University of Michigan Spins for Gun Control
University of Michigan Spins for Gun Control
University of Michigan researchers posted a disturbing study a few days ago in an obvious attempt to whip up emotions about children and firearm homicides. The team calculates that roughly 8 children per day die in firearms incidents.
This is indeed a disturbing statistic, and the researchers, of course, use it to call for more gun control.
U-M firearm injury prevention researcher and emergency physician Patrick Carter, M.D., assistant director of the Injury Prevention Center, co-authored the study.
“Firearm risk to children and adolescents, whether from unintentional or intentional use of a gun, is a serious medical issue that all of us in the profession can help address,” he says. “The results from this study certainly have inspired me as a physician to know that we need to be doing better. We hope that these findings will also encourage other physicians to know that this is indeed their ‘lane’ to be working in, to be preventing firearm related injury and death.”
Note the reference to “their lane” in Carter’s little diatribe, referencing the recent spat between doctors and the NRA in which medical professionals got so angry at the NRA’s reference to their lack of policy knowledge and the organization’s advice to “stay in their lane” that they started posting bloody photos on the Internet, literally bathing in the blood of their patients to push a political agenda!
This gives us an idea of where the good Dr. Carter stands on the issue of firearm violence.
I also note that the article in Medical Press that I cited above doesn’t delve into the actual numbers, but rather – when possible – refers to the victims aged 1-19 as “children.”
Meanwhile, firearms—the number two cause of death in youth—claimed the lives of more than 3,140 children and teens in 2016, according to the new findings from a University of Michigan team.
That’s about eight children a day, according to their special report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
First of all, people aged 18-19 are not “children.” They are legally adults who can serve in the military, purchase some weapons, live on their own, have jobs, etc. When these medical professionals classify them as “children” for the purpose of fomenting hysteria about “gun violence,” they’re being disingenuous and undermining their own credibility.
When adults ages 18-19 are taken out of the equation, the number of children who died in “gun violence,” according to the CDC, is 1,637. According to the CDC, 7 of those 1,637 were legal interventions, such as police actions or self defense, which brings the number to 1,630.
Tragically 633 – or 38.8 percent – were suicides. This is heartbreaking, but as we discussed previously, no law would fix this, and banning firearms outright would likely not alter this statistic, judging by the fact that Japan’s suicide rate is massively higher than ours, and gun ownership is all but banned there.
This leaves 997 children who died from homicides, accidents, and undetermined causes in 2016.
But let’s look a bit further.
Of those, 862 deaths were homicides. Breaking it down by age, 196 kids ages 0-13 – or 22.7 percent – were killed in 2016. The remainder were kids ages 14-17. Would you care to guess what the prime age for gang involvement is in the United States?
According to government statistics, 34 percent of youth gang members are between the ages of 15 and 17. The NIH in 2010 determined that ” The prevalence of youth gang membership was 2.0% (1.2%-2.8%), peaking at age 14 years at 5.0% (3.9%-6.0%).”
Youth gang members were disproportionately male, black, Hispanic, from single-parent households, and families living below the poverty level. We estimated that there were 1,059,000 youth gang members in the United States in 2010 (bounds ranging from 675,000 to 1,535,000).
Is it any wonder that homicides in this age group are so prevalent?
Look, we absolutely need to focus on reducing violence – whether by firearm or another method – and these deaths are especially tragic when there is a young person involved. But lying, or at the very least twisting facts, in order to achieve a desired political outcome is not helpful.
Earlier this year, CNN and gun control groups lied about the number of school shootings – lies so egregious and easily debunked, that even left-leaning PolitiFact had to call “foul.” One has to wonder what kind of drooling ignorami believe this reporting, because this “research” into gun violence against children is absurd and easily refuted by simply looking at the CDC statistics. The attempts to mislead are not just obvious – they’re hamhanded and indicative of a desperate attempt to push “gun violence” as a nationwide issue, when it has become quite obvious that this is not what Americans care about.
In the first survey after the midterm Congressional election, mentions of immigration and healthcare as the top problems facing the country are down. Sixteen percent of Americans cite immigration as the top problem, down from 21% last month, while those noting healthcare dropped to 5% from 11%. One in five Americans, 19%, now say some aspect of the federal government is the top problem facing the U.S., little changed from the 18% who said the same last month. Americans were more likely to cite the government as the most important problem facing the U.S. than any other issue.
The problem is not guns. It has never been guns. It’s lack of a cohesive family unit. It’s gang activity. It’s a sense of desperation. Doctors need to stop advocating for Band-Aid solutions and start working to find fixes for the underlying problems that are the root of violence, be it gun or otherwise.
Featured photo by Oleg Volk (cropped).