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“Every hour a child is rushed to the emergency room because of gunshots,” Diane Sawyer intones, introducing the network’s special report on children and guns. Yes, well, TTAG eviscerated the study upon which ABC’S “special report” is based here. Specifically, we pointed out that the study sample included children and teens. A fact that Sawyer’s co-anchor David Muir also ignores in his second intro. It’s only until we get into the news package that the network acknowledges the teen component – without mentioning that gang bangers account for a large percentage of those numbers. It gets worse . . .

The report earns the prestigious “50 seconds of FUD” award for major misdirection when the anchor whacks viewers on the head with the stat “7,391 children [italics added] per year hospitalized by guns” and follows with “so often accidents in the home” with a video of a shotgun being removed from its hidey hole. How often are these injuries and deaths related to unattended loaded firearms? Not specified. As a percentage of the total, not so often.

ABC focuses on firearms-related accidents because they don’t involve criminal intent. Focusing on the statistically significant incidents of teenage gang-related firearms injuries and fatalities would completely ruin the net’s narrative: guns are dangerous. Not people. Not gangs of people. Guns. The headline stat mentioned above highlights the point. The “children” were “hospitalized by guns.” Not negligent discharges and criminal acts. Guns!

“1.7 million children live in a home with an unlocked and loaded firearm,” the report tells us (without attribution). Seems to me that would indicate just how safe firearms are, given that you can round down the number of children “injured or killed by these guns” to zero. Of course, stats are funny that way; they’re fairly easily debunked. But anecdotes? Anecdotes are convincing!

And so, once again, ABC devises an experiment carefully designed to piss on guns, gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA). Nick can tell you the experiment’s procedural defects. I’ll simply point out three facts: 1) the NRA’s Eddie the Eagle program has saved thousands of lives, 2) the teacher told the kids that the gun was in the classroom for a memory test, which implies that an authority figure considers it safe to handle, and 3) we didn’t see ANY of the children who DID NOT play with the gun hidden amongst candy and toys.

“We want to hear from everyone tonight, joining forces, on all sides of the issue,” Sawyer concludes. Yeah? How about those of us who want gun safety courses in public schools, from early Eddy the Eagle instruction to hands-on safety classes for pre-teens to rifle teams for high schools? And how about ABC teaming-up with American gun makers to air Public Service Announcements on gun safety (e.g., the four rules)?

Based on this taster, ABC’s “Young Guns” report on Friday will be another anti-gun extravaganza. Meanwhile, note that the “year in the making” ABC report is airing at the same time as Pediatrics published the gun control-masquerading-as-science study. What’s the bet ABC colluded with Dr. Sege to produce this anti-gun agitprop? If so, how great is that?

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  1. Haven’t we seen all of this before? Such as every time the bloody shirt is waved? I swear the networks have all of this on a pre-recorded sound bite to play for the weeping masses when the emotional blow is still fresh. As for Dianne Sawyer and this ‘new’ research, isn’t the seeding of fact part of the way modern journalism sells copy?

    • Well it’s on the news, it’s gotta be true, right?

      Freakin’ drives me nuts! I’ve come to despise those crapweasel anchors and their little minion reporters.

      • Swimming pools? You’re forgetting the bathtubs, and five gallon buckets. Those claim more toddlers every year (each) than firearms.

        So where’s ABC’s outrage about Home Depot and their Homer buckets? Oh wait…you can’t use a Homer bucket to resist dictatorship.

  2. We really, really need to deal with the Media Problem.

    And immediately.

    Politcians can be handled.It’s tough, but the separation of powers and the occasional recall gets the point across, for most of them.

    In coming to the media, we have a major problem.Since the only constitutional right the Judiciary has consistently respected is the 1st Amendment, the established press empires are free to lie on TV about firearms and their implied dangers until the cows come home.

    Which means for every person we reach and change ,the enemy gets ten.That’s like fighting a guerilla war where your side eats twice as many casualties AND the enemy’s bigger.

    So long as reporters are encouraged to be activists for social change in favor of leftist policy, we will always be retreating. The only way we are going to rout the opposition is if we shut down the anti gun culture.And we have to take back our media to do that.

    Forget the politcians for a moment.Fire the producers, directors , and studio heads pushing socialist agitprop as news, and make it clear to the likes of Beyonce, Harvey Weinstein, and Jeremy Renner that if they desire continued employment in tinseltown, they’d best be good standing NRA members who put the Constitution first.

    • They’re not going to change, you can’t make them, and nobody is going to get fired.

      The only thing that we can look forward to is the continued demise of the MSM in the dwindling demand for its product, as younger Americans are simply not tuning in to TV news, or buying newspapers.

      In a way, the only to truly beat the MSM may be to just wait for its audience to grow old and die, and that, unfortunately, will still take many years.

      In the meantime, all constitutionalists and freedom-minded Americans should continue to do their best to promote our ideals when possible on new media sources – ideally, places where we can actually comment on news stories and discuss issues with readers. Some people do listen, though unfortunately many don’t.

      I have noticed a steadily increasing sense of distrust of all authority growing on many new media, and even MSM commenting/discussion sections. That includes pro-2A arguments. I’m actually optimistic about that, and I believe that the last ten years have really woken a lot of people up – probably far more than the MSM has gained in audience, as their numbers for TV and print continue to plummet.

    • This is why I cant wait for Mr. Colion Noir’s show “Noir” to air. From what I understand so far, it’s a Pro-gun tv show hosted by Mr. CN himself. It is hard to counter the predominantly biased antigun media b/c we dont have much in the mainstream media (TV) to support us. Hopefully his show could help us educate people and expose the liars and hypocrites.

      • His show’s influence will be exactly zero. It will “air” on the NRA’s website, therefore I doubt the antis or any typical people will see it.

    • Give up your cable/satellite/whatever. Only way to make a difference is to hit their wallet. I miss cable, sometimes, but I don’t miss the payments to the cable company and I don’t miss knowing that part of my subscription fee was going to networks that are actively trying to disarm me politically and literally.

    • Yes, we do.

      And the way you do it is through ridicule, derision, humiliation and outright destruction of their personal credibility.

      Make it personal, make it pointed directly at them and at every turn, on every error, (not just their blatant lies about guns and gun rights), every time they make a factual error, make them feel worthless, stupid and irrelevant.

      • But they already know that they’re worthless, stupid and irrelevant. They don’t care as long as the check clears.

    • What’s important in addressing mainstream, network media is that you actually write letters. Simple tweets or even phone calls aren’t enough. There’s FCC regs that govern them require they keep them on file. Yes we have to put pressure, but we have to use pressure they cannot legally ignore. (not that they might not, anyway…)

    • We really have to deal with all the wacos who think more guns are the answer. You guys have it all wrong. And i would bet that if your kid was killed with a gun youd change your tune pretty quicklt. The Fact is asshole t h at the more guns there are the more killing there will be.

  3. “What’s the bet ABC colluded with Dr. Sege to produce this anti-gun agitprop? If so, how great is that?”

    That’s a good bet. I also won’t be surprised if HuffPo, thinkprogress, Bloomberg’s orgs, NYT, and some Democrat legislators coordinate their messages on this.

  4. Any that asks about firearms in my home are just going to get the blank stare and a shrug. Nobody’s business but my own.

  5. It’s not the news, it’s the Main Stream Media. Their motto “If we want to know your opinion we’ll tell you what it is.”

    • But the worst part is, at least 51% are too blind, too ignorant or too far gone to ever question what the talking heads tell them.

    • On uncontroversial reports that are fairly straightforward and accurate the networks trot out their in house retired “experts in the field” to demonstrate the legitimacy and their knowledge of what they are reporting. Then they (the anchor) will trot out a hot topic ‘report’ like this completely slanted, bogus, ‘children’ deaths by guns agitprop piece to ride unchallenged on the coattails of the preceding legitimate report. By doing this they try to leave the impression that since the accuracy/legitimacy of one report, supported by an expert in the field, is unquestioned, then they must be right on the hot topic story too.

      Makes me distrust EVERYTHING these media wonks say, as well we all should.

  6. I edc for the safety of the children. I have multiple hi capacity magazines for my black rifles, for the children. I wish my 18yo son could carry, for the safety of himself and his siblings.

  7. My daughter is one of the 1.7 million (without attribution) living in a home with an unlocked and loaded firearm.

    It lives on my hip. And it’s loaded, because “A gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for much.”

  8. Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels would admire our MSM today, tell the people a lie enough times, and especially our “low information voters” and it becomes a gospel narrative.

  9. Absolutely ridiculous. The AI needs to flood the net with the truth about this so called study and the real statistics. It’s one propaganda campaign after another from the disarmament coalition.

  10. Hah, I was just at lenox hill for an interview. Probably would’ve derailed my afternoon calling the doc out on his study.

  11. FYI, Lenox hill is located in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in NYC. So I’m at a loss how he’s able to see gangbangers or people legally owning guns at home.

    • You know this brings up a point, as hard as it is to get kids to focus and retain the lessons you’re trying to get them to remember, this ‘experiment’ strikes me as an effort to undo the Eddie Eagle training. This is very irresponsible, experimenting with the safety of children especially when it is not done for any scientific reason but for TV ratings. If they want to experiment, they should do it with their own kids.

    • Yeah, I was hoping someone would remember that. This story is recycled, can anybody find the original?

  12. We talk a lot about teen gun violence being largely gang related. Anecdotally, it seems to make sense, but I’ve not been able to find a study that truly quantifies this. Can anyone cite a report that documents this? I started looking for this information a while back for an article that I was going to write, but could not find any hard data that substantiates the percentage of teen gun violence that is gang related. I’d like to think the assertion that gang violence is the vast majority of teen violence but absent hard data, it’s hard to hang your hat on it.

    • It would be nice to have such information Jim but your logic can go both ways, the media has to prove that these “children” are not gang members or criminals, which they don’t. That’s the whole point of this post, that ABC is being disingenuous with its reporting by not providing the info to which you are referring. We can make assumptions just as easy as they can, that’s what casts this kind of reporting in the yellow journalism category for me. It’s not reporting, it’s propaganda.

      • Not arguing the point at all and ABC has a history of lying. I’m merely asking for information that I can point to when I get into a “discussion” with anti-gun people. The best way to destroy lies are with facts. If I’m going to dispute ABC’s findings by saying that they don’t separate out gang violence which is a large part of the equation, then I want to be able to prove that. Otherwise, it’s just my word against ABC’s and I have less of a chance of convincing the other side

      • Yep. That’s close to what I was looking for. We’re still missing the hard connection between teen deaths and gangs. Yes, gangs are responsible for a large percentage of violent crimes in the U.S. and yes, teens are members of gangs, but it would be nice if someone did a study of gang-related homicides by age – how many teen gang members are killed every year? If we had that piece, we could tie this all together in a neat bow and stuff it down ABC’s mouth.

        • I don’t know if any data that neat and tidy exists.

          Another point that you can keep in mind to strengthen your position with the somewhat limited data:
          We know that gangs are responsible for something like 80% of all violent crime. We also know that domestic violence between spouses is a significant component of violent crime. And yet there are effectively zero teens between the ages of 13 and 17 who could possibly be the criminals in a domestic violence event since effectively none of them are married.

          Therefore, since teens (children) who are perpetrators of violent crime do not contribute to the domestic violence component of violent crime, they must contribute an even larger part of non-domestic violence crimes.

          I hope you understand what I am trying to say. I am having trouble coming up with the words to explain it clearly. Suffice to say that violent teens direct more of their violence to strangers … versus violent adults who direct some of their violence to their spouses.

        • Here’s an odd bit from those references: The FBI report refers to a “white supremacist” gang setting booby traps for police. I remembered the incident, and looked up their reference (#49). The “white supremacist” group was the Vagos motorcycle club, a Hispanic club which operates mostly in California and Mexico.

          Only in Eric Holder’s DOJ could Hispanic gangs be morphed into “white supremacist” groups.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  13. Sorry Mr. Farago, I disagree with #2 in regards to an adult deeming it safe to handle. What we don’t see is how much practice they did with the kids beforehand. We don’t only do one fire drill with a child and think they remember and know everything for the future. We can’t expect one lesson/talking to about guns to get through to every single child.

  14. Another thing that will be interesting for me to see is the ages of the kids in the test sample ABC used. The two in the video above are very young and it seems that for kids of this age, it might be difficult to really get across the whole gun safety thing. Hell, kids this age still stick shit into electric outlets despite what you tell them. The question is that once they get a bit older – say first grade – I suspect that the outcome for properly educated kids would be better. These older kids have more cognitive ability and are better able to retain the information. The upshot may very well be that you can trust education with older kids, but for the very young ones, the only reliable means is to keep them out of their hands (either locked up or on your person).

  15. The purpose of this ‘report’ is to further frighten those who do not own firearms, and those who casually do, into believing that a firearm in the home is a ticking time bomb. The leftist media will continue to openly brainwash all listeners to believe that the firearm is an object to fear and loathe, for it will unexpectedly sting like a scorpion and wreak havoc upon your innocent offspring without warning.

    • It’s also intended to drive a wedge in our communities by encouraging people to interrogate their neighbors about gun habits before allowing their kids to come over and play with them. The problem is that even if you are responsible and keep guns away from your kids, if you admit to having them, your neighbors are going to assume that you are one of those people who stores loaded machine guns in your kid’s crib.

  16. Under 18 are legally sorta children so… it’s technically true if false in spirit. That makes it a lot more accurate than most reporting on guns.

    • TAG has showna few reports that have included up to age 20 as “children” if I recall correctly.

  17. It’s fine to pick apart this experiment and the study it refers to, but if that is all that is done we are missing the big picture.

    We need to be proactive, not reactive. People by and large aren’t reading the comments to see your clever exposition of a study’s flaws. They are reading the headline, skimming the article and leaving with bad info.

    The pro-gun side needs to start flooding the public discourse with studies that are the sort of in depth studies that go down to the level if the individual case to see what factors really are causing gun violence and what isn’t.

    We need to start putting the onus on the antis to debunk our research and scholarship.

    This will require vast amounts of money and time but it must be done and done now. Going to the court of public opinion and just pointing out the flaws in anti gun studies is not going to carry the day.

  18. I watched the teasers on the evening news a couple days ago. They are intentionally misleading. Here is why. The two children who picked up the handgun looked like they were three, maybe four years old. When someone tells a young child that something is dangerous, it is an abstract concept and their brains are simply not developed enough to understand. Compounding their failure to teach the preschool children is using a calm explanation or an animated video with singing and dancing such as Eddie Eagle.

    The most effective way to teach preschool children that something is dangerous is to demonstrate the danger. Calmly tell a three year old that a small object is dangerous and they will still grab it. Or, stand them 20 feet behind you in low light and shoot a milk jug with a high velocity hollow point bullet (do NOT use flash suppressed powder) and they will have absolutely no interest in ever touching that small object. The painfully loud blast, bright flash, and exploding milk jug conveys the danger in a way that preschoolers have no trouble grasping.

    The second most effective way to teach preschool children that something is dangerous is to deliver a highly emotional, distressed, angry/frightened, and LOUD directive as a child proceeds to try and grab a handgun, “Johnny don’t touch that … it is dangerous … do not ever grab a gun unless mom or dad hand it to you!!!!! Of course this requires staging the teaching moment … placing a handgun that you are absolutely certain is unloaded within reach and watching from around a corner. (In order to be absolutely certain that a firearm is unloaded, you must empty the magazine and cycle the action several times and inspect the chamber to be certain that a firearm is not loaded.)

    We should create our own experiment and do exactly what I outlined … and show how NONE of the children will pick up a handgun if they find it in a room.

    • I think your show and tell method is spot on, but mainly for older kids. I’m just not sure that the average 3-4 year old is going to retain the info down the road. Or, if they see the demonstration with your semi-automatic pistol, will they still associate the danger when they see a revolver or shotgun? I think that with the really young ones, keeping things out of their reach is the best approach. We put locks on the cabinets that store the cleaning products and keep medicines out of reach. We should do the same for the guns. Once the kids are old enough to figure out how to get the gun from its hiding place, they are old enough for the safety lecture and demonstration.

      • Jim,

        Oh, I fully expect that we would have to repeat the show-and-tell method every year or so until the children are 6 or 7 years old.

        And I also expect adults to keep firearms secured and inaccessible to children. Teaching children to leave firearms alone using my show-and-tell method is an added measure in case they ever happen upon a firearm in spite of our best efforts to secure them.

        Remember, children have literally found discarded or lost firearms in parks, not to mention irresponsible friends, neighbors, or family members who leave something out.

        As for whether preschool children need to see all kinds of firearms — semi-autos, revolvers, and long guns — I think you can demonstrate the capability with just one and then tell them that all types of firearms are off-limits. As long as they can recognize that something is a firearm, they will know to leave it alone. This is analogous to teaching a preschooler not to play at the stove. They only have to touch a single hot pan to understand anything coming from the stove can hurt them, regardless of its specific form factor. I believe preschoolers can associate the danger of a revolver with a semi-auto handgun and vice versa. (The same would apply to long guns.)

  19. Look what happened after Sandy Hook, massive demonization of guns. After some of the grief wore down it was reported that gun sales went though the roof there. They are losing the argument big time, so much so that grabber o has to go it alone. The calm educating of moms(that have brains) & fence sitters is working. & they suspend kids for pop tart guns…..Randy

  20. I think the info on this page sums it up quite nicely:

    1,337 — The number of American kids under age 18 who died from gunshot wounds in 2010. This is trending down from 1,490 in 2005 and 1,544 in 2000. (CDC)

    98 — The number of American kids under age 18 who died from accidental shootings in 2010. This is trending down from 150 deaths in 2000 and 417 deaths in 1990. (CDC)

    And they’re focusing on only the accidental shootings…? What about the other 1,239 shootings that were intentional (Gang-related or some sicko that shoots a kid for who-knows-what reason)?

    • Well I went to the link that James R posted to the additional stats that ABC News. I typed up a comment and when submitted it said it had to be moderated. Guess what, my comment not any others showed up. Why’s that? Any way, thankfully I save a copy so I’ll post it here. I’ll take a look on YouTube where I’m sure this video is also posted and submit it there as well.

      Hmmm, where to begin……..
      I wonder if the fine folks at Yale School of Medicine or ABC News will be forthcoming with a breakdown of the detailed ages of the 7,391 kids under 20 that were hospitalized from firearm injuries? I’m going to go out a limb and say a HUGE majority of the 7,391 are much, much, much older than the young kids shown in this 20/20 story. Everyone who goes to the hospital with a firearm injury has their age disclosed in the records so it’s out there, just waiting for the folks at Yale or any member of the media who may be interested in the true details to retrieve them.

      Also, if anyone shows up at a hospital (most certainly a child) with a firearm injury, there WILL be a police investigation. What can we learn from the results of those investigations that may be important to this story? How about was the gun in the home legally? How was it secured? Was the firearm injury an “accident” or perhaps something other? Gang related? (after all we’re talking about “kids” up to age 20) Result of a drive by shooting? Were any of the stats used the result of a BB gun, air gun, or paint ball gun? Maybe all were true firearms but I think we should know either way.

      Here’s the deal……the way this show was broadcast it almost makes one think that a child (up to the age of 20) is shot once an hour BY ACCIDENT. After all, they throw out that number while showing 3-4 year old kids in the experiment. Do any of us think a 20 year old who finds a gun will “play” with it and shoot themselves or another child “by accident”? Carelessness perhaps, accident no.

      Look, 98 kids died by accident (98 too many we all can agree) in the year of the study. The underlying theme of most of these “gun tragedy” stories is we need to get rid of all the guns. The latest CDC report shows that a child is several hundred percent more likely to die in a swimming pool than a firearm accident. So should we get rid of all backyard swimming pools?
      Lastly, I do give ABC News some credit for posting these more detailed figures. Not quite sure why most of them did not get into the TV spot or at the very least the fact that some of these number are trending DOWN. While these are trending down, we all know gun sales are skyrocketing . How can that be? Hmmmmm, wonder if Yale or ABC will do a study on that?

  21. The media’s business is the creation of fantasy and nothing else. News reporting is no longer the result of investigation, but the consolidation of rumors and legends supplied by others. And the material aired is not news, but entertainment inspired by incidents.

  22. The most recent statistics from 2009? What does the numbers from 2012 make their case look well fake?

  23. The kid finds a gun in his toys at school, surprise surprise …. what sort of joy do these tv producers get out if this?

  24. They are kids, they are curious,learning, observing just like I/we did
    Take the mystery out of any lesson, advice,request, have a reason, explanation
    I am stunned that the kids wanted to handle the pistols
    My son and the 2 grand kids, now 16 and 11 have handled my firearms along with the offer if you want to handle anything just ask me along with all the safety lessons
    My son while much younger would ask during dinner with my fork heading towards pie hole
    Ok, Which one?
    “Teach your children well”

  25. Hold the phone, WTF is up with the 2 second clip at 00:45 of someone revealing a pump shotgun under two pink pillows?! What is supposed to be the context there and who comes up this shit??

  26. While teaching a class of potential paramedics several years ago, I had a guest speaker come to lecture on “Pediatric” emergencies. The first point she made was guns were the number one cause of accidental deaths in children, supplanting poisoning. I found this surprising, that was until I questioned the age group of said children, she stated “anyone under the age of 18” Ah ha!

    After the said news report on ABC as it was as much a Promo for their upcoming Friday Program, I went to the web page for the New England Journal of Pediatric Medicine to read the report for myself. The parameters for said study listed anyone under the age of 21 as a :child”…. It is a classic example of making your data points fit your hypothesis. Or as the old adage goes, “There are lies, damned lies and then statistics”…

    I agree, a responsible parent does not leave any dangerous object where a naturally curious child can access them but that is why we put child resistant locks on cabinets and protective covers over electrical outlets.

    The simple truth is the major media “news” outlets have been taken over by the same folks who publish such rags as the “National Enquirer” and the “Star”. Sadly, the less alert will take away only the headline.

    It is tragic for any child to lose their life through the neglect of irresponsible adults no matter what the cause but using yellow journalism and a flawed report as a basis does a great disservice to the truth. How many children’s lives have been saved by guns? It is a subjective question for which it is impossible to answer but I dare say if you could take a WAG and say millions just because it could not be disproved….

    I am a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment but I also believe the 4th Estate has a responsibility to be honest in their reporting. There are already laws which are repeatedly ignored because a criminal does not care which laws he breaks, it does not matter to them, it is only a means to a better plea bargain.

  27. Diane Sawyer would NEVER let the truth get in her way to telling a story and then call it “news”

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