Study Forgets Differences Exist Between Toddlers and 21 Year Olds

By Elizabeth McGuigan

Bogus Research
Study Forgets Differences Exist Between Toddlers and 21 Year Olds

USA – -( It seems every public health journal is obligated to publish one junk-science article on kids and guns per year. The latest is a “study” published in Pediatrics called “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality.” It is in the headlines, and it is a mess.

Through a series of deliberately terrible study design choices, the authors conclude that there are fewer children dying from firearm-related causes in states with more gun control laws.

The study falls into the same trap that we have seen so many times before. The authors choose to count as “children,” anyone from 0-21 years old. No one would be surprised to hear that the study finds most of the firearm deaths are due to assaults among 18-21-year-old male African Americans. As the authors state, “The majority of firearm-related deaths were assault related (61.6%) and occurred among males (87.3%) and 18- to 21-year-old individuals (68.7%).” So why lump toddlers in with adult assault victims? It’s simple. There’s fortunately not much of a story for the rest of children.

Missing Data

So the study design is misleading. Unfortunately, the data are terrible as well. Because the authors use data from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), certain states are automatically excluded. In eight states, there were fewer than 10 firearms related deaths among children. The data for these states are not available, to ensure no one can identify specific individuals in such a small number of fatalities. However, this means that the study of gun laws vs. fatalities misses the exact states with the lowest number of fatalities. These states are: Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

What do most of these states have in common? They do not have the kind of ineffective gun control laws that this study suggests help protect “children.” The authors essentially cherry-picked the states that support their pre-determined conclusion, and even then, only with methodological gymnastics and a careful glossing over of certain findings. These include the fact that there was no causation found between a law and a rate of mortality. There wasn’t even a statistically significant association between laws such as background checks for ammunition purchases or laws that require firearm identification.

In short, despite the best efforts of the authors, the poorly designed study didn’t even clearly conclude what the resulting headlines proclaim.

The Real Deal

The real story – unintentional firearms deaths are at record lows. Firearms are involved in just 1.2 percent of unintentional fatalities among children 14 years of age and under, and are among the least likely types of unintentional fatalities among children. In the last two decades (1995 – 2015), the number of unintentional firearm-related deaths involving children 14 years of age and under has decreased by 73.5 percent.

There’s no doubt that criminal activities involving young adults are a cause for concern in our communities. But in order to be effective, a solution must address the actual problems. And as we wrote earlier this week, criminals do not obey the law. They will not run a background check when they are illegally obtaining a firearm on the street. They will not register their illegal firearm with law enforcement. These policies will not stop crime. We need real solutions for safer communities.

National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.

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Curious as to whether the “statistics” for “accidental gun deaths” will ever include data such as WHICIH “”common sense gun control laws” were ignored/violated thus leading to possession of the weapon that was used to cause the death. In other words, when a fifteen year old punk steals a handgun and brings it to school and someone dies because it was not handled correctly, would that “report” include that the one in possession violated the mandator background check law, the gun free school zone act, carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle with no carry permit, possession of a handgun… Read more »


Perhaps even more important to ask them to provide is exactly WHICH laws would have stopped/prevented the crimes.


Or ask them to show which law would prevent evil? NO ONE can invent a law that will end stupid or evil either! Progressives won’t acknowledge the existence of evil so they won’t acknowledge the leading cause of crime is the evil in the human heart. You can’t fix evil or stupid with a law!


You can’t expect them to use truth of facts. Why tell the truth when you can use a perfectly good lie.

Poppy Wayne

“They will not register their illegal firearm with law enforcement.”? Hell, neither will I with my LEGALLY purchased firearms! The form 4473 is supposed to be destroyed after the background check is completed & no record kept of the information. That’s why we have to fill one out at every purchase. Whether or not they are, is debatable…but since there is no official registration for firearm purchases, I won’t be “registering” any of mine either.
Nitpicking…maybe but wording matters.


Poppy, those forms are not destroyed, they are kept by the FFL until they close up shop. Then they are turned in to the BTAF. So they can be kind of a backdoor registration.They can go in and look at any FFL bound book any time the BTAF wants to. I had a FFL and this is how it is.


They can “only” look at the bound book for a PARTICULAR record of a firearm for a PARTICULAR REASON (ie: stolen, found at a crime scene, in possession by prohibited person, etc.).

jack mac

Poppy Wayne, it is my understanding that the actual background check is supposed to be destroyed within specific time. The Form 4473 is maintained by the FFL dealer for as long as they are in business. When the business is closed the F4473s are turned into the Feds. Not sure if the ATF or FBI, but both are Federal Government. I saw a news story showing a warehouse filled with boxes of these forms. Just waiting to computerized. With current and future computer scanning capability it would not take long to compile a list. This computerized list could be accessed… Read more »


There are no consequences when the do a 4 AM no knock no ID search warrant on the wrong address and murder someone. And people have been charged with murder even though the police did not identify themselves. One of the worse cases: In 2013, Tucson, Arizona agreed to settle claims by the family of Jose Guereña for $3.4 million after SWAT officers fired 71 shots in the seven seconds after their unannounced entry. Prosecutors did not file charges against the shooters.
Think this will go any different?


Figures don’t lie, but liars sure do figure.


But…But…Guns are EEEEeeevil! The hoplophobes insist we must have a national “sullivan act” to make us all safer from the most responsible and least criminal segment of our society. (Point of fact, the concealed carry licensees among gun owners have a lower crime rate than law enforcement Apparently disarming the most law abiding segment of our society is supposed to make us safer than removing the criminals or discouraging them by the possibility that a victim or bystander could be armed.

Wallace C

Now, that’s just mean of you. The people who want so desperately to disarm America have worked hard to create an atmosphere of Gun Fear through false evidence. When someone like you comes along and presents a reasoned response, based on fact and not emotion, it just throws their world into a tizzy. Can’t you understand that it’s for all those 21 year old children out there? Most of whom probably haven’t figured out shoe knots and analog clocks, due to youth and inexperience. So, as you can see, your rights are trumped (2020) by their need to create a… Read more »


Don’t clutter my issue with YOUR facts! Those are Your facts not mine so as a good leftist hoplophobe I can just say those are not MY FACTS and so I can just ignore them!

Wild Bill

, You had me going, but I see that you are just being facetious! LOL