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Friday, May 6, 2016

With Unintentional Deaths by Firearm Historically Low, NY Times Attempts to Imply Otherwise

Today's New York Times has this article with a headline meant to make it sound like "accidental" gun deaths of children are on the rise.  It should be noted that what they go on to describe are actually negligent deaths, not accidental, because the firearm owners in the story do not take the proper steps to secure the firearm. Complete with talking points from Everytown for Gun Safety, the article is intended to make their case this is proof we need more gun control:
They are the most maddening gun deaths in America. Last year, at least 30 people were killed in accidental shootings in which the shooter was 5 or younger, according to Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group that tracks these shootings, largely through news reports.

With shootings by preschoolers happening at a pace of about two per week, some of the victims were the youngsters’ parents or siblings, but in many cases the children ended up taking their own lives.
The Times is hoping that the "two per week" is what grabs the attention of the reader without them stopping to do the math.   If you do, that averages out to be a little over 100 in a year - too many for sure, but clearly no epidemic.  Let's look at the trends as reported in the 2015 NSSF Firearms Related Injury Statistics NSSF for perspective.

Typical of the Times, they use Everytown's death numbers for the article which are much higher than what the CDC numbers as reported by NSSF.  But we all know how suspect Everytown's numbers are when they report statistics.  This is all done to promote mandatory storage laws but you can't legislate stupidity.  Each of the cases in the article were preventable if the owner of the firearm had taken the appropriate steps.  Steps like those promoted by NSSF's Project ChildSafe that talk about storing firearms in a safe manner that fit your individual needs go a long way in preventing the type of tragedies like the ones in the Times article.  Yet rather than mention what works, they push more restrictions.

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