OK, not completely non-existent. ‘Cause then Ohio’s middletownjournal.com wouldn’t have an appropriately heart-rending anecdote upon which to peg their exploration of the tragedy of kids and guns. That said, it seems that staff writers Andy Sedlak and Kareem Elgazzar couldn’t find the kind of “if only we’d had gun control” tear-jerker upon which gun grabbers regularly rely. “Lt. Walter Scott Reeve had only been on the Middletown police force about two years when he responded to the scene of a wounded 10-year-old girl — shot by a 10-year-old boy — on an August night in 1988. Upon arrival, Reeve found the girl laying in the yard, her shirt soaked with blood. The boy told police he had been showing her his father’s gun when it accidently [sic] went off . . .
Police later found out the boy pulled the gun out of the holster, pointed at the girl and pulled the trigger. The girl later died.
While gun control advocates can bleat on about unauthorized access to firearms, operating on the basic principle that more guns means more “bad things will happen,” this second-hand story of a deeply disturbed pre-teen doesn’t exactly shout “Cincinnati, we have a gun violence problem.”
Statistically speaking, they don’t. And where do we turn for proof that you can round the incidence of teenage gun violence down to zero? Why middletownjournal.com, of course.
Between 1993 and 2009, the percentage of students who reported carrying a weapon at least one day anywhere during the past 30 days declined from 22 percent to 17, and the percentage who reported carrying a weapon at least one day on school property also declined, from 12 percent to 6, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
You do realize that “a weapon” in this study includes knives, right? Just checking.
In Hamilton, there were 24 incidents involving firearms and young people less than 20 years old in 2009 and 2010, according to police reports analyzed by the JournalNews.
An “incident involving firearms” doesn’t necessarily mean an assault of any kind, K? Cool.
In addition, there were eight incidents of juveniles charged with carrying a concealed weapon, which may include firearms and knives, over the same time period.
A review of 60 Middletown police reports involving a gun since July 1 showed no situations where the weapon handler was a juvenile.
“It’s not very common at all,” Reeve said. “It’s an unusual person to actually use a gun on someone else.”
Nothing to see here folks. Moving on . . . oh wait. We can’t do that. Where’s the shock? Where’s the outrage? WHERE’S THE TAXPAYER-FUNDED ANTI-GUN VIOLENCE PROGRAM? Let’s try that again, doubling up on the negatives to create some positively misleading “evidence.”
That’s not to say there is no issue. Of the seven alleged members of the Baltimore Street Gang recently indicted by a Butler County grand jury for participation in a criminal gang, four of them had prior gun-related offenses, according to Middletown police Major Rodney Muterspaw.
Many of those indicted were in their early 20s.
Early twenties you say? By my calculations, that would make them . . . adults. Anyway, a handful of gun-toting twenty-somethings is enough to trigger the usual political sanctimony, complete with crocodile tears and blame it on the gun hand-wringing.
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory [above] said the use of firearms among young, untrained people should open the eyes of every adult.
“An incident of that type could have happened anywhere — all of us have to do a better job of making sure young people aren’t walking around with firearms,” Mallory said.
Newly hired Cincinnati police Chief James Craig, who hasn’t even completed his first month of service, echoed many of Mallory’s sentiments at an NAACP meeting on Thursday.
“Where’s the reverence for life?” Craig said. “A lot of these young people don’t have hope — we are all in this together.
“And it’s not just the police, it’s not just the NAACP, it’s the West Side and the East Side, we are all in this together.”
More’s the pity.