When someone you love dies, it’s awful. It’s so much worse when it’s “before their time,” meaning their life was taken and not due to natural causes. That includes homicides and suicides
I’ve unfortunately been on all sides of that equation. It’s not fun.
CNN recently ran a report about an increase in both among people aged one to 18 years old. It’s slightly different than most reports we’ve seen, though, in part because it graphs the numbers.
Children and teens in the US are dying of gun-related homicides and suicides in record numbers, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 2,279 firearm homicides in children and teens (ages 1 to 18) in 2021 – double the number of deaths recorded a decade prior, according to the CDC’s WONDER database. Suicides by gun were also up 11% from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Not all children, however, are at the same level of risk. Black children and teens are more likely to be killed in firearm-related incidents than children of other races. Seventeen in 100,000 Black children died by gun in 2021, compared to approximately 3 in 100,000 White children or 1 in 100,000 Asian children, according to CDC data.
One of the graphs notes that the increase in homicides began in 2018 with a sharp uptick in 2020. Suicides have been increasing at a much slower rate, continuing past the lockdowns of 2020.
Now, CNN goes on to talk about school shootings and mass shootings, but since at least the mass shootings use the Gun Violence Archive’s numbers, I wouldn’t pay any attention to that. We’ve debunked their numbers repeatedly as we’re far from alone in having done so.
What CNN fails to do, however, is ask the pertinent questions. They don’t ask why this is happening, particularly among this age group.
Most of these teenagers cannot lawfully buy firearms, with 18-year-olds barely qualifying to purchase long guns–which, it should be noted, aren’t typically used in violent crime–so it can’t be due to lax gun control laws. I mean, how is a law that explicitly bars a group from buying guns so lax it allows them to buy guns?
Even if the laws were lax, though, that wouldn’t be the reason these kids are killing one another or even themselves. There’s something else going on and CNN isn’t interested in looking for answers.
They didn’t bother to ask the questions.
Yet, on the plus side, that’s probably for the best. If they had, they’d have gone to the typical anti-gun activists masquerading as neutral academics who see gun control as the answer for everything. Yet, as I already noted, it’s kind of hard to blame gun control laws when the group in question is mostly prohibited from buying any kind of firearm under any circumstances.
The problem, however, is that someone does need to start asking those questions and start looking at solutions that go beyond “gunz r teh badz” or other ridiculous talking points.
CNN could cover that. They could start asking questions and reporting alternatives that might actually have a hope in hell of passing during these politically divisive times. They just don’t want to because they have an agenda and it’s not about reducing homicides or suicides among minors.
It’s about restricting your right to keep and bear arms.