This part is a continuation for the post above, to address for one specific thing in another email from the main government Liason, sent out to the council to “get the discussion rolling.” The email had this video.
I pulled this article apart like cotton candy thusly. I have edited and clarified what I originally wrote, however the intent is the same as the original:
As far as the ABC news report, they shaved the facts pretty bad. But then again, that's what media today does.
- The majority of the story was about prepubescent children (12 and under). Except when it came to the "7,391 children per year are hospitalized" with gunshot wounds. The problem is they are lumping teens into that number. Adolescent/teenagers are a whole different breed when it comes to emotional, social and cognitive differences compared to children. The reasons for their firearm injuries are also vastly different than children. Kind of like the often-touted "10 children a day are killed by gunfire" trope. When you look at the actual data from that, you'll see that they include 18 and 19-year-olds (adults, and by extension not children...) in those numbers and 70% of those deaths are teenagers (14+) and gang related.
- There is no context to their number of "almost one every hour." This is designed to cause anxiety about the subject. The exact number is 71 minutes for context. The CDC has an infographic on "child injuries" (again, including 18 and 19-year-old adults, grrr...) and gives "every 4 seconds a child is treated in the ER for an injury." Again, CONTEXT, for every child that goes in with a gunshot wound, 1,064 other children are treated for other accidental injuries. According to my calculator, that's 0.00094%. Looking at the high-level data, firearms don't make this list, they are lumped in with "All other."
- The journalists were shocked when the children looked down the barrel of the firearm. My question is, "were the children taught to not do that?" The answer is probably no. They looked at the firearm on all sides, including the muzzle end because they are curious and don’t know better.
And I must wonder how many times they did that test before they got that result. How many children did what they were supposed to do the first time? If they did this test with twenty pairs of children and this was the only time that it happened, I would call this a success, because we’re talking 95% of the kids did the correct thing. The fact that they didn’t mention the percentage of times they had to try this before they got the desired result is very telling. If it had been over 25%, the article would have mentioned it. The fact that they didn’t shows this was the exception, rather than the rule. This is like a "Man on the Street" story, where only the stupidest people make the cut.
Check my math:
525,600 minutes/year. 525,600 / 7,391 gunshot ER visits = 71.11 minutes
31,536,000 seconds/year. 31,536,000 / 4 = 7,884,000 ER visits/year
ER visit every 4 seconds = 900/hour, or 1,066.65 every 71.11 minutes. 71.11 minutes = 4,266.6 seconds / 4 = 1,066.65
7391 / 7,884,000 = 0.000937%
I understand this committee is charged with reducing these numbers and I agree and support that goal, otherwise I wouldn't be here and writing this. However in context, we will always have household deaths like this. Zero is an impossibility. We lose more children to poisoning, fire, falling and drowning then we do accidental firearm discharges.
SOLUTIONS TO TRY:
- When a firearm is sold, have the gun store offer a free firearms safety class for 5-year-old and up children of the purchaser. Age appropriate and with live fire. This will impress upon the children the "WHY" of "don't touch."
- Rebate for quick access biometric/pinpad handgun safes, where the firearm can be safely stored yet readily accessible. There is already a Tennessee ongoing tax holiday on gun safes and safety devices.
- Defang the serpent by offering range discounts when a person brings their kid. I used to take my son when he was 5-7 out to shoot his .22lr rifle all the time when I went to the Shelby Farms range. One time, he accidentally pointed his (empty) rifle at the next person over. I snatched it from his hands, and told him what he did wrong. I then had him apologize to the person he pointed it at, then marched him to the Rangy Safety Officer, had my son apologize to him, then he spent the rest of the time sitting on the bench. He never did that again.
We cannot control others. We can only incentivize them to do the right and proper thing and hope they do so.