They are used by criminals. Anyone with enough cash can obtain one. They are especially deadly when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are often used in crimes of passion. Every year thousands of innocent children are killed by them. They account for between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths per year.

Nope, I’m not talking about guns—I’m talking about cars.

The number one cause of accidental death in the United States is motor vehicle accidents (39%). This is followed by poisoning (18%), falls (16%), suffocation (5%), drowning (2.9%), fires (2.8%), medical “mistakes” (2.2%), environmental factors (1.2%), and bicycles and tricycles (0.7%). It is probably no surprise to most readers of S.W.A.T. that firearms come in at number ten on the list, accounting for a relatively minor percentage of 0.6% of accidental deaths.

“But,” some people would say, “those figures are for accidental deaths. Guns are dangerous!” Yes, they are. They would not be of much use to anyone if they were not dangerous. However, bicycles and tricycles are not supposed to be dangerous, yet they account for more accidental deaths than firearms every year.

Statistically, you face a better chance of dying from going to a doctor and being the victim of a medical “mistake” than you do of being accidentally shot. If you have to walk up steps to his office, your chances of meeting the Grim Reaper increase even more (remember, falls account for 16% of accidental deaths). If you drive an automobile to his office, you are literally taking your life in your hands, because between medical mistakes, falls and driving, you have covered 57.2% of accidental deaths. Therefore, doctors, stairs (actually ladders, chairs—anything that can get you a foot off the ground) should be banned. Future ownership of automobiles that can travel more than 20 mph will be prohibited, with exceptions for law enforcement “high velocity” vehicles.

Suffocation, drowning and fires are all high on the list as well. I propose we should ban plastic bags, blankets and anything else that might cause someone to suffocate. Swimming pools are an obvious evil we need to rid society of, and Congress should establish 1,000-foot safety zones around all lakes, rivers and oceans. An immediate ban on all instruments of death such as matches and lighters (especially the disposable Saturday Night Special lighters) goes without saying.

Ridiculous? Of course it is. It’s not the tool, instrument or person; it’s how they are used/perform. Kinda like what we’ve been saying about firearms for years…

Until next time, stay low and watch your back

Denny Hansen

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