Statistically, We Need Boat Control More Than Gun Control

Statistically, We Need Boat Control More Than Gun Control


By: John Wayne LaPierre

You hear the bullshit slogans all the time: “Boats don’t kill people.” “It’s my constitutional right to have a boat.” “I need a boat to protect my family.” And “you can have my boat when you pry it from my cold dead hands.”

I for one am fed up with all the empty rhetoric that spews daily from the all-powerful boat lobby and their die-hard boat nut constituents. How many more people need to die before we implement some reasonable boat control in America?

The numbers are undeniable. According to the United States Coast Guard, boats were responsible for 5.2 deaths per 100,000 boats in 2014. Not to take anything away from our national tragedy of gun violence, but the boat death rate is literally double the firearm homicide rate (2.6 per 100,000 guns, based on dividing the FBI’s reported 8,124 firearm homicides by 310 million guns).

I recognize that boats are not statistically the most dangerous thing out there. Yes, automobiles cause 11.9 deaths per 100,000 vehicles (32,675 deaths for 275 million cars), and swimming pools cause 33.0 deaths per 100,000 pools, (3,536 deaths for 10.7 million pools), and obviously deaths from cancer and heart disease are higher still, and deaths from old age approach 100,000 per 100,000 cases, depending on how you calculate it, but there’s just something about boat deaths that seems particularly unsavory and pointless.

Although a complete ban on boats would be nice, I’m not even asking for that right now. All I want to see are some reasonable steps:

1) Background checks to prevent sales and rentals to pirates, non-swimmers, and Robert Wagner.  

2) Finally closing the “boat show” loophole

3) Restricting boat capacity, The average sportsman can’t possibly need the killing power of an Olympic class ocean liner

4) Renewing the motorboat ban.

If you want to use a canoe responsibly when you go hunting, or keep a kayak in a safe for home protection, I understand, just make sure that your kids can’t get to it, that you never lend it to anyone, and that you always keep a firearm handy to signal for help in case of emergency.

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