Not quite that simple, unfortunately. If you counted the exposure rate for pistols that way, then you would have to also count it for cars as anyone in the area of a car.Soccerdad1995 wrote:The exposure rate for guns would include anyone within range of a LEO' would it not? If so, then there were an awful lot of folks exposed to the potential impact of a firearm on my way into work this morning. Of course, everyone that I saw was exposed to the potential for death / injury by my firearm in its holster, and again by my handgun in the car console, and again by the shotgun in my trunk. That's 3 exposures multiplied by the 100 or so cars I saw just on my drive in. When you consider the number of folks with a gun in their car, and the presence of LEO's, I would guess that the average exposure rate, per person, is greater than 1.0 per day.
Still less than the exposure rate for cars, but the number of gun related deaths is a tiny fraction of the number of vehicle related deaths.
To be truly a rational comparison, you would have to figure out what is the potential exposure to risk with each one. For example, a person carrying a pistol has some degree of risk (witness Glock leg) but not nearly as much exposure as the people who have guns pointed at them (by people). A driver is exposed to risk of his car, as is the passenger and some people outside the car. I am not sure the risk to a person walking down the sidewalk is as high as the risk to the driver or passenger, but there is some degree of risk even there.
Another measure would be the time spent in proximity to the object. Figure the person carrying the gun have some exposure to count, as do the people they point it at, but the people walking nearby while it is in the holster have a negligible exposure. Typically the exposure rate for cars is measured in passenger miles (how many miles the car was driven times the number of passengers in the car at the time). This ignores all of the risk to pedestrians of course. A similar method for guns would ignore all of the people the gun gets pointed at and just measure the time of the person carrying it.
All of which is a way to say that these simple comparisons are very rarely accurate. I am not sure I could compute a reasonable exposure rate for the two that could be compared, though I know much better statisticians can do so. I just have great doubts that most people do this statistical study properly when making these comparisons. They may sound nice but are not very accurate.