Op-ed claims we're ignoring child death data

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Not that long ago, the headlines were all abuzz. It seemed more child deaths resulted from firearms than any other cause, including auto accidents.

To say the media went nuts over this is a bit of an understatement.

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Then someone actually looked at the data and saw problems. They saw that a lot of child deaths were excluded and a lot of adults were categorized as children. It clearly skewed the numbers.

But, it seems, we’re really just ignoring the data according to one op-ed.

But, while the car industry adapted and transformed to prevent tragedy, the gun industry has done the opposite, innovating their products to be more and more deadly.

It also can’t be ignored that the gun lobby has been given a blank check by Congress to focus on profits rather than safety. In 2005, Congress passed a federal law shielding the gun industry from civil liability. Since the law passed in 2005, not a single gun manufacturer accused of negligence has gone to trial.

Not only does the gun industry enjoy near-total immunity, but the gun lobby also looks to cloud the reality of our gun violence crisis with baseless claims that guns aren’t the number one killer of American children and teens. But the data doesn’t lie.

Whether we look at children (in America, you’re a minor until 18) or children and teens (through 19, the age of some high school seniors), firearms lead when it comes to death. No matter how you cut the data, whether it’s looking at children and teens aged 1 to 17, 1 to 18, or 1 to19, guns are killing our children and teens more than anything else.

And it goes without saying that for the gun industry-backed researchers who try to find any possible means to dispute these facts, if you need to squint and cherry-pick data just to find a way to prove your point, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

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Says the person using cherry-picked facts to prove her point.

John Lott took a whack at those numbers–clearly, the “gun industry-backed researchers” in question–and what he found was that when you remove 19- and 20-year-olds from the numbers, gun fatalities were not the leading cause of child deaths.

Period.

The author doesn’t actually offer anything in the form of a rebuttal. She spouts numbers, of course, but if one is trying to make the case that firearms are the leading cause of death for actual children, you need to compare numbers to show us that we’re wrong.

The author does no such thing.

Instead, we’re just supposed to take her word for the fact that between ages 1 and 17, it doesn’t really change all that much.

When it does.

The author alleges that we don’t care about child deaths because we won’t pass gun control, citing how the auto industry was forced to adjust to reduce fatalities.

However, those fatality rates are still higher for actual children than child deaths with a firearm, and that’s because you can’t eliminate risk, only mitigate it to some degree.

Plus, this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, either.

For one thing, adding safety features to the car didn’t actually stop the car from doing its job. You still got in the car, cranked it up, and drove where you wanted to go pretty much whenever you wanted or needed to go.

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Gun control, on the other hand, doesn’t work the same way, which is another thing so-called gun safety advocates ignore while talking about child deaths. Gun control reduces our ability to defend ourselves and our families.

We’re not ignoring anything. We simply refuse to allow people like this author to misrepresent the facts to push an agenda that won’t actually make anyone safer but will put more people in danger.

Simple as that.

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