Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Anti-gun Press Parrots Misleading Stats and Creates Outright Falsehoods

Monday, May 9, 2022

Anti-gun Press Parrots Misleading Stats and Creates Outright Falsehoods

As NRA-ILA recently pointed out, gun control researchers and their establishment press lapdogs propagate misleading science” to advance their political agenda. Sometimes this involves sophisticated statistical modeling, other times it involves the crude mischaracterization of data. The anti-gun advocateslongest-running version of the latter involves conflating firearm-related deaths among children and those among juveniles and young adults.

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.

Upon the release of the CDCs 2020 fatal injury data, gun controllers dredged up this tactic once again. As with overall violent crime, firearm-related violence increased in 2020 alongside the conscious implementation of soft-on-crime criminal justice policies. Sadly, younger people were no exception to this increase.

However, anti-gun researchers and the media abused the CDCs data to create misleading headlines that blared Guns were leading cause of death among children, teens in 2020, research says,” “Guns Became the Leading Cause of Death for American Children and Teens in 2020,” and Firearms surpass motor vehicles as leading cause of death among kids, UM researchers say.”

When examining injuries to actual children or kids, ages 1-14, firearm-related injuries are not the leading causes of death and are not higher than motor vehicle deaths. The number of motor vehicle deaths in this age group is more than 60-percent higher than firearm-related deaths. Moreover, when examining the most generous reasonable definition of children,” those ages 1-17, motor vehicle deaths are still higher than firearm-related deaths.

This does shift when examining those ages 15-19. An overwhelming 83-percent of the firearm-related deaths that occur in the 1-19 age group happen among the juveniles and young adults ages 15-19. This disparity shouldnt 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 actual children is even more absurd when one considers that in the vast majority of jurisdictions those 15 and older can be prosecuted as adults.

As if this manipulation of data for political purposes wasnt enough, some researchers have gone further. In some cases, anti-gun academics and the media will lump actual children (ages 1-14) in with juveniles and young adults ages 15-24 to create even more misleading statistics.

On April 21, the New England Journal of Medicine published an item by David Hemenway and others, titled, Crossing Lines — A Change in the Leading Cause of Death among U.S. Children.” As previously noted, firearm-related injuries are not the leading cause of death in actual children (ages 1-14) or even children” under the most generous definition of the term (ages 1-17). Hemenway is a longtime anti-gun researcher at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

The actual text of the NEJM item showed how this lurid headline was concocted. The article stated,

Injuries are the most common cause of death among children, adolescents, and young adults between 1 and 24 years of age in the United States; indeed, injuries are responsible for more deaths among children and adolescents than all other causes combined.

So the article isnt about children at all, but rather all those ages 1-24. Once again, actual children were lumped in with juveniles and young adults, who obviously have a very different risk profile, in order to contrive a sensational statistic.

This is bad enough, but whether through incompetence or deliberate deceit, some in the media managed to make this misleading statistic into an outright falsehood.

On April 24, USA Today published a piece titled Guns were leading cause of death among children, teens in 2020, research says.” The item stated, Researchers from the University of Michigan noted that an alarming number of the deaths, 10,186 (22.5%), were of people ages 1 to 19.” In addition to citing the UM researchers, the author linked to an article published on the universitys website.

Nowhere in the UM article did that statistic appear. In fact, the article specifically stated that less than half that number of individuals ages 1-19 died of firearm-related injuries in 2020.

So, how could a reporter get the number so wrong? Well, the number of firearm-related deaths he claimed were for those ages 1-19 is actually the number of firearm-related deaths for those ages 1-24. Moreover, it is the number cited for firearm-related deaths for those ages 1-24 in the April NEJM item.

USA today wasnt the only media outlet to promote this complete nonsense as fact. Seattles KCPQ and Lansing, Michigans WILX also misinformed the public with this bogus claim.

To recap:

  1. In order to promote their gun control agenda, anti-gun researchers conflated firearm-related deaths among actual children (ages 1-14) with those among juveniles and young adults ages 15-19 to overstate the number of “children” involved in firearm-related violence.
  2. Even more disingenuous researchers decided to juice this misleading statistic further by adding data from an additional five years of adulthood, thus conflating firearm-related deaths among actual children (ages 1-14) with those of juveniles and young adults ages 15-24.
  3. In their eagerness to promote gun control propaganda, the anti-gun press accidentally or willfully mixed up the misleading ages 1-19 firearm-related death statistic with the even more misleading ages 1-24 statistic. Media outlets reported the ages 1-24 firearm-related death total as the ages 1-19 total, overstating the number of firearm-related deaths among those ages 1-19 by more than 100 percent.

Someone call the Disinformation Governance Board!

IN THIS ARTICLE
Research Bias
TRENDING NOW
“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

“[A]ll We Need You to Do is Give us the Gun”: U.K. Launches National Firearm Surrender Campaign

On March 12, a two-week campaign was launched in the United Kingdom to encourage subjects of Her Majesty the Queen to surrender firearms, ammunition, weapons, and any other object even vaguely reminiscent of a gun ...

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

Choke Point “Lite”

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

Choke Point “Lite”

Ten years ago, the Obama Administration introduced “Operation Choke Point,” a program to weaponize the banking industry and financial service providers against certain lawful businesses and merchants. Implemented by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and ...

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

News  

Monday, May 23, 2022

ATF Partners with Anti-gun Researchers to Expand Agency’s Power

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the ...

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider S.513, legislation which would create a rebuttable presumption of no bail for gun offenses.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

Saturday, May 21, 2022

California: Anti-Gun Bills Eligible for Floor Votes

On Thursday, both the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their suspense files prior to the fiscal deadline, passing a number of anti-gun bills and one pro-hunting bill. These bills will now be eligible ...

Alaska: Legislature Fails to Pass Pro-2A Legislation as it Adjourns

Friday, May 20, 2022

Alaska: Legislature Fails to Pass Pro-2A Legislation as it Adjourns

At midnight on Wednesday, the Alaska Legislature adjourned from its 2022 Legislative Session. 

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

News  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hunter Biden Incident Shows that Gun Laws are for the Little People

There is a central hypocrisy at the heart of the gun control effort.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.