Pro-Gun Lie Number 129: Swimming Pools are More Dangerous for Kids than Guns
Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.1
In 2011, guns were used to murder 8,583 people living in the U.S., according to the most recent FBI data available. Among those murdered by guns, there were 565 young people under the age of 18, and 119 children ages 12 or younger -- the latter number nearly equivalent to six Newtown mass shootings. And these figures include only homicides.
Free Public (quoting CDC)
CDC data show number of accidental firearm deaths for children under age 15 has gone back up to 62, a number that it was at in 2008. The 48 accidental deaths in 2009 was unusually low. A similar pattern also held for total accidental gun deaths for all ages: 2008, 592; 2009, 554; and 2010, 606.
National Library of Medicine
An estimated 115,131 (95% confidence interval, 76,769-153,493) children and adolescents were treated for a nonfatal gunshot wound during the study period. The estimated annual rates of injury (per 100,000) were 2.0 (children 0-4 years old), 2.2 (children 5-9 years old), 15.4 (children 10-14 years old), and 106.5 (adolescents 15-19 years old). The ratios of nonfatal to fatal firearm-related injuries were 4.0 (children 0-4 years old), 4.4 (children 5-9 years old), 5.0 (children 10-14 years old), and 4.4 (adolescents 15-19 years old). An additional estimated 103,814 children (95% confidence interval, 69,223-138,405) were shot with a nonpowder firearm (BB or pellet gun). Boys 5 to 9 and 10 to 14 years old had the highest rates of injury related to nonpowder firearms, an estimated 36.2 and 99.8 per 100,000, respectively. Fifty-six percent of those 15 to 19 years old were assault victims. An estimated 48% of children and adolescents with powder firearm-related gunshot wounds and an estimated 4% with nonpowder firearm injuries were admitted to the hospital.
The lie is a tricky one because near-drowning injuries are rare and generally don't leave permanent damage. Non-fatal gun injuries do. So, when the gun-rights fanatic says swimming pools kill more kids than guns, it's a carefully worded trick and not a very fair comparison. Just ask that kid who's in a wheelchair for the rest of his life due to a spinal gun-shot injury.
Let's take the CDC number. They say for kids under 14, two drown every day. That's about 700.
The kids in approximately the same age bracket who die from murder (119 in 2011 for 12 and under, so let's say about 150) and so-called accidents (48 in 2009) are about 200. The National Library of Medicine, quoted above, says the ratio of fatal to non-fatal gun shot incidents is 1:4, which sounds about right.
That means dead kids (200) plus injured kids (200 * 4 = 800) total 1,000
That's swimming pools 700, guns 1,000.
So, the next time you hear one of the gun apologists claiming that swimming pools are more dangerous than guns, you can remind him that unless he's very careful how he words that ridiculous proposition, it's just not true.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.