No one is going to be able to keep up with all the gun control groups out there. It seems like a new one springs up anytime someone has a bought of flatulence, after all, but there are a few that are the bigger players.
One of those is Everytown for Gun Safety in America, usually just called Everytown.
They’re one of those groups that journalists quote without mentioning they’re a gun control group, citing “data” from them unironically.
However, as my friend Hannah Cox recently noted, they shouldn’t necessarily be trusted so highly.
Gun control advocates play very fast and loose with the data around gun violence, and if you aren’t trained on how to decipher and interpret statistics you may easily fall for their misrepresentations of the facts.
Recently, the anti-Second Amendment activist group “Everytown” took to Instagram to do just that.
“Guns are the #1 killer of college-aged people in America” they wrote, just days after a school shooting at Michigan State University left three students dead. This is of course a harrowing statistic to read and gives the impression, quite intentionally, that all these deaths are the result of campus shootings.
Good thing that isn’t actually true.
I tried finding the data they pointed to in fine print at the bottom of the image. Notably, they included no actual links or web addresses—and that’s probably because, as best I can tell, they don’t exist.
So, Hannah looked. She tried to find the data, looking in all the usual places to see what she could see.
What did she find?
Still, it’s hard to imagine there would be a tremendous change in causes of death over the course of three years, and the old data set indicates the leading causes of death for 15-24 year olds were unintentional injuries, suicides, and homicides (in that order).
This is backed up by other research I found online.
One of the oldest tricks in the book employed by gun control proponents is to lump suicide deaths in with homicides to make it look like there is more rampant gun violence in the country than there actually is. More than 50% of Americans who die by gun death actually die from suicide. Three percent of gun deaths fall under the category of “other” (which would include accidents).
See, Everytown is a prime example of those who lie with statistics. They can argue that more youth lose their lives to gunfire because they lump in intentionally self-inflicted gunshot fatalities–suicides–with homicides and accidents.
Yet Hannah goes on to correctly point out that removing guns from the equation doesn’t necessarily mean these same young people won’t take their own life. If someone is suicidal, they just look for an alternative method.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should just let young people end their lives, but it is suggestive of a fact we’ve brought up here a thousand times. Namely that the solution for suicide doesn’t lie in gun control but elsewhere, likely with improving mental health resources.
But Everytown doesn’t want improved mental health efforts. That’s not why they exist.
What they want is gun control, and they’ll lump all the deaths they can into a single bin just so they can try and scare people into supporting their preferred policies. It’s a dirty, underhanded effort, but what else can you really expect from an organization that’s been doing this for years?