How do you know that an anti-gun liberal is losing an argument? They throw empirical facts and research out the window, to focus on tear-jerker anecdotes. Such is the case with Ana Marie Cox’s whine in the U.K.’s Guardian, Guns and kids: the youngest casualties of America’s infatuation with firearms.

You’ll find Cox using anecdotes primarily consisting of tragic gun accidents—what most of us in the shooting community would consider negligent homicides—where an adult left a loaded firearm out where a child had access to it, with tragic results.

When it comes to accidental gun injuries and deaths to children, we agree with Cox; they are horrible and preventable. That is why the shooting community is as focused as it is on safe storage, why virtually every firearm comes with a trigger lock, and why gun organizations promote education for both children and adults, such as the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle program.

Sadly, the Eddie Eagle program’s simple message…

If you see a gun:
STOP!
Don’t Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.

… is opposed by Cox’s fellow gun-control advocates, including the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center.

The reason is cynically simple: every gun accident involving a child is an excuse for a fund-raising letter from dying gun control groups that are increasingly irrelevant in a nation where youth sport shooting involvement is resurgent.

A reality that Cox doesn’t want to address in her long-winded lament is that the NRA and other organizations have been extremely successful in reducing gun accidents of all kinds to an all-time low.

The other reality that Cox doesn’t want to address is that majority of “child gun deaths” (that she only wants to discuss obliquely) are homicides by gang members 18 and under, most of whom already have lengthy criminal records.

There is a reason that a toddler killed with her father’s gun in a national park is a national story, but the dozens of teen-aged gang members gunned down in drug turf wars in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Oakland on a daily basis is not.

Frequency.

Child gun accidents are exceeding rare, and getting rarer.

Gang killings in cities largely destroyed by decades of progressive misrule and corruption, are not declining, as Chicago’s weekly body count sadly shows.

Of course, Cox and her fellow gun-grabbers can’t allow themselves to be intellectually honest on these important points. If there were, they’d have to admit that the NRA has been very successful in reducing gun accidents, while the failure of Cox’s progressive politics have left neighborhoods in deep poverty, creating the desperate conditions where gangs and crimes thrive.

Cox doesn’t sincerely care about reducing gun accidents involving children. If she did, she’d advocate programs like Eddie Eagle.

Instead, she uses the deaths of gang-bangers to call for law-abiding citizens to be disarmed.

In the end, gun control is always about stripping rights from the citizenry, and the most vile among us will always use the excuse that it’s “for the children.”