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Reuters recently published the results of a study about children involving “weapons violence.” From “Millions of children are being exposed to violence involving weapons, and many of them are victimized by guns and knives, with an elevated risk of trauma and serious injury,” said lead study author Kimberly Mitchell, a scientist at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. The author is a highly educated woman . . .

It’s hard to believe that she deliberately made such an egregious error in English as to ascribe motivation and volition to guns and knives. Yet that is exactly what she did. People are not victimized by guns and knives. People are victimized with guns and knives. The difference is profound. By ascribing motivation and volition to inanimate objects, the author removes responsibility from the persons involved.

It’s clear that the author has an agenda. Exposure to weapons is not the same as violence. A pediatrician quoted in the article attempts to conflate the two different phenomena.

Children who are repeatedly exposed to weapons, whether it’s domestic violence or gangs or bullying or fighting at school, are at risk for particularly troubling outcomes, said Dowd, who wasn’t involved in the study.

The logical jump that we are supposed to swallow without critical thought: guns and knives = violence. That is a false assumption. Cultures in the U.S. that have the most guns often have the lowest levels of violence. You need only look at Vermont, Maine, and Utah to see that this is so.

The author has collected some mildly interesting data, though it does not seem particularly alarming or surprising. Children who live in violent cultures are exposed to violence. When you use the definition of weapons that includes all objects that can be used to inflict harm, such as sticks and bottle and rocks, I am surprised that the number of children so exposed does not approach 100 percent.

Why the study left out the personal weapons of hand and feet is not obvious. They seem to be trying to claim that a person who is shown a knife or a gun is more traumatized than someone who is choked, hit, or kicked.

From the actual paper (pdf), in a side note, we find this gem.

 WHAT’S KNOWN ON THIS SUBJECT: Firearms are among the 10 leading causes of injury-related
death for youth and continues throughout the life span. Annually youth homicides and assault-related injuries result in an estimated $16 million in combined medical and work loss costs.

This is not a result from the study. It is a false assumption before the study even started. “Firearms are among the 10 leading causes of injury-related death for youth…”  You could as easily and truthfully state “Hospitals are among the 10 leading causes of death for youth”, with as simplistic a solution. Get rid of hospitals, and you end all hospital deaths. It should be noted that the vast majority of those firearm “injury-related deaths” are intentional homicides.

An instrument is not a cause. I do not see people saying “Automobiles are among the 10 leading causes of injury-related death” or “Swimming pools are among the 10 leading causes of injury-related death”.  The reason is simple: there is a difference between a cause and an instrument, especially in a study such as this, where the instrument is being purposefully used by another person.

For a study that claims to have policy considerations for firearms, I could not find any table that broke down the category of “high lethality weapon” which included guns and knives, to find the percentage with guns and the percentage with knives. Nor did I find any break down between long guns and handguns. Perhaps those numbers are available somewhere. It seems a strange way to separate out weapons.

Here is the last sentence in the conclusions:

Further work on improving gun safety practices and taking steps to reduce children’s exposure to weapon-involved violence is warranted to reduce this prevalent problem.

When you start with false assumptions, it is hard to reach correct policy decisions. One wonders what the $60m Congressional Democrats want to throw at the Centers of Disease control for “gun violence” research will yield. Or not.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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    • Yes, well that’s how they came up with the number ‘millions’. Millions of children play violent video games, therefore ‘millions’ of children are exposed to violence involving weapons.

  1. ‘People are not victimized by guns and knives.’

    Unless they’re hoplophobes. Then the mere sight of a firearm sends them into apoplectic shock.

    • No, those folks were victimized by their college professors, pundits, reporters, and various assorted influential ideologues.

  2. I wonder exactly what kind of “scientist” Ms. Mitchell is. A physicist? Geologist? Biologist? If her degree is in some kind of “social science”, she is not a scientist. And it looks like from the paper that she is part of the Dept. of Sociology at UNH.

    • Yeah it’s pretty typical BS. This is just another tripe epidemiological study trying to make itself look like a legit. Just page after page of completely unprovable bullsh*t.

    • I wonder exactly what kind of “scientist” Ms. Mitchell is.

      I’m guessing that she’s a Proctologist.

      • Ralph you give proctologists a bad rap. The author is what proctologists find when they take a peek.

    • This is a common misconception. One can do hard science, soft science, or pseudoscience in any field, from physics to sociology. It’s about how strictly you apply the scientific method and how careful you are not to over-interpret the results. The problem here is that the authors have begun with a conclusion and tailored their conceptual framework, study, and interpretation to fit that conclusion. Politically motivated pseudoscience isn’t limited to sociology, by any means [cough Mike Mann cough].

      • Edit didn’t seem to take, so, to continue:

        Most non-scientists don’t fully understand how political most basic research has become. You want some money to study the feeding behavior of some interesting species? Fat chance. You want some money to study the effects of “climate change” on the feeding habits of some interesting species? Fat grant. And, if you want to publish your results in a peer-reviewed journal and keep the grant money rolling in, you damn well better find that climate change is absolutely devastating to the species in question.

        And, of course, it doesn’t help that it is almost impossible to get and keep a university position these days if you are not a barking moonbat (or at least very good at hiding the fact that you are not a barking moonbat).

        • This is how we got the lipid hypothesis. A study that rejects the hypothesis is not sexy, but demonizing dietary fat and getting your face on the cover of time is!

    • She is NOT a scientist.
      Rhode Island College, 1996 M.A. (Psychology)
      Rhode Island College, 1994 B.A. (Psychology)
      Specialty areas: Child maltreatment, Internet victimization, exposure to violence, juvenile prostitution

      Undergrade and advanced degree in BS shrinkology with a BS area if interest. And none of those BS are as in SCIENCE. A leftist nutter progtard.

      • Shrikology is clinical psychology, which is a very different animal from experimental psychology. Which is not to say that experimental psychologists don’t so some BS work, or that there are not solid empiricists with degrees in clinical psych.

        That said, psych can be a very easy undergrad degree, depending on the focus area.

        • I have a BS in psychology, I had no clue when I started how nutty the professors in psych were. I hated my last two years as most of my teachers were leftists pushing ideology over scientific fact.

      • How interesting that her conclusions happen to match her specialties. Good thing she’s not a proctologist as someone joked above or she’d say the answer to these issues is a bunch of assholes. Hmm… actually, that might be closer to the truth now that I think of it.

  3. I call BS on this one just because they’re claiming that 1 in 4 will be exposed. Where are these mythical 3 children that never get exposed to violence? Jesus the 24/7 news cycle alone insurances that there’s a constant stream of violence playing in most American households every day. I gives me visions of children locked up inside hermetical sealed boxes that play constant streams of Sesame Street until they turn 18.

  4. From that article, 1 in 4 children will be affected by some form of violence by the time they become adults.

    Of that 25% group-of-children, 3% are exposed to guns or knives (not injured/assaulted with or witnessing injury/assault with said items. “Exposed to.”)

    “Much of the violence involved objects such as sticks, rocks, bottles, but about 3 percent of children reported exposure to guns and knives.”

    So, if my 3 year old throws a rock/stick at my 6 year old, she’s been a victim of violence with a weapon. And since I carry a pocket knife and own firearms (which they have been “exposed to”) I suppose I’m probably the worst parent ever and my house is just a violent hellhole and probably shouldn’t have kids. Except when my kids find my pocket knife, they bring it to me unopened and say “Dad this fell in the crack of the sofa” (6 year old), or “Here you go, Dah” (3 year old) and neither have been victims of any *actual* violence. I hope to keep it that way.

  5. Death by pool, automobile, hospital, gun, fist, knife, foot, unhealthy cafeteria food, its all collateral damage and I’m A-ok with it. The reward far outweighs the risk.

    • You left out neglect with 1200 cases a year (for children 14 and younger), as compared to firearms with 400 cases a year (for children 14 and younger)

      • And there has to be at least a dozen by “rolled up car window”

        I’m trying very hard not to wake up the knife in my pocket when I go to the restroom, it may victimize me!

        • Interesting that you mention that. A man was killed a few days ago when his 2007 Corvette locked him in. Employees at the restaurant he was at tried to get him (and his dog) out to no avail. He’d gone to the car to get something, and by the time the police arrived and busted a window on the ‘Vette, he and the dog were both dead.

          A year ago, my wife was killed by a bad meal at a restaurant; the same meal made me a paraplegic as well as a widower. No “violence” was involved other than violent gastric distress.

          Studies such as these tend to blend in the high crime rates of thug youth with the relatively low accident rates of guns and children.

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

  6. “Crimes Against Children Research Center” ….I never trust research from institutions who findings are built into their name. Its always textbook confirmation bias at best, and sometimes fiction at worst. If you want to study a subject, commission an independent research firm… or two.

  7. Funny that the article does not mention the other 9 leading causes of injury-related deaths. Like poisons, automobile crashes, and so on. Guess they want to keep the focus on guns for some strange reason. Is this really a study or propaganda ? I suspect these folks are paid WAY to much to publish nonsense like this.

  8. Nine billion children in the US will be victims of gunmurder! It’s a scientific fact! But in countries with complete gunsafety control, every child will grow up to cure cancer and end global climate warming change or something!

  9. Well if she is permitted to ‘swerve the train’ into an argument against “exposure” (visibly or in the presence) of the children then. . .

    She’d still be broken and wrong, sadly abused as a child, and perhaps an alien abduction.

    Why is it only the good ones are abducted by a-holes

    + Weapons Violence strikes 1 out of every 7 weapons. Can’t we stop the gun-grabbers? Do it for the children.

  10. “…Children who are repeatedly exposed to weapons, whether it’s domestic violence or gangs or bullying or fighting at school, are at risk for particularly troubling outcomes, said Dowd, who wasn’t involved in the study.”

    So if we repeatedly expose children to farm equipment, say riding lawn mowers for example, are we going to see at-risk youths across the nation starting up lawn care business?

    • It bothers me to no end that they equate “exposed to weapons” with being “victims of violence”.

    • are we going to see at-risk youths across the nation starting up lawn care business?

      Sorry, but recent arrivals in the US seem to have a corner on that market.

      I sure hope the country doesn’t run out of lawns.

  11. This is part and parcel of widespread academic intent to identify the existence of guns as a societal evil to be controlled or even purged as far as possible.

    Expect more of this to come, as an effort to push the CDCP back into an overtly anti-gun promotion stance and activism.

  12. Another bias/slanted/propaganda inspired study, which of course amounts to zero credibility. Evil people with evil intent or in rarer circumstances mentally impaired individuals are to blame for violent tragedies…not inanimate objects which left to themselves are not able to do harm. I am disgusted with the supposed experts the left scrounge up to help justify their agenda. Their arguments are generally easily destroyed as they are not well thought out or rationale, solely emotionally driven. That is not what an intelligent study is suppose to be based on.

  13. Further work on improving car safety practices and taking steps to reduce children’s exposure to automobile-involved violence is warranted to reduce this prevalent problem. The leading cause of death amongst kids is unintentional injury, and it appears that most of those are car accidents.

  14. “You need only look at Vermont, Maine, and Utah to see that this is so.”

    This Utahn agrees.

  15. I am not of the character to speak, write lies and or print them and I have a hard time understanding people who do. She is not very well educated and I’d question the authenticity of he supposed degree. The rags who print such trash would do everyone a favor by closing their doors. Their irresponsibility of misinformation undermines society, creates hysteria, and fabricates the fear from which violence is often born. These are the people who endanger us all, weaken the fabric of American society and therein have a negative effect on the world.

    Violence almost always boils down to social and or medical cause/anomalies. Society would do best to focus on drownings and auto death, both of which are matters of rules and responsibility. The one thing which could benefit all humans would be conflict resolution methods.

  16. “Children who are repeatedly exposed to weapons, whether it’s domestic violence or gangs or bullying or fighting at school, are at risk for particularly troubling outcomes, said Dowd, who wasn’t involved in the study.”

    Hold on here. Maybe I’m crazy, but hear me out. Is it possible that exposure to domestic violence, gangs, bullying, or fighting at school are the things that put children at risk for “particularly troubling outcomes”? Nah, couldn’t be. If we didn’t have weapons, then domestic violence, gangs, bullying, and schoolyard fights would all be one big fluffy rainbow of love that would lead to positive outcomes for our children.


  17. I love it when “studies” come out of universities and yet they look like they’ve been written by a first year student at a community college who is only taking their first statistics/quantitative methods/whatever-you-want-to-call-it course.

    So many elementary errors and a complete lack of understanding about what statistics mean and what you can infer from them. Professors should be fired for churning out this kind of garbage. I’ve read stuff out of Harvard graduate programs that was just as bad.

    Maybe they should spend less time polishing their ivory tower and more time learning about research and statistics.

  18. A doctorate in philosopy may allow someone to be tagged as well educated. However, it has no bearing on intellegence. Monkeys can be trained. They are then well educatied. Some monkeys have more common sense than those that tout knowledge of guns and the rights of Americans, or the constitutuion of the United Sttes.
    ANyone with intellegence will look to history avout the banning of guns for its citizens. Look at the Jews in Europe during the war. Look at Iseral now. Their citizens are armed, and the atrocities by governments or any other entity will never happen to them again.
    Look at the United States. Obama, Hillary and KImberely Mitchell are hell-bound to disarm Amricans.

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