ATLANTA — By 2015, firearm fatalities probably will exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg. While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Shooting deaths in 2015 probably will rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend.
The fall in traffic deaths resulted from safer vehicles, restricted privileges for young drivers and seat-belt and other laws, said Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis.
By contrast, “we’ve made policy decisions that have had the impact of making the widest array of firearms available to the widest array of people under the widest array of conditions.” While fewer households have guns, people who own guns are buying more of them, he said.
About 85 Americans are shot dead daily, 53 of them suicides. Every day, one of those killed by firearms is 14 or younger. Of the total, the CDC data show, 16 are between the ages of 15 and 24, mostly homicide victims. Wintemute said more than 200 people go to U.S. emergency rooms every day with gunshot wounds.
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Gun deaths by homicide, suicide or accident peaked at 37,666 in 1993 before declining to a low of 28,393 in 2000, the data show. Since then the total has risen to 31,328 in 2010, an increase of 2,935, or eight more victims a day.
Movement honors 26 killed at school
NEW YORK — A new movement has taken off to honor the 26 people killed at a school in Newtown, Conn.
The campaign sparked from a question NBC News correspondent Ann Curry asked herself after Friday’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School: “What can I do?”
The answer she arrived at was performing 26 acts of kindness. On Sunday, she shared that suggestion on social media, inviting everyone to join her.
By Wednesday, the hashtag “26acts” was trending on Twitter and a “26 Acts of Kindness” Facebook page had exceeded 17,000 likes.
The social-media sites describe acts of kindness directed toward members of the Newtown community, as well as to others across the nation and even globally.
Curry wrote on the NBC News website that the movement is a way to “help heal us all.”
Scams emerge in wake of slayings
NEW YORK — Scam artists have started to prey on the memories of those who were killed in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
The family of Noah Pozner was grieving for the 6-year-old when they learned someone was soliciting donations in the boy’s memory. A website had been set up with his name, even including petitions on gun control. It was a scam.
Noah’s uncle, Alexis Haller, reported the action to police.
Consumer groups and government officials call for caution about unsolicited requests for donations, by phone or email. They tell people to be wary of callers who don’t want to answer questions about their organization, who won’t take “no” for an answer, or who convey an unreasonable sense of urgency.
Ke$ha says ‘Die Young’ song ‘inappropriate’
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ke$ha says she understands her hit song “Die Young” “is now inappropriate” fafter the shootings in Newtown, Conn.
The pop singer said in a Twitter post Tuesday night that she’s “so so so sorry” for anyone affected by the tragedy.
Earlier Tuesday, Ke$ha tweeted that she had her own issues with “Die Young” because of the lyrics, but that she was “FORCED TO” sing them. That tweet was deleted a short time later.
Ke$ha’s spokesman said the 25-year-old had no comment Wednesday morning.
“Die Young” is intended as a party anthem and is No. 3 on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart. But radio stations began to pull it and other songs with potentially upsetting lyrics after 27 people, including 20 children, were killed Friday.
Seattle Times news services