"Add in a media frenzy over a VERY rare and unique story (That right there is the exception that proves Mike is barking up the wrong tree. How many children live in houses with guns? How many crimes of this sort do we see? Did THIS crime even occor??)"
Here's what the University of Michigan posted, attributing the stats to the National Safety Council.
- In 1999, 3,385 kids ages 0-19 years were killed with a gun. This includes homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries.
- This is equivalent to about 9 deaths per day, a figure commonly used by journalists.
- The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaks down to:
- 214 unintentional
- 1,078 suicides
- 1,990 homicides
- 83 for which the intent could not be determined
- 20 due to legal intervention
- Of the total firearms-related deaths:
- 73 were of children under five years old
- 416 were children 5-14 years old
- 2,896 were 15-19 years old
The questions arise, in Weer'd's words, "How many children live in houses with guns? How many crimes of this sort do we see?" I suppose his point is there are millions of households with kids and guns and only about 500 deaths a year. Did I hear that right: "ONLY about 500 deaths a year?" That's not counting the 15 to 19 year-olds because they're presumed to be gang members and druggies. But the truth is at least some of them should be counted with the "children."
My opinion is, I don't care how many households there are with guns and kids, for me that 500 is way too many. How about you?
The next question to arise is, obviously, what can be done about this. I've heard the incredible advice that one should teach the kids to be gun-proof and then one wouldn't have to worry. Here's what the article says about that.
What if I've taught my kids not to touch a gun if they find one?
A number of studies , , , , suggest that even kids who are trained not to touch guns can't resist, and that parents have unrealistic expectations about their kids' behavior around guns.
Where does that leave us? We could follow the oft-proffered advice to gun owners, repeated several times in this article. Guns should be kept locked and stored separately from the ammunition. Now, even I can see that's not going to work. There's no point in having the damn gun in the first place if you do that.
I'm sorry to report that we're left with only one solution:
How can I keep my child safe from gun injury?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best way to keep your child or teen safe from gun injury or death, is to never have a gun in your home, especially not a handgun.
What's your opinion? Do you think the University of Michigan has an agenda other than children's safety in preparing an article like this? What about the National Safety Council, are they biased against guns and therefore "cooking" the numbers? Do you think the American Academy of Pediartics is up to no good here?
Please leave a comment.