CNN commentator and activist Sally Kohn took the lowest of the low roads today in an op-ed calling for more gun control. Kohn claims that CNN host Ashleigh Banfield made the claim that “10,000 children are killed by guns every year,” and so—of course—we need more gun laws.
Recently, my CNN colleague Mel Robbins made a startling point. Robbins was on “Legal View” to discuss the case of an 11-year-old who shot and killed an 8-year-old neighbor when host Ashleigh Banfield noted that 10,000 children are killed by guns every year. Robbins was taken aback by the statistic. Then Robbins pointed out that when the government found out that a certain type of crib resulted in 32 children dying over 10 years, what did the government do about the cribs? “Outlawed them,” she said. But 10,000 kids die because of guns every single year and we can’t pass even the most measly common sense safety laws?
You’ll note that Sally doesn’t provide a source for the claim that she attributes to Ashleigh, and that’s probably for the very good reason is that the claim is blatant propaganda.
Kohn is intentionally misquoting the headline of MSNBC article from last year, Nearly 10,000 American children are injured or killed by guns every year.
When you actually go to the MSNBC article, you’ll find that the story’s lede doesn’t come close to saying that 10,000 kids are killed by guns in a given year. It’s all a sleight of hand based on the study of a single year’s data.
Over 7,000 children are hospitalized or killed due to gun violence every year, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. An additional 3,000 children die from gun injuries before making it to the hospital, bringing the total number of injured or killed adolescents to 10,000 each year.
So we have 3,00 fatalities that don’t make it to the hospital, but 7,000 “Hospitalized or killed?” What the heck does that even mean?
As anyone who watched the Princess Bride knows, there’s a huge difference between “all dead” and “mostly dead.”
If you go to the actual study in Pedatrics, you know what we find out?
The “mostly dead” were almost entirely alive. Of the 7,391 “children” who went to hospitals with gunshot wounds, just 453 died.
A review of hospital records found that firearms caused 7,391 hospitalizations among children younger than 20 during 2009, the most recent year for which records are available, said Dr. John Leventhal, lead study author.
Of those shooting victims, 453 died while in the hospital.
More than half of the gun injuries involved an attack on the child, but nearly one-third were unintentional, the investigators found. (Others were of undetermined causes or from suicide attempts.)
We’re not in any way making light of the 453 deaths, as each of these “children” was loved by someone who is diminished by their loss.
That said, Kohn’s claim has already dropped by roughly two-thirds, from 10,000 “children” to just 3,453.
Now, let’s very clear in noting how deceptive even this much-reduced figure really is.
Kohn lead with the anecdote of a suburban 11-year-old who shot and killed an 8-year-old neighbor, painting the picture of a completely random and senseless deaths of elementary school children.
That event was horrible… and made national news because of just how rare and unique it was.
In reality, it isn’t random suburban elementary school students shooting one another over puppies that is the problem.
The supermajority of those shot are black males, which are shot at a rate ten times higher than that of whites. 84-percent of those shot were boys 15-19 years old. Almost all were shot in intentional criminal attacks while involved in illicit activity, by other young black males who were involved in illicit activities.
Put bluntly, they are gang-bangers shooting other gang bangers.
Sally Kohn went out of her way to create the mental image of ten thousand innocent children being murdered every year by those evil guns.
In reality, under 3,500 people, mostly criminals 15-19 years of age, were gunning one another down in gang turf wars over drug territory.