notebook.

Katie, your notebook is biased.