Letter: Why the outrage over 13 GM defect deaths but not over 12,000 gun deaths?

Published April 8, 2014 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Recent articles in the Salt Lake Tribune suggest faulty ignition switches in GM automobiles were the cause for at least 13 deaths ("Total of GM vehicle recalls in 2014 hits 4.8 million," Tribune, March 27).

The articles indicate GM knew these switches were defective at least five years ago. Politicians and news organizations have expressed outrage that GM failed to inform the public, did not issue a recall, and did not fix the faulty switch.

Another Tribune article reported the U.S. transportation department ruling that after May 2016, all cars and light trucks must have rear sensor technology at $132-$142 per vehicle. NHT-SA said "the new rule will save between 13 to 15 lives and prevent as many as 1,125 injuries annually."

If 13 deaths caused by a faulty GM ignition switch are worthy of congressional hearings and wrongful death lawsuits, and saving an estimated 13 to 15 lives by mandated technology at a total cost of about $1.9 billion, isn't it curious there is no similar outrage or meaningful legislation when these numbers are compared to the 12,042 deaths caused by guns in 2013?

What am I missing?

Frank Mandigo

Salt Lake City

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