By Dean Weingarten
Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Lavaunti Broadbent was shot and killed during a crime spree in Minneapolis in July of 2015. He is one of the statistics from that year. He was 16 years old. He was attempting an armed robbery when a person with a carry permit shot and killed him.
Most children shot and killed in the United States are in their teens. Children killed in self defense by the citizens they are assaulting, are not separated from the statistics, unless they are killed by police.
The BBC recently ran a story about children and guns. In the first sentence, they say that about 1,300 children under the age of 17 die from gun-related injuries each year. That is not true.
About 1,300 US children under the age of 17 die from gun-related injuries per year, a government study has found.
Researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also found that guns seriously wounded about 5,800 children each year.
Boys accounted for 82% of all child firearm deaths while black children were 10 times more likely to be killed by a gun, according to the study.
More than half of these deaths were homicides while 38 percent were ruled suicide.
The study, published in Pediatrics on Monday, also found 6 percent of firearm-related deaths were fatalities from accidental gun injuries.
Just a few paragraphs down, a quote from Katherine Fowler, the leader of the study, contradicts the BBC’s opening sentence.
“Firearm injuries are a leading cause of death among US children aged one to 17 years and contribute substantially each year to premature death, illness and disability of children,” said CDC’s Katherine Fowler, who led the study.
Fowler’s study includes 17-year-olds. This is probably a case of confirmation bias by the BBC, and clever wording from Fowler. It “sounds” younger to say “1 to 17 years” than to say “under the age of 18”.
The study was done for 3 years, 2012, 2013, 2014. Using the CDCs WISQARS database, I compiled the numbers for 2012, 2013, and 2014. The average for those three years were 1,268, close to what is stated. The average number of 17-year-olds was 384.
That is 30 percent of the total. Remove the 17-year-olds, as the BBC did through (most likely) confirmation bias, and the real number would be under 900. It just doesn’t sound as scary as 1,300, does it?
In 2015, the numbers jumped up, most likely due to the Ferguson effect. There were 1,490 total in 2015. Of those, 17-year-olds were 456, or 31 percent.
The Ferguson effect started in August of 2014, but it took some time to build. The term was popularized in May of 2015 by Heather Mac Donald in a Wall Street Journal article. It was in full swing in 2015. The Ferguson effect refers to the spike in homicides occurring in black city centers when the police pull back for fear of being charged with racism and crimes they did not commit.
80 percent of the children who die of gun-related injuries are 13 years old or older. Black kids account for most of the homicides. Homicides are 56 percent of the total. Suicides are 38 percent of the total. Non-black kids account for most of the suicides. All of the suicides are over 10 years old.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.