Apparently since the Navy Yard shooting has mysteriously dropped off the media radar (because the perpetrator was a mentally-ill Prius-driving Obama supporter – but I repeat myself – who didn’t use an AR-15, but rather a Joe Biden-approved 12 gauge shotgun and a handgun he took off a security guard) the New York Times has fallen back on a more reliable drum to beat – one made from the skins of dead children. Just not ones from Chicago.
Yes, the Times anxiously wishes to inform us that:
Children shot accidentally — usually by other children — are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable.
They die in the households of police officers and drug dealers, in broken homes and close-knit families, on rural farms and in city apartments. Some adults whose guns were used had tried to store them safely; others were grossly negligent. Still others pulled the trigger themselves, accidentally fracturing their own families while cleaning a pistol or hunting.
And there are far more of these innocent victims than official records show.
A New York Times review of hundreds of child firearm deaths found that accidental shootings occurred roughly twice as often as the records indicate, because of idiosyncrasies in how such deaths are classified by the authorities.
As a result, scores of accidental killings are not reflected in the official statistics that have framed the debate over how to protect children from guns.
For those with an eighth-grade reading level or below (e.g: many NYT readers), a “score” is twenty.
Of course, the Eeeeeeevil NRA must be invoked:
The National Rifle Association cited the lower official numbers this year in a fact sheet opposing “safe storage” laws, saying children were more likely to be killed by falls, poisoning or environmental factors — an incorrect assertion if the actual number of accidental firearm deaths is significantly higher.
And its effects on cowed and mind-controlled legislators:
In all, fewer than 20 states have enacted laws to hold adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely, enabling children to access them.
Legislative and other efforts to promote the development of childproof weapons using “smart gun” technology have similarly stalled. Technical issues have been an obstacle, but so have N.R.A. arguments that the problem is relatively insignificant and the technology unneeded.
Because of maneuvering in Congress by the gun lobby and its allies, firearms have also been exempted from regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission since its inception.
Is gun. Is not safe.
To give credit where due, the Times does make a passing nod at reality:
Even with a proper count, intentional shooting deaths of children — including gang shootings and murder-suicides by family members — far exceed accidental gun deaths.
But they don’t tell you what “far exceed” really means. Nor do they discuss in any way the declining level of accidental death by firearms that has been going on for DECADES – despite the ever-increasing number of firearms in private hands.
Oh, right. I forgot. The other Narrative™ is that those guns are being purchased by fewer and fewer people – mostly aging white males. And perhaps some white Hispanics.
For instance, the Times reports:
Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures, in fact, gun accidents were the ninth-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children ages 1 to 14 in 2010. (The agency reported 62 such killings that year.) If the actual numbers are, in fact, roughly double, however, gun accidents would rise into the top five or six.
The CDC does report that 62 (that would be three-score and two) deaths of children from infants to 14 were reported in 2010, but this graphic (PDF) does not list accidental death by firearm in the top TEN for any subset of that age group except the 10-14 group where it is, in fact, tenth with a total of 26 (one-score and six) deaths:
308 died as a result of fire.
726 died of drowning.
1,118 died from unintentional suffocation.
1,499 died from vehicular accidents.
And 957 were murdered.
Each death is a tragedy regardless of the cause, but you don’t see the New York Times calling for a ban on swimming pools above a certain size.
Often an accident is just that – an accident. Occasionally it rises to the level of depraved indifference. I believe that there probably ought to be more prosecutions of negligence in many of these cases – for which laws already exist – but I also think that prosecutors don’t pursue them in the belief that juries won’t convict grieving parents.
Yes, these deaths are “eminently preventable” – by preventing the private possession of firearms. (That would be “accessibility.”) Because “just one death” is always justification for the “next step.”