In small-town and rural communities, traffic fatalities are more newsworthy than they are in big cities, where they happen more frequently. My first newspaper, in small-town Ohio, a traffic fatality was front-page news.
Car ownership rates are slightly higher in rural communities than urban ones, though not by much.
Meanwhile, gun ownership rates are higher in rural areas than suburban or metro areas Section 3: Gun Ownership Trends and Demographics
So media coverage of traffic fatalities doesn’t seem to influence either vehicle ownership rates or gun ownership rates.
This is a very good question.
We would usually say that someone has died using the present perfect. In fact sometimes there is no verb at all
“England loses Ashes”, “Inflation up to 10%”, “Chelsea wins!”, “PM: No Comment”
This is partly because this style is more immediate, but mostly because it takes fewer words, and so the letters can be printed larger, so the front page can be read from a distance – which encourages people to buy the newspaper.
Judging from sensationalist media headline, you might think that Americans are dying in mass shootings left and right.
Peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish. That sort of thing.
You are about three times more likely to die from a food allergy than to die in a mass shooting. Roughly the same as getting bitten by a shark. And for comparison, about twice the rate at which dogs kill humans.
By contrast, about 100 people die in car accidents every day.
Real journalists have criteria for any such thing. They study the definition of what is “newsworthy.
A few very obvious examples –
Most car accidents do not result in a single fatality. Most car accidents do not even result in an injury.
BUT — Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year.
AND — An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled.
Then, some car accidents have additional repercussions. I live in a large city. There have been those traffic accidents which became newsworthy because they cause a chain reaction series of additional accidents. Yeah, that happens.