Editor’s Note: Fanatical gun controllers like Everytown and its supporters will go to any lengths to scare and trick people into going along with their message. It’s no surprise that they have been misrepresenting the statistical data.
A free press is a good thing for America to have. A free press that doesn’t parrot and exaggerate anti-gun propaganda would be even better.
For example, take Natalie DiBlasio’s article for USA Today on Wednesday, titled More kids die in shootings than statistics show. For starters, the title doesn’t even accurately reflect the article’s content. The article concerns the claim by Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control group “Everytown” that some firearm accident deaths among children are mistakenly classified as homicides by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contrary to the article’s title, Everytown doesn’t claim that the CDC undercounts firearm-related deaths among children in general.
The article’s title is wrong for another reason. As the tables below show, firearm-related deaths among children, which include ages 0-14, decreased dramatically between 1981 and 2011, the earliest and most recent years of data reported by the CDC.
The corollary to Everytown’s accusation that the CDC misclassifies some firearm accident deaths as homicides and thus undercounts accidents, is that CDC over-counts homicides. Setting aside Everytown’s accusations, the table above shows that when homicides and fatal accidents among children are combined, the per capita rate decreased 57 percent between 1981 and 2011. Clearly, both homicides and fatal accidents have decreased, the question remaining being “by how much, exactly?”
Statistical accuracy is not Everytown’s motivation, however. The reason that Everytown claims that accidents are more common than previously thought is to promote several initiatives that it claims would reduce firearm accidents. The real goal of these measures, however, is to reduce firearm ownership by restricting the manufacture of firearms and by frightening people into not wanting to have guns within their homes in the first place. In Everytown’s vision, the latter goal would be achieved largely by congressional funding of “research” purporting to validate by scientific methods, the benefits of gun control and the dangers of gun ownership. This would be accompanied by a public relations campaign designed to convince people that, all things considered, guns cause more problems than they could ever possibly prevent.
Restricting firearms manufacture: Everytown’s report recommends, “Congress should earmark funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to evaluate and set standards for emerging technologies that promote gun safety. . . .” Whatever may be said for technology, however, there’s nothing “emerging” about what Everytown has in mind with this recommendation. Gun control supporters have long wanted the Consumer Products Safety Commission empowered to set standards for the manufacturing of firearms. The goal, of course, is to set standards so high that no manufacturer could achieve them, certainly not at a price that many Americans could afford.