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[T]otal gun deaths for the 0-19 cohort were, indeed, the greater of the two (guns and vehicles). That’s the finding the N.I.H. reported this summer, yet mistakenly labeled as “childhood deaths,” a framing that Northwell, the Times and the New Yorker amplified this month.

As it happens, the age 12-13 break point between the primacy of traffic deaths and the primacy of gun deaths coincides with customary notions of childhood and adolescence. That custom resides in both language (“13” being the first “teenage” year) and biology, and is rooted in scientific discourse.

The U of M letter cited earlier, for example, is structured around that very distinction, as can be seen in its title, “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States.” The American Psychological Association’s dictionary similarly defines childhood as “the period between the end of infancy (about 2 years of age) and the onset of puberty, marking the beginning of adolescence (10–12 years of age).” 

A subsidiary APA definition even cuts off childhood much earlier, after age 7. And just last week, a New York Times story on the sharp rise in homicides of young people in 2020, did get it right, with the headline, “Homicides of Children Soared in the Pandemic’s First Year” and the subhead, “Killings of children and teenagers under 18 increased sharply.” It affirmed the conception of children and teenagers as separate categories.

Is it “just semantics” to insist that in 2020 cars killed more kids in the U.S. even though guns killed more of our young people overall? No. Constructs shape perception, and perceptions influence policy responses and, through them, the world we inhabit.

Any young person’s death is an immense tragedy, reverberating through communities and afflicting generations. Joy and wonderment gone in a moment, promise glimpsed but forever unfulfilled. The devastation is compounded when the deaths are ostensibly accidental, but actually preventable, as we know from the order-of-magnitude excess of the U.S. firearm death rate of young people vs. other high-income countries and our two-fold or greater excess for traffic death rates.

Yes, children are uniquely vulnerable, but they are also talismanic in shaping public priorities. The current framing threatens to subordinate vehicle dangers to firearm dangers when in fact both dangers are out of control. A U.S. safety establishment that has almost never meaningfully addressed vehicle dangers for any segment of the population has no business marginalizing motor traffic’s menace to children or anyone else.

—  Charles Komanoff in Fact Check: Many More Children Die from Road Violence than Gun Violence

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60 COMMENTS

        • It is, unfortunately, all too familiar today. Cancel campaigns have become a type of academic credential. It is not enough to disagree with a fellow academic. You must now seek to silence him or fire him. If you believe in a cause, anyone voicing an opposing position is now viewed as intolerable.

    • The criminal misuse of firearms and the incompetent misuse of firearms belongs on the doorsteps of the democRat Party…the primary supplier for stupid people in America.

      On the other hand…Such Gun Grabbing articles as this exist because Gun Owners are doing a pisspoor job keeping the criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, vehicles, feet, fists, etc. separated and far away from The Second Amendment…yes I said pisspoor, shoe fits wear it.

    • Data IS misinformation. Take for example the fact that we had an ice age, caused by…. And the earth warmed and melted the ice prior to any idea of fossil fuels, because…. Trust their thinking not yours or anybody else’s and shut up.

  1. They are not getting up and killing by themselves.Never have and never will.
    They are being used by criminals…gang members mostly…but nobody wants to point this out because they are then labeled racists.
    Many times they are including up to age 21.
    Gangs are “recruiting” at 12 and even younger sometimes. Sad but true.
    They’ll use whatever then can to limit and ban firearms.

  2. The largest killer of young people (BTW, 19 year olds are NOT children ) is DRUGS not guns. The 19 year olds were dishonestly included in that was to ” bump up the numbers”….

      • Potheads are NOT the ones dying of illegal drug overdoses. Nor are they the ones heavily using firearms to “protect their turf” as they deal their poison. T

    • IIRC, the leading cause of accidental death in actual children is from drowning, usually in swimming pools. No one needs that much water.

  3. If their answer to gun deaths is to limit the number of guns, then why haven’t they been saying they need to limit the number of vehicles on the road? Their number one priority is importing millions of young illegal immigrants every year. Those millions are at or near the prime age to make babies. Those tens of millions of babies will be LEGAL US citizens. See how this works? Do the math. Each of those tens of millions of new citizens will eventually need vehicles. The goal is never to make things better for the citizens. The goal is always more power.

    ICE Set to Release Illegal Immigrants into Tennessee
    https://www.breitbart.com/immigration/2022/12/21/ice-set-release-illegal-immigrants-tennessee/

    “That’s a nice red state you have there. It’d be a shame for something to happen to it.”

    • Funny how they never reported on what happened to the half dozen busloads of illegals that got dropped off in front of Harris the Cackler’s residence… ” oh look, this rug is a convenient place to sweep shit under “

    • Those tens of millions of babies will be LEGAL US citizens.
      NOPE this is NOT true, though many promoting forced demographic change would want you to think so.
      READ that Furteenth Article if Ammdnemnt. It ONLY defines oeople born here to be “citizens” t when they are born here of parents who are “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Illegally present people who happen to be within our borders are NOT in that category.
      I keep wondering how much longer it will be before WE rise up and say ENOUGH and end this insanity. EVERY individal who has entered this country and has NOT complied with all the laws and estalbsihed procedures to do so in full compliance with the laws in place at the time of their entry MUST be returned to their country of origin. No exceptions. along with any offpsring they may have released into the world during their stay here.
      The issue is not where your Mother happened to be when you drew your first breath. It is WHO your Mother and Father are.

      • YES, what I stated IS true. While I couldn’t locate the furteenth ammdnemnt, I did manage to locate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which states:

        All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.

        That means those millions coming here every year will have tens of millions of baby US citizens who will cancel your vote. Of course it’s replacement. The dems are even brazen enough to admit it from time to time. They shout racist and conspiracy theorist to shut you up, just like they do on every other topic they don’t want to honestly discuss.

      • The easy counter is:
        My body my choice!!! …unless we’re talking about government-mandated experimental injections. You don’t want to kill grandma, do you??

        Sure it sounds ridiculous, but that’s what they actually say and believe. Those people vote.

        • as long as you ALSO declare “my child’s body HIS choice” Because that child’s body is NOT its mother’s body despite it being inside of her body at the time she makes her plea to kill her child.

        • They intentionally obscure the fact that the baby is an individual life. It’s been easy to do that since Roe was the law of the land. People will often conflate legality with morality. Overturning Roe should help change the culture and make people think about it more.

  4. While the article highlights a common piece of dishonest propaganda from the anti human rights establishment, I take issue with this statement:

    “A U.S. safety establishment that has almost never meaningfully addressed vehicle dangers for any segment of the population ”

    In the course of my lifetime “safety laws” have expanded from “merely” mandating seatbelts in cars and helmets on motorcycles to inflicting all manor of requirements on manufacturers, the cost of which are passed on to consumers.

    The debate on their effectiveness is as broad and contentious as the debates on guns, or MRNA gene therapies, or lab created diseases. Seatbelts seem to be pretty good, although my assessment is biased by multiple personal experiences. Airbags seem to generate mixed results between lives saved, injuries and deaths, and that is only considering the times they work as intended, and don’t malfunction.

    The bottom line is that automobile safety has been widely addressed for many decades with lackluster results, much like government drug policy, and just about every other government interference in our lives. Suggesting that government should more heavily regulate cars before guns only attempts to delay them banning guns and gives legitimacy to the regulatory state. Government regulations always makes problems worse.

    We each are and should be responsible for our own safety, and for finding our own balance of cost and safety. We should not be compelled under force of law to buy items or services of any kind for any reason. We should not be forced to wear seatbelts or buy airbags if we do not want them. If we wish to assume the risk that is our business. If we die that is on us. If our own children die that is on us.

    How many millions of children died in the last century and a half at the hands of their own governments because their parents did not own guns and also did not possess the will to protect them?

    • “We should not be compelled…We should not be forced…”

      Okay, but what are we going to do about it? The authoritarian Left is busy locking down control over the future while we’re talking about traffic deaths. Our opinion barely matters now. It won’t matter at all in the very near future. You’ll be compelled and forced to own nothing and be happy. You will only use the highway with an approved EV and a medical passport showing that you’re fully up to date with your government mandated vax.

    • The Dimscum© want to regulate the he!! out of us! Nothing to do with teenage gang member’s killing each other(& collateral damage). And BREAKING: The dumb dims are floating ammo control. I guess I know what I’m getting with my Gunshop gift cards🙁

      • It was a majority of Republicunts who passed anti 2A regulations in Florida a few years ago, following the school shooting in Broward County. Keep whining about the dumb dims while both parties are ruining this nation.

      • It was a majority of Republiskunks who passed anti 2A regulations in Florida a few years ago, following the school shooting in Broward County. Keep whining about the dumb dims while both parties are ruining this nation

        • Stop,
          As bad as that was in Florida, those laws aren’t having a negative impact on the country unlike what the dems and dem lights have done to the country in the past two years. Kindly remove your head from your behind and take a look around.

          “while both parties are ruining this nation”

          True, but it’s 98% of one party and 25% of the other. Let’s be honest here.

    • Never quite understood the law here in Illannoy where seatbelts have to be worn in cars, but motorcyclists do not have to wear a helmet. Are they figuring if you’re in a wreck on a murdercycle you’re essentially dead anyway, so what’s the point?

      • it’s a combination of strong lobbying groups [abate, ama (m is for bikey)] and and fed hgwy funds that the state doesn’t receive without the legislation.
        we’ve got a bikey cop who does naught but hide b’twixt parked cars and write $35 parking ticket level citations for non- compliance. i’ve been presented two in the last five years, i tell them i consider it my freedom tax. i swear his head tilted downward as he muttered, “this is what they want us to do.” he just ignores me now.

      • because most fatal motorcycle accidents are from internal injuries, not head injuries.
        all a brain bucket might do is give you a open casket if one is using a full face helmet.

    • True enough. When I was a kid seatbelts had not yet been invented. At least not for cars being driven on the highways. Racing cars on the track, yes. But even those sometimes caused rather than prevented death (fires……) Same with bicycle helmets. Racers wore them but they were near worthless. I never wore one until into the late 1980’s Never needed one either.
      Now cars have so much safety garbage that cost approaches a third of the total cost of the car, and the emissions mandates probably half the cost of the car. Mercedes, Volvo, BMW were the safety pioneers, first to develop body shaping that tended to bounce other cars off rather than trap them into solid collisions. Safety belts were standard, never mandated until Uncle Stopud came on the scene.Usage was always optional, but they were there. Now we have all manner of devices to “keep us safe”, all mandated and very dear.
      Nowadays with up to fourteen aribags per car at a replacement cost of above a tho
      usand dollars each not counting installaton labour, a small bump totals the car. They even have laws now such that when a car is :totalled” by insurance payout the car cannot be placed back on the road unless all the airbags have been replaced and certified.
      And yet our per passneger mile driven our death tolls have not signficantly changed despite spending half our car budget money in “safety”.
      How often do cars crash directly because of a mechanical failure whilst on the road? Almost never. Which means the real cause of the vast majority of crashes is “operator error”. Yet take a hard look at how new drivers are licensed these days. Most states mandate some state certified (but next to worthess) “driver training” course at high cost to the new driver. My Dad taught all of us. He drove probably two to three million miles, starting with driving the schoolbus when he was fourteen. In his eighties he had one minor fender scrape which he paid for out of his own pocket, then turned in his driving license. He realised he was too slow in his responses to keep driving and took himself off the road. He mosty drove old beaters he bought for a hundred bucks or so, kept them running then traded each one in for another.
      Since driver error is the root of the vast majority of crashes/deths, WHY is nothing being dine about that? Along with the FACT that most newer cars are nearly impossible to see well out of. Cameras and woinky curved mirrors with mre blind spots than clear viewing angles mean it is a real challenge to remain aware of one’s surroundings.
      The “training” many states are now trying to mandate for firearms ownership will most certainly be of similar “quality” and at equal or greater cost to the owner. No option to self-train or seek wisdom from seasoned gun owners (relatives, friends, gun clubs, ranges, etc)

  5. Funny how kids keep getting older, adults keep getting infantalized by their government and life expectancies keep shortening.

    We’ll all be ageless, nameless, sexless, faceless drones soon enough.

  6. Also noteworthy that the data are from 2020, when schools were closed and much of the country was in pandemic lockdown, so traffic deaths were significantly reduced. Anyone claiming that guns are NOW the largest killer of young people is extrapolating from that one anomalous year.

    • And some, such as yourself, have no hope of EVER reaching maturity – as in the ability to think beyond a third grade level.

      • dacian has been a blessing to our side. I show his comments about ‘naked apes’ and males that aren’t mature until 25 to young people. Pisses them off.

        The natural progression to his comments is keeping young adults children until they’re 25. They do not like this idea, at all.

        dacian, regardless of what we think of him, is a great asset to our side. The fact that he’s just too damn stupid to realize how much he’s helping us is priceless.

        • A consensus of neuroscientists agree that brain development continues until at least the mid 20s. You can reach your own conclusions, as stupid and useless as they are, but I’m pretty sure neuroscientists are more competent on this topic than “jethro the janitor” from TTAG 🤡

        • tlag. What does any of that have to do with young people seeing statements like that and digging in their heals against raising the age of adulthood?

        • So, TLAG, where did you get your degree in Neuroscience? What? You don’t have one??

          Have a nice big glass of ess tee eff you juice, @$$clown.

    • dacian, the DUNDERHEAD, Again, you can do most whatever you want if you prune your statistics the right way. You Leftists anti-gun grabbers are famous for it. The truth of the matter is that car accidents kill far more children than guns. The trust of the matter is that accidents NOT involving guns, kill more children than guns. The CDC has become a propaganda tool of you gun grabbers. Tell the truth, DUNDERHEAD, it’s really all about control, isn’t it?

  7. Are there other developed nations in the world where dozens of kids get mopped every year by nutjobs with guns? So do we pretend it’s just “not that bad” because we lose more in traffic crashes? Do we push for more useless “gun control?” Do we address substance abuse and mental illness? Not doing anything, because “the Founding Fathers….the Second Amendment….” is also not reasonable; it sounds great, full of patriotism, until it’s your kid’s turn or another relative I guess. Nobody is proposing anything that makes sense. This nation is going downhill, and it will get worse; maybe the solution is getting out of here.

  8. Kids die in swimming pool accidents every year. But no call to ban pools. 14 to 21 year old’s die from drug overdoses but no call to shut down the flow across the border. Just as preventable as deaths from firearms.
    The problem being neither dope nor pools can also be used to fight of an authoritarian or totalitarian government or defend your home or self from criminal attack.

  9. Any statement by the CDC, and most of the Government agencies, is highly suspect of Data Manipulation to fit an agenda at this point in time. They shot themselves in the foot, egregiously lying about the Virus, the “Vaxxines,” and the Death Toll, to the point one should question the veracity of any and all information coming from the CDC and others. They’ve lost the public’s trust.

    Since they started keeping records, Motor Vehicle Deaths have always held the number one spot for Under 18 Mortality. The percentages vary only a little up or down year to year. Legislation to address the High Mortality, never is as successful as they claim it will be when they push it through. One of the reasons the 55 MPH Interstate Speed Limit was instituted, was to address MV Fatalities. Multiple studies, over many years, proved it had very little if any impact. Using 2020 numbers, without taking into account the shutdown, only shows the data point as an Outlier. Without multiple points over several years, there’s no proof there’s a trend under way, or that causality has changed. Quoting their “study” at this point is premature at best, and outright obfuscation at worst.

    My Grandfather always said “Figures Don’t Lie, But Liars Figure.” In my 63 years on this planet, that’s one of the truest statements I ever heard growing up.

  10. Bet more children were saved by the use of guns than hurt. Publish those numbers!!!

  11. The truth needs to be actually spoken for a change, the leading cause of children’s death is not cars or guns but abortions, it is sad no one actually reflects that “nearly 1,000,000 abortions per year on average and that’s just ones reported” reflects how much these keepers of statistics care about a child’s life.

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