CNN cites accidental gun deaths in kids, but lacked context

CNN cites accidental gun deaths in kids, but lacked context
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We don’t expect unbiased reporting from CNN these days. I once did, but that was a long time ago now. These days, I expect bias like a mo-fo.

And sure enough, that’s what we’re getting. It seems they wanted to talk about accidental gun deaths of kids, which is bad enough, but they failed to provide some important context.

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In a Monday article CNN pointed to a study in the Injury Epidemiology journal, which “looked at cases over a nearly a decade in which children under 15 accidentally killed themselves or another child with a gun.”

It noted that using “data from 2009 to 2018 across 33 states, the team counted 279 cases in which kids under 15 accidentally died due to firearm injury.”

Dr. Eric Fleegler, lead researcher in the study, opined that Americans believe guns keep them safer but suggested they really do not: “People do not view guns as a safety risk. They view guns frequently as the exact opposite: as a mechanism for protecting their family. The notion that guns protect us and they don’t, potentially, put us at risk is where the troubling thought process begins.”

Some researchers recommended “safe storage” practices and doctor involvement in urging families with children to lock up their guns. They also believe politicians should get involved.

The problem, as Breitbart notes, is that according to the CDC, auto deaths account for 27 times more fatalities among kids than accidental gun deaths.

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Let’s put this in some perspective for a moment. From 2009 to 2018 is nine years. That works out to 31 accidental gun deaths among kids.

Don’t get me wrong, each of those is an awful tragedy, but we’re a nation of 330 million people and an estimated 400 million firearms.

From a statistical standpoint, that’s just statistical noise.

Again, each one on an individual level is a tragedy, but we also have to understand that we don’t make policy based on relative abnormalities like this. It would almost be like regulating vending machines because they kill 13 people per year.

Yes, I see the differences, but my point is that these events aren’t incredibly common, so trying to dictate policy based on uncommon events is kind of stupid.

Especially when such regulations won’t account for individual needs and situations.

I’m not going to argue that people should secure their guns. I think this is a fairly indisputable best practice, at least for most people.

Where I’m different is that I refuse to assume that just because something is best for most people doesn’t mean there are no circumstances where it will be entirely wrong for others. What’s more, we’ve seen situations where kids were able to save their life or someone else’s because they had access to a firearm. That’s likely because those parents understood their kids, taught them properly, and knew they could trust them.

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Individual circumstances are different, and while my opinions aren’t going to change what’s probably best for most and what I advise people to do, suggestions aren’t regulations.

Accidental gun deaths are awful, but they’re also pretty damn rare. Things like car accidents aren’t. CNN would do well to remember that.

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