ABC News Misrepresents Issue of Young Gunshot Victims

Image by ValynPi14 from Pixabay

There’s something inherently sad about a young person losing their life. Young people have so much opportunity, something I didn’t realize when I was in high school or even younger. When a young life is snuffed out, it’s a tragedy not just for the loss of life but for the loss of what they life could have accomplished.


When it’s due to a gunshot wound, however, it becomes not just a tragedy but a political opportunity for some people.

The news media has been sure to bring us tales of woe in an effort to sway the gun debate. ABC New decided to share one of those of a young people’s stories, someone who, thankfully, survived a gunshot, but then they misrepresent data elsewhere.

On July 8, 2022, it took one bullet to change Aalayah Fulmore’s life forever.

Aalayah, who was 13 years old at the time, was in her bedroom in her North Carolina home when gunfire erupted outside her family’s apartment.

“Then shots just started happening. I just felt something go through my stomach, hopped up, ran,” Aalayah told “Nightline.”

More than 30 bullets struck her home. One bullet struck Aalayah.

The subsequent hours, days, weeks and months were the most trying moments of Aalayah’s life, as first responders and doctors raced to save her life and repair the physical and emotional damage caused by the single projectile, her family told “Nightline.”

Aalayah’s harrowing ordeal is just one of tens of thousands of gun violence incidents taking place across the country, which has seen a surge in shootings involving minors, according to gun control experts.


Now, Aalayah coded twice before the medical teams could get her stabilized and now, more than a year later, she still needs crutches to walk due to damage to her leg.

There’s no excuse for what happened.

Yet while there’s a lot of concern here, we also need to remember that much of the issues we saw in the 1990s were from situations like this, when people who are most likely not lawful gun owners begin shooting at other bad guys and good, innocent people like Aalayah get caught as collateral damage.

But then ABC News, who are already citing “gun control experts” here, offered some data to try and frame the scope of the problem

Every day, an average of 23 kids are shot in the U.S., according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

So far this year, more than 1,500 children under the age of 18 have been killed by guns, and over 270 of those victims were 11 or younger, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit which identifies mass shootings as cases in which four or more people are shot, and tracks them through public data, news reports and other sources.

Now, let’s understand a few things about how this goes.

First, I had to hunt up Brady’s numbers because ABC News don’t want to provide links, which seems a bit odd, but here are how Brady breaks those numbers down.


Every day, 23 children and teens (1-17) are shot in the United States. Among those:

  • 6 die from gun violence
  • 3 are murdered
  • 17 children and teens survive gunshot injuries
  • 8 are intentionally shot by someone else and survive
  • 2 children and teens either die from gun suicide or survive an attempted gun suicide
  • 8 children and teens are unintentionally shot in instances of family fire — a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home resulting in injury or death

Here’s what Brady–and Gun Violence Archive, if we’re being honest–don’t and can’t determine. There’s no mention of how many of these are the intended target of an attack by someone due to that young person’s involvement in criminal activity.

How many of them are gang-bangers, for example.

Now, I’m not saying that people who are involved in gangs deserve to die. I don’t think anything of the sort. I’d rather all of them reform and become productive members of society, after all.

But people who engage in violent behavior often end up coming to violent ends. If not, then they’re far more likely to get shot themselves.

See, the age ranges we’re looking at involve a lot of differences. A toddler might be more likely to hurt himself if he finds a gun just laying around, but a 17-year-old is far more likely to be involved in something that might result in a gunshot wound.


In fact, if you look at those statistics, more than half of all of these gunshot young people may well have been engaged in just that behavior.

As such, it seems to me that raising the alarm and ignoring that fact could be nothing but an attempt to push a narrative that all of the victims are like young Aalayah there. They’re not.

Focus on preventing the bad guys’ behavior and you solve the problem. That didn’t make it into the discussion, though.

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