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No, children are not more likely to die by guns than motor vehicles

Monday, April 24, 2023

No, children are not more likely to die by guns than motor vehicles

Another year brings about another opportunity for gun control activists and their media lackeys to manipulate CDC fatal injury data to push a misleading factoid on children and firearms.

This is how it works: Step one, acquire statistics on firearm-related deaths among children ages 1-14. Step two, combine that relatively low number with the far greater number of firearm-related deaths involving juveniles and young adults ages 15-19, or even ages 15-24. Step three, present the resulting data as the shocking number of “children” (ages 1-19 or 1-24) who are subjected to “gun violence” each day/week/month/year. Step four, use the disingenuous statistic to advocate for pre-determined gun control policies.

Upon the release of the CDC’s 2021 fatal injury data, gun controllers dredged up this tactic once again. As with overall violent crime, firearm-related violence has been elevated in recent years, alongside the conscious implementation of soft-on-crime criminal justice policies. Sadly, younger people were no exception to this increase.

However, anti-gun researchers and the media abuse the CDC’s data to create misleading headlines, such as the one on this March 29, 2023 CNN article titled, “Children and teens are more likely to die by guns than anything else.”

As the CNN article discusses “children and teens,” consider the data on children - ages 0-12. For this cohort, firearm-related injuries are not the leading causes of death and are not higher than motor vehicle deaths. The number of motor vehicle deaths in this age group is more than double that of firearms-related deaths. The number of motor vehicle deaths in the 0-14 age group is 55-percent higher than firearm-related deaths. Moreover, when examining those ages 0-16, motor vehicle deaths are still higher than firearm-related deaths.

This does shift when examining those ages 15-19. Over 80-percent of the firearm-related deaths that occur in the 0-19 age group happen among the juveniles and young adults ages 15-19. This disparity shouldn’t be surprising. The 15-19 cohort is far more often engaged in the type of street crime that can give rise to firearm-related violence and that many jurisdictions have decided to address in a more lenient manner in recent years. The conflation of this age group with young children is even more absurd when one considers that in the vast majority of jurisdictions those 15 and older can be prosecuted as adults.

The next time you see a shocking headline about children and firearms, keep in mind how those pushing a political agenda have no interest in the truth.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.