I caught an NBC article on my Facebook feed this morning while getting ready for work. It was about how many children under the age of 12 that have been killed by guns each week since the Newtown incident.
I had just enough time to peruse the stats and see that this needed closer scrutiny. Tonight I took a closer look at the numbers. I decided I could break the numbers down into 6 categories.
- Direct violence - This would be gun violence directed at the child and/or other persons involved in the same shooting incident, i.e. someone purposely shooting at the family sedan with intent to do harm to those specific occupants, or someone breaking into a home with the intent of killing the individuals inside.
- Indirect violence - This would be gun violence not directed at the child, i.e. the child is shot as a result of a random drive-by shooting.
- Direct accident - This would be the child accidentally shooting him or herself.
- Indirect accident - Where the child is accidentally shot by another person.
- Murder/Suicide - Beware of mommy and daddy!
- ?? - This is where I categorized the data with insufficient information to even take a wild guess as to the cause.
Before I go any further, I need to explain that I'm not trying to trivialize the deaths of anyone, child or adult. Turning this information into numbers makes me feel bad, because after all, they were all innocent children, but I don't like it when the press does this same thing to fit their agenda.
Here's how I saw the breakdown from most to least. Some were kind of iffy as to which category, so I took the best guess I could with the information provided. And when I could even guess, the tally went into the ?? category. Since NBC titled the article "Since Newtown" I did not include those 20 children. NBC didn't include them in their count, but they do show in the far left column.
49 - Murder/Suicide
44 - Indirect Accident
31 - Direct Accident
27 - Direct Violence
15 - Indirect Violence
7 - ??
I wasn't really concerned with the numbers between girls and boys, though it's plainly obvious that more boys were involved than girls. I just chalk that up to more boys being curious about guns.
3.26 - The average number of children under the age of 12 that died by a gun each week since Newtown. I couldn't find the 2013 stats for child abuse deaths, but in 2011 it was 4.3 child deaths from maltreatment PER DAY!
The numbers above tell me this:
- Mental health is a HUGE issue. You gotta be really whacked to kill one or more kids and then take your own life. In my opinion, this accounts for nearly one third of the deaths.
- Nearly half are attributed to accidental shootings. Based on the number of accidental shootings, we as adults (generally speaking here) have failed our children. We failed to teach them how dangerous a firearm is and what it can do to a human being. We've failed to teach them respect of that firearm, and how to handle it safely. We've failed as adults to use our heads for something other than a hat rack. Many of these stats are about children being shot by guns left out where children too young to understand guns can get to them.
- All I can say about the direct violence is that there are probably some mental health issues in the background there.
Again, this is my interpretation of the statistics after reviewing them for just a couple of hours. I'm sure this isn't the way NBC was hoping people look at these numbers. That climbing line in the middle of the graphic, and the tall bar on the far left are intended to shock people into blindly siding with the gun grabbers. The same with the way they put a name, age, and location to each little square.
My respects to the families of these and all lost children. This post was not intended to trivialize them in any way, but to make a point of the root causes of their deaths.