Do you know that automobiles kill way more people than guns?
Alex Labanino
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“Do you know that automobiles kill way more people than guns?”

Yes, I know that. But that doesn’t mean that automobiles are more dangerous than guns. Instead of comparing absolute numbers, you should compare the ratio of deaths-per-use. What percentage of vehicle journeys result in death, compared to the percentage of gun uses?

This argument is a common deflective tactic in this gun debate. It is equivalent to this: imagine that we were discussing making the building industry more safe, because of the startling number of deaths of construction workers falling from the roof of houses during construction. People might suggest that a law is passed to require builders to wear a safety harness.

And then someone argues that _airplanes_ kill more people each year, when they crash. What on earth do airplanes have to do with the safety of workers who are building houses? Why have airplanes suddenly entered the discussion? It just doesn’t make any sense; it’s just a tactic to stop the debate on building safety.

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