Guns and Children
Posted on June 19, 2017
Educate your kids about guns and they will learn to respect guns and wield them responsibly. That’s the first line of defense from gun enthusiasts.
Well… whether you want to believe it or not, or rather, whether or not you care about gun related deaths among children, guns account for a child mortality rate that is significantly higher in this country than any other high-income country in the world. And this is almost irrespective of location across the United States, and whoever happens to be the current president.
A recent in-depth study by researchers reviewing, collating, and relating data from several reliable United States government and international sources have published a paper in Pediatrics recently, reporting on our child death-and-injury-by-gun epidemic. And before you get all “fake news” about it, Pediatrics is within the top 3 highest ranked pediactric focused peer-reviewed journals in the world. Feel free to browse the CDC data yourself (and remember that the researchers cross-referenced this data with various other government sources, including the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System).
Here are some quotes from the published paper:
Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among US children aged 1 to 17 years, surpassing the number of deaths from pediatric congenital anomalies, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular causes. They are the second leading cause of injury-related death in this age group, surpassed only by motor vehicle injury deaths.
On average, from 2012 to 2014, nearly 1300 children (N = 1297) died each year in the United States from a firearm-related injury, for an annual crude rate of 1.8 per 100 000 (Table 1). Fifty-three percent of these were homicides (n = 693), 38% were suicides (n = 493), and 6% were unintentional firearm deaths (n = 82); the remaining 3% were due to legal intervention (n = 9) and deaths of undetermined intent (n = 19).
The vast majority of younger children (85%) were killed in a home, whereas older victims were equally likely to be killed in a home (39%) or on the streets (38%).
The highest rates of firearm homicide among children were largely concentrated across 7 Southern states (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, SC, and TN), 4 Midwestern states (IL, MO, MI, and OH), 2 Western states (CA and NV), and 3 Northeastern states (CT, MD, and PA). Firearm suicides among children were more dispersed across the United States. […] Alaska, Montana, and Idaho had the highest rates of child firearm suicides over the 5-year period.
If the gun-related child suicide rate over time doesn’t bother you, well, I hate you. And if someone is ignorant enough to blame that on the Obama administration, then make sure you show them the decline in gun-related child homicide over the same period of time. Not only should that help them understand that correlation does not imply casusation, but it also nicely conflicts with a certain racist assumption that [gun-related child homicide is mainly due to inner city black on black crime worsened by the Obama administration].
Interesting point about the trends, which may of course be unreported due to mere correlation or lack of data, is that the homicide and suicide trends both seem to reverse in 2007, and that just so happens to be the start of the Great Recession. I have no idea if that means anything or not, but perhaps it warrants further research.
Also note their research reports suicide statistics for children at least 10 years old, and therefore suicides cannot be compared directly with other factors of death. In other words, though there is a lower percentage of child suicides than homicides, suicide as a factor may actually be as big a problem as homicide.
When it comes to guns, the “Spider-Man quote” should be, “With great, unnecessary, dangerous power around children, comes great responsibility… that sometimes doesn’t protect them or others.”
The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths
About 7,500 Children Are Admitted To U.S. Hospitals Every Year With Gun Injuries: Study
Their Own Targeted, Republicans Want Looser Gun Laws, Not Stricter Ones
The conservative evasion on guns