One of the favorite narratives that gun control advocates push is that they’re “doing it for the children.” To support that narrative, they like to make all kinds of comparisons between gun violence statistics in which “children” are the victims and other statistics.
A favorite that you may have heard from anti–2A advocates is to bring up the statement that more children are killed by guns than in car accidents. But is that really true?
Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder because there are people who have the time and the access to real data in context to give you that answer. The NRA–ILA (National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action) is one group that likes to dig into those statistics, and an article from them has those details. From that article:
This is how it works: Step one, acquire statistics on firearm-related deaths among children ages 1-14. Step two, combine that relatively low number with the far greater number of firearm-related deaths involving juveniles and young adults ages 15-19, or even ages 15-24. Step three, present the resulting data as the shocking number of “children” (ages 1-19 or 1-24) who are subjected to “gun violence” each day/week/month/year. Step four, use the disingenuous statistic to advocate for pre-determined gun control policies.
The article continues:
[The statistics that show that car accident deaths for children 0–16 are higher than firearms deaths] shift when examining those ages 15-19 [exclusively]. Over 80 percent of the firearm-related deaths that occur in the 0-19 age group happen among juveniles and young adults ages 15-19. This disparity shouldn’t be surprising. The 15-19 cohort is far more often engaged in the type of street crime that can give rise to firearm-related violence and that many jurisdictions have decided to address in a more lenient manner in recent years. The conflation of this age group with young children is even more absurd when one considers that in the vast majority of jurisdictions, those 15 and older can be prosecuted as adults.
And there you have it. Again, as we’ve said over and over and over, when you look at gun violence statistics in context, it’s not hard to see that the problem isn’t guns. The problem is criminals (in this case, gangs) driving gun violence, and since those groups don’t obey the law anyway (how many states allow children that age to own handguns?), gun control doesn’t do anything at all to lower gun violence against children.
In fact, gun control likely increases it because parents who would otherwise be able to defend their children from an attack aren’t able to be armed with a firearm in strict gun control states.
The facts don’t change: Gun control leads to higher gun violence and gun deaths. Therefore, gun control is evil.