A new study shows Oregon is one of ten states in the US where gun deaths now outpace the number of deaths caused by motor vehicles.
The same is true in Jackson county for the year 2010. Medford police report 27 deaths by gun (one homicide) and 24 deaths related to vehicle accidents. Ninety percent of American households own a car. Many drive several times a day while fewer than one third own firearms. Yet the number of people who die in Oregon die by gun.
In the latest 2009 numbers collected from the CDC, motor vehicle deaths are on the decline. that number is related to safer vehicle manufacturing and attributes federal regulation for cars and roads.
In a state by state analysis, Oregon saw 417 deaths by firearms compared to 394 by some sort of vehicle death. Police believe while regulations are slack in certain states, the availability of firearms is virtually unregulated. You must pass a background check and be older than 21 years old. Other than that there aren't too many requirements to purchase a gun. To drive a car, you must pass a written and physical driving test. While both consumer products could be used as a weapon the car is the only one that requires a competence test to operate. Firearms remain the last consumer product manufactured in the US that is not subject Federal Health & Safety Regulation.
NBC5 News reporter Travis Koch started his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed documentaries about traveling and extreme sports.
Among his many life experiences, he was a dog musher in Alaska and a baker in Minnesota. Travis began his career at NBC5 News as a weekend photographer and has continued to follow his dreams in television broadcasting and multimedia.