“We don’t live in more violent times. We live in more televised times.” – Marilyn Manson He is right and wrong, and one influences another. And such influences affect what happens in schools. A really long-term study has some clues. Take-aways Television bent the curve on the frequency of mass school shootings around 1966. Average death rates in school shootings has doubled since 1966. High school males are the top problem spot. 175 years of “data” A recent (2017) academic paper sought to dig into school shootings going all the way back to 1840. Audacious, but we have to accept that mining data before the advent of modern national media is a bit risky. A school shooting might have only made county news in 1899, but it’s national news today. Before wee dive in, we’ll note that the definition used in this paper was broad. Specifically, “An event is included …Continue reading →
“Do it for the children,” my California friend used to say in a bad Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation. Her point was that any time a politician mentioned children, they were trying to sneak something past you. She was right. The meme “guns are the leading cause of death for children” is popular but wrong, and it should be uttered in a thick Austrian accent. Define “child” A key problem with the English language is that one word can have many definitions. Add political opportunism, and there can be hundreds. Common dictionaries define “child” as “a person between birth and puberty.” This is why we tend to speak of “children” and “teenagers” and “adults” as distinctly different groups. And anyone who has raised a child from birth to beyond age 14 will attest that their darling little angels turn into disgusting little devils once hormones take command of their brains and bodies.
After reading a recent study published in Pediatrics, I would caution parents about allowing a member pediatrician to treat their child. Looks risky. That may be an unfair jab, but once again we see doctors – too often funded by activist groups – doing criminology research and producing deformed analytical offspring. Worse yet, many in the media picked up on the inaccurate conclusions to pen woefully inaccurate headlines: ABC: Child gun deaths lower in states with stricter gun laws TIME: Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws U.S. News: Tough State Gun Laws Help Keep Kids Safe CNN: Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die None of which was (a) what the study said and (b) any reflection of reality outside the alleged minds of news editors. The study, such as it is I won’t waste too much time reviewing the layered …Continue reading →
A congressman I met in my teens told me, “If someone mentions kids when debating politics, they are hiding behind children.” It took time before the utter cynicism reality of his thinking manifested itself in my life. But at least nine times in ten when a politico says, “It’s for the children,” it is really for the operative’s ideology. So, when I saw the following blurb from the propaganda wing of a policy group, I had to document the realities. Intermixing terms and deviants “Gun deaths among school-age children have increased in the last decade. A study published Thursday in the American Journal of Medicine found that 38,942 kids aged 5 to 18 were fatally shot in the U.S. between 1999 and 2017. The authors noted a steep rise among black children beginning in 2013. The study’s lead researcher put the toll in perspective: ‘In 2017, there were 144 police …Continue reading →
What you name something is very important. One might look upon their congressman and say “politician”. Someone else might look upon the same representative and say “insufferable, deranged, syphilitic git”. Both might be accurate. Important then is the “School Shooting Database” hosted by the Federal Government as part of the Department of Homeland Defense. The phrase “school shooting” creates in the mind of the reader some very specific notions. For the average American, it means mass homicide events like Parkland, Sandy Hook and Columbine. It does not mean a stray bullet from a inter-gang confrontation two blocks away at two in the morning. Honest Disclosure, Noble Purpose, Clumsy Word Use Per the project’s web site, “The K-12 School Shooting Database research project is a widely inclusive database that documents each and every instance a gun is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of …Continue reading →
When the gun control industry mentions children, it’s time to hunt for bunk. Our species would not have survived for long had we not acquired a knee-jerk response to keep kids safe. Politicos know this, which is why they hoist kids a high for everything from gun control to Head Start. Our communal desire to protect kids is used by the gun control industry to create fear that children are endangered by guns on every street corner. As with most gun control industry pronouncements, it is far from the truth. Age is the first thing First off, over time the gun control industry has modified their public utterance. They used to claim 13 children die each day from firearms, but that statistic included active gang members up to age 24 … not what you think of a “children”. In adult conversations, a “child” is one who has not yet reached …Continue reading →
One bit of persistent good news is that very few children die from guns in the United States. There is no need to recite all the other statistics about things that kill kids. We know that suffocation, drowning, poisons and other life hazards are more dangerous to kids than guns. The rate of child gun deaths remains low, about one kid per day out of a population of 61 million such critters. But I had to look at the trends, because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ annual Firearms in Commerce reports show that the number of guns keeps increasing steadily. Certain policy groups promote that gun availability is a danger to your offspring. Not the case. Peaking in 1993 (as most violent crime did), the rate of kids being killed with guns (regardless of the cause) has been falling fast, and leveling off around 2004 (around the same time that violent crime across …Continue reading →
School shootings are actually pretty rare, though you would never know if you listened to gun control groups. USA Today recently illustrated the point, even while attempting to sensationalize the topic. In a story titled “Deadly school shootings since Columbine”, the paper created a timeline showing when such events occurred. I suspect their goal was to make each tragedy easy to find and read about. What it really showed was how infrequent such events are. In the slider bar at page top, there are multi-year gaps between such events. This matches data from the federal government that noted a low mortality rate and a steadily falling rate of school deaths. This is one point that needs to be stressed: Things have been getting better for the past couple of decades. Violence against children is falling, with the occasional lunatic mass murderer causing angst. Statistically speaking, your child is safer than …Continue reading →