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From 25 per 100,000 to 10 per 100,000 is not a massive change? Or, using the more appropriate rate -- fatalities per hundred million vehicle miles traveled -- dropping from ~7 in the 1950s to ~1 today?

Again, the stack rank isn't a bad place to start if you have no other context. But we do. We're well past that point. We all know the NTSB, Auto Companies, Insurance Companies, et al have been hammering on car safety for decades now, have been advancing auto safety about as fast as society will allow and are always conducting newer/better research.

So it remains ill-advised to use that rate (or similar well-studied risks) as some sort of reference point when considering whether a smaller risk is getting outsize attention.

> "The long term trend lines for guns are more now than ever, more concealed carry, and less deaths."

In the 70s, when it became an issue (due in large part to media crusading and 'incident news'), the long-term trends for auto fatalities were also on a downward slope from the highs of the 40s and 50s. Yet, as it turns out, we could still actually do better by allowing research into the issue and taking common-sense precautions.

Similarly with the long term trends around smoking rates, when we finally deigned to allow smoking/cancer/cessation research.

Similarly was Airplane travel, even with a bump from terrorism, the safest way to get from A to B. Yet it remains a good thing that we studied the terrorism 'problem', despite its low risk, and changed air crew procedure and hardened cockpit doors.

And the TSA stuff is nonsense, but it was and remains nonsense precisely because it's not being studied and considered in a sober cost/benefit analysis.

What remains notable about the gun debate in the US, is that we're not arguing about "what to do" so much as arguing about whether to study the problem.

Look at how the trial balloon for the "whether we should study the problem" effort only has some sliver of a chance to succeed, because it's being first aimed at a scapegoat (violent video games). It's not even a direct study of the self-evident real problem (gang violence) or its equally-obvious underlying cause (the war on some people's use of some drugs).




I was looking at fatalities per miles traveled (given that is the measure of how much we use cars). It seems the trend line was dropping pretty nicely before the 70's, so I am not sure how much all the safety requirements have actually changed things. Seat belts and air bags might account for the delta from the 70's, but I am not sure it isn't the same reasons we see a reduction from the 30s. Looking at what happened after a change is good, but it needs to be in the context of what was happening before.

> What remains notable about the gun debate in the US, is that we're not arguing about "what to do" so much as arguing about whether to study the problem.

You must be watching some other debate, I consider new legislation being introduced "what to do".


> "I am not sure how much all the safety requirements have actually changed things"

Well, absent digging into details that neither of us have, that's going to come down to a philosophical position: do you think that trends will continue indefinitely in the absence of any additional efforts to sustain them?

> "You must be watching some other debate, I consider new legislation being introduced "what to do"."

I'm watching the debate where practical political reality says every legislative proposal, other than "study the problem", is trivially DOA due the lobbying power of the NRA and Congress' makeup and existing obstructionist strategy.


This thread is how I wish all discussions were on this site. Disagreement that is just polite enough, tons of facts on both sides, both sides with reasonable opinions founded in reality. Thanks roc and protomyth.


sorry for the late response

> Well, absent digging into details that neither of us have, that's going to come down to a philosophical position: do you think that trends will continue indefinitely in the absence of any additional efforts to sustain them?

I would expect continued downward trend, but it cannot go down indefinitely (limit on flukes). I expect a upswing in the first couple of years of automated vehicles just because new realities tend to make for bad times (see the 1930's) then another sharp downward trend.

> I'm watching the debate where practical political reality says every legislative proposal, other than "study the problem", is trivially DOA due the lobbying power of the NRA and Congress' makeup and existing obstructionist strategy.

Just as I hope the EFF and ACLU will be obstructionist in defending some of the other amendments. The NRA is not powerful by itself. It is powerful because of the number of members. I dearly wish we had an NRA for the 5th amendment, but it seems we are getting beat there very badly. I would say the Senate has been more obstructionist due to their failure at passing a budget. They should remember which house is supposed to be preeminent in that regard.




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