This Sunday, the New York Times ran an article entitled “Keeping Guns Away From Children.” It argued for civilian disarmament based on firearms-related deaths of “children.” Why did I put children in quotation marks? Glad you asked, since this has pissed me off to an extent that not even my philandering ex has achieved . . .
From the article:
If you are as concerned as I am about the safety of your children and grandchildren, consider that it may be time for a grass-roots movement, comparable to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to help break the stranglehold the National Rifle Association seems to have on our elected officials.
We at TTAG are absolutely concerned about the safety of children. That’s why we went through the trouble of performing a simulated school shooting to evaluate the effectiveness of armed guards and teachers in schools. And why we will perform a more detailed experiment sometime in the spring. And continue to test until we get hard, repeatable results. You know, something that adds some usable facts to the conversation.
But for the New York Times, the solution can’t be based on facts. The solution has to be based on how the American population feels. They need to feel safe. They need their politicians to do something. And, naturally, since guns are scary, implementing a proven and effective safety measure is impossible to consider.
Do you really want, as the association proposed, an armed guard in every school?
Quick note: The parents of the children who attend Sandy Hook Elementary do. Which is why they recently asked for the police presence at the local schools to be permanent. Its a logical and immediate solution to the issue, one which The New York Times wants to throw out because “guns are scary.”
Instead of focusing on mental health, or the idiocy of gun free school zones, or any number of other issues that would be more effective against stopping something like Sandy Hook from ever happening again, they focus on the guns. They look at guns like some magical talisman that, once eradicated, would mean peace and happiness for all, despite all the facts that point to the exact opposite.
This image right here forms the basis of the argument:
While there are many things we don’t see eye to eye about, there’s one thing that my anti-gun mother does agree with me on: 24 year olds aren’t “children.” Anyone old enough to have a driver’s license no longer bears that label to me. And yet, the New York Times has decided to include people up to the age of 24 in their chart.
The reason? They want to bolster their numbers with gang related violence. Otherwise, their own argument falls apart.
Let’s take a peek into the CDC’s data and figure out exactly how many of these deaths that they reported actually involved small children:
I pulled that data from the CDC’s website last night. Personally, I would have set the cut-off point for “children” at 15. But then again I didn’t have an agenda to push.
The five years between 20 and 24 account for 1/5 of the population under investigation (these “children”), but provide the majority of the body count. Throw in another fifth (15 to 19) and you’ve got damn near 80% of the fatalities among the population being studied.
What the article would like to have you believe is that small children are being murdered and killing themselves because of the presence of firearms in the country, but that’s just not true. The leading cause of death for children is accidental, not murder. And among the murders committed in this country, some people place as many as 77% of those in the category of “gang related violence.”
We’re not talking about little 5 year old Suzie, children like those involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. We’re talking about adults. And specifically hardened criminals killing other criminals in most cases of homicide.
As for the rest of the murders, there’s nothing indicating that those murders would not have happened if guns were not available. England has almost no civilian firearms ownership, but their murder rate rivals the United States and is on the rise — the US, by the way, has seen a decrease in the murder rate even as firearms ownership has increased.
As for suicides, countless studies (and Bruce Krafft himself) have found that the suicide rate is independent of the availability of firearms. Just because the means to end your life is readily available in firearm form doesn’t make the population of a country more likely to take that way out. Japan is the prime example, with almost no civilian ownership of firearms and a skyrocketing suicide rate that far surpasses the United States.
The only statistic that actually applies to the point of the article is the accidental death column, and as you can see that number is nearly zero involving firearms. Remove those deaths that involve people who are able to vote and the number decreases even father.
I said this exact same thing to my mother (who then became slightly irate): accidental firearms deaths are solely the fault of the parent. I see no reason why they should be treated any differently than a child accidentally drinking bleach or sticking a fork in a power outlet. The means of death does not absolve the parents their responsibility to look after and protect the child, which includes proper firearms storage. And removing firearms from society because of the irresponsible actions of a handful of parents is to ignore the greater good that firearms ownership does on a daily basis.
The purpose of The Times article isn’t to inform and educate, the purpose of this article is to evoke an emotional response. Everything, from the picture at the top of the article to including “young adults” in their figures, was designed to make parents think that there was an epidemic of firearms related deaths among their young children. It was designed to evoke an emotional response that overrides the facts. Its the textbook definition of propaganda.
“Think of the children” is the rallying cry for those who have run out of facts. And even then, their argument still falls flat on its face.