Owning a Car is 80% More Dangerous than Owning a Gun

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This is from Freedom OutPost.

This story makes me want to sell my car and use the money to buy more guns. 🙂


While communist gun grabbers like Shannon Watts’ Moms Demand Action and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence would have us believe that we are in grave danger from Americans keeping and bearing arms, the facts continue to allude them. Not only do criminals not purchase their guns through gun stores nor are semi-automatic rifles not used in most gun violence, but now new numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that it is far more dangerous to own a care than a gun.

Chris Conover at Forbes reports that a popular graphic that sees its rounds on Facebook by anti-gunners, who want to compare cars to guns. Here’s the graphic:


Not only has this been thoroughly rebutted by Eugene Volokh, as well as

many of us who actually believe the right to keep and bear arms is a civil duty, but Conover goes on to point out the following:

  • There were 310 million guns in the U.S. in 2009 (a Congressional Research Service figure I have no reason to dispute), a figure that likely grew to perhaps 350 million by 2013.
  • These guns result in ~33,000 deaths in 2013, of which 64% were suicides, leaving ~500 accidental deaths and 11,200 due to homicides (these are official CDC figures reported in Table 10)
  • There were 269 million registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2013.
  • These result in ~33,000 deaths a year, roughly half of which are drivers (these are official NHTSA statistics).

In this sharply divided country, there surely is also strong disagreement about the extent to which government ought to be protecting citizens from self-harm. But I presume that a broad spectrum of the public on both sides of the aisle would agree there is an appropriate government role in protecting citizens from being harmed by one another. So if we leave aside self-inflicted deaths, the average car is 1.8 times as risky as the average gun. That is,  my owning a car is 80 percent more likely to result in the death of another person than my owning a gun. In light of this simple fact, it is puzzling why gun ownership is so vehemently scorned on the left as somehow being a flagrantly irresponsible act.

Clearly, I don’t see gun grabbers going after regulating cars in such a manner as they do guns. It’s probably because their gas guzzeling, environmentally polluting SUVs would be off the market and they can’t have that.

The reality is that the more people learn about gun safety and how to use their weapon, the safer people are, not the more endangered they are. One does wonder when people will be more cautious using their cars though, right?




Tales of the Red Tape #42: Peeling Back Nonsense in Vehicle Regulation

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This is from The Heritage Foundation‘s The Foundry.

One more example of out of control government.

Gene Blevins/Polaris/Newscom

Gene Blevins/Polaris/Newscom

General Motors Corp. (GM) is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros (model years 2013 and 2014) for violating Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208—Occupant Crash Protection.

Defective seat belts? Air bag malfunction? Brake failure?


GM is recalling 18,941 Chevy Camaros because the air bag warning label on the sun visormay peel.


The recall decision was made by the Executive Field Action Decision Committee, following a review by the Field Performance Evaluation Review Committee. So, pursuant to 49 CFR §573.6, the automaker submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) its determination of noncompliance for the requirement that the visor label be “permanently affixed.”

GM also issued a stop delivery order to dealers, and instructed them to inspect the label on each sun visor (“using a finger nail, plastic card, or similar” to determine proper adhesion). In the event a label is prone to peel, the entire sun visor must be scrapped and replaced.

This is no small matter, evidently. If the air bag warning label detaches from the visor, the driver and front seat passenger may not be warned of the risks of air bag deployment. Or so goes the reasoning for the adhesion edict. But even when warned via visor label, a driver and front seat passenger have little choice about air bag deployment, since the potentially dangerous equipment is required by the NHTSA itself.

In other words, General Motors is required under NHTSA rules to initiate a recall of 18,941 vehicles because of a danger created by other NHTSA rules. Perhaps it is regulators who should come with a warning label.



Feds propose making black boxes standard in new cars, raising privacy hackles

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This is from Yahoo Autos.

More Big Brother involved in out lives.

A way to track all of  the Conservative enemies of the state.



Federal auto safety officials today proposed a new rule requiring black boxes — data recorders that capture the moments before and after a crash — in all new U.S. cars and trucks. Such recorders already come standard in most new vehicles, but the auto industry opposes a mandate, and the rule will do little to solve a simmering legal battle over who can see what the black boxes know.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will require all new U.S. vehicles to have black boxes by Sept. 1, 2014, noting that 96 percent of 2013 models already come with them standard. The new proposal does not change the 15 types of data black boxes should record when it senses a crash.


“By understanding how drivers respond in a crash and whether key safety systems operate properly, NHTSA and automakers can make our vehicles and our roadways even safer,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This proposal will give us the critical insight and information we need to save more lives.”


In use since the 1970s, event data recorders were originally installed as part of air bag systems, recording data such as acceleration, speed, braking and bag deployment in the few seconds before and after a wreck. While the data include whether the driver is wearing a seat belt, it doesn’t record any other facts about the driver or the car’s location, and can only keep a maximum of five seconds of information.


Safety advocates have long contended black boxes could be used to improve crashworthiness or show why accidents took place; such boxes did help Toyota convince federal regulators two years ago that most sudden acceleration complaints not tied to defects involved drivers mistaking the gas and brake pedals.


But the boxes — typically installed out of sight — remain a mystery to most car owners and a privacy concern to many. States have set a panoply of laws governing who can access the data stored in a black box; some allow law enforcement agencies to do so at an accident scene without a warrant, while others require some court oversight, but 37 states have no rules. The boxes themselves can’t be turned off or disabled, and most require special software to access and read. In the Toyota cases, many probes were hampered because the black box data could only be read by Toyota engineers.


In a few high-profile crashes, black box data has been used to contradict the driver’s explanation for a crash. When Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray wrecked his state-owned Ford Crown Victoria a year ago, he initially said he had been driving near the speed limit; the black box data revealed he was driving 100 mph without his seat belt on, likely because he fell asleep behind the wheel. Data from an SUV that crashed while carrying New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in 2007 showed it was doing 91 mph at the time of the wreck — and that Corzine wasn’t wearing a seat belt.


Several courts have allowed black box data as evidence in cases involving car crashes, but experts warn that the boxes are far from foolproof. Electrical surges have been known to erase or scramble the 15 data points modern boxes are required to collect, and the sensors can report faulty information. While federal law generally says the data belongs to car’s owner, many insurance contracts allow insurance companies to gather the data after the crash. While automakers have asked NHTSA to clarify privacy concerns in any new rule, it will likely fall to Congress to decide who gets to talk to the spy in your dashboard.


When Figures Lie: Chevy Volt Puts the Government in Government Motors

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This is from Town Hall Finance.

The Chevy Volt is one of the biggest POS cars since the Pinto.

General Motors and Chrysler should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy.

They would have emerged stronger after renegotiating contracts and pension plans.

But Obama is owned body and soul by the UAW union goons so they got bailed out.

The bond holders got a pile of crap while the unions got everything.

Will Obama try to do another bailout for General Motors?


If there was any doubt from skeptics about the complicity of the Obama administration in creating and directing the “new” General Motors –a.k.a Government Motors– the latest ballyhoo regarding sales figures and the Chevy Volt should convince even the doubters.

GM: Aug. Volt sales best yet says the Detroit News.

GM Expects Volt Sales to Set Monthly Record says the normally sane Wall Street Journal.

Chevy Volt broke monthly sales record in August reports the Associated Press.

But like a lot of claims coming from Obama or one his corporate surrogates, the Volt sales numbers surely aren’t signs of success, but rather just the opposite. And if the doublespeak doesn’t point to government involvement in the development, sale and ultimate failure of the Volt, it certainly betrays a government mentality that believes that perception matters more than results.

And the difference between Obama’s perception and the actual results in our economy is the chasm where all of our jobs have gone.

Because General Motors has sold only half the number of Volts that they said they would this year, and the company is idling the Volt production line to retool it for a car that’s actually selling: the Chevy Impala.

Investors aren’t fooled, even if some journalists and a few metroed, urban hipsters are.

From MarketWatch:

GM has suspended production of the all-electric car for a month so they can retool the plant to make more Chevy Impalas. Read more about the Volt’s production issues.

But not many are buying the company’s explanation or the car, for that matter. So far this year, GM has sold about 11,000 Volts — far less than hoped and planned for by the auto maker. The market has spoken: Most Americans simply are not ready for an electric car from Detroit.

They’re not ready, because unlike the president and his one percent crowd, Americans make decision on car purchases based on economics.

The website ExtremeTech calculates that the car costs about 6.3 cents per mile when running on electricity at 13 cents per kilowatt hour. But that rate ignores depreciating the cost of a replacement battery ($8,000) over the life of the battery warranty.

When you add in the cost of the battery depreciation, you get a calculation of about 14.3 cents per mile for the Volt. As the tech site notes: “A compact car getting 35 mpg would cost 10 cents per mile using $3.50-a-gallon gasoline.”  So in other words, the Volt, in addition to the high cost to purchase, costs 43% more to operate than a conventional car.

That’s why the Volt is the perfect car for the Occupy Wall Street crowd: It makes no economic sense no matter how convoluted its supporters make the economic argument or how much taxpayer support it’s given.

The Volt initially relied heavily on $7,500 federal government subsidies- and even then couldn’t make a go of it.

This marks the second time that GM has idled Volt production, while claiming “All is well.”

So now I’m wondering if former Ford Executive and the U.S. Defense Secretary who presided over the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara, is in charge of public relations for GM.

If the Volt’s not in the federal witness protection program, it ought to be.

“Sales also took a hit last fall when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe into why two Volts burst into flames days or weeks after severe NHTSA crash testing,” reported USA Today.

Leaks from the cooling system were caused by shortages in the electrical system that prompted the fires. But the discovery came only after weeks of bad press for GM. Eventually the car company offered to buy back every single Volt for any consumer who was unhappy.

But lack of sales and spontaneous fires haven’t stopped the government-owned car company from mapping out a marketing strategy that might have been fashioned by the marketing geniuses of the IRS and the United States Postal Service combined: “The Volt’s technology and its recent accolade from Consumer Reports make the Volt a marketing tool for Chevy,” said Alan Batey, vice president for Chevrolet U.S. sales, at the beginning of December according to Bloomberg. “This vehicle is about more than how many we sell,” Batey said. “This vehicle is a magnet around everything we are trying to do to showcase our brand.”

Only someone infected by the government bug would say that the success of a car company isn’t about the actual numbers of cars they sell.

But maybe that’s because the company has bigger problems than just the Volt.

The Chevy Cruze, which is the same car, right down to the lug nuts as the Chevy Volt, only minus the voltage, is being investigated for engine fires that Reuters says “in many cases completely engulfed the vehicles in flames.”

So, let me be the first to apologize to General Motors.

I’ve been complaining about the supposed environmental benefits of the Volt, of the subsidies to the Volt compared to the Cruze and the of the $23,000 difference in sticker price between the Cruze and the Volt.

I was wrong.

Quite obviously you were right, General Motors.

The environmental benefits of the Volt- which reports have shown only create relatively small firescontained in the engine compartment of the Volt- far outweigh the fires in  conventional General Motors cars, like the Cruze, which may engulf the entire vehicle in flames.

Score one for Government Motors.

And notify the EPA, EMS and other first-responders.

Because I’m sure the out-of-work geniuses in solar industry are pitching Obama right now on an even more expensive and dangerous concept car.


2nd electric car battery fire involving Chevy Volt

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This is from Sign On San
This is the car that is going to save the environment.
I guess it will save the environment by burning everything down.
This is the Pinto of the green movement.

  — Federal officials say they are investigating the safety of lithium-ion battery in General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt after a second battery fire following crash-testing of the electric car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that three Volt battery packs were crash-tested last week. In one instance, the battery caught fire afterward, and in another the battery emitted smoke and sparks.
Last May, a fire erupted in the battery of a Chevy Volt that had been damaged during a government crash test three weeks earlier. Last week’s tests were an attempt to replicate the May fire.
NHTSA has opened a formal safety defect investigation of the batteries.
General Motors officials said previously that government officials didn’t follow the carmaker’s protocols for storing post-crash batteries.


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