Well, Rolling Stone Magazine has thrown their hat into the firearms debate ring. I know, you've been wondering where such a serious, relevant, educational and luminous publication like Rolling Stone has been on this topic. Well, don't worry. To fill the void, they've come out with an article "The Gun Industry's Deadly Addiction."
The "deadly addiction," you ask? Oh, well it seems that would be selling a product the customers want - you know, the same "addiction" as any other industry or business sector. Of course, the writer, Tim Dickinson, deems the sales and profits of the firearms industry as obscene. This is how the left feels about profits on pretty much anything, they're not really into the free market. They really only want the government to make a profit, but since the government doesn't make anything, the government needs to confiscate your money to grow. According to IBIS, the firearms industry is about a $12 billion/year industry. The, ahem, "adult entertainment" industry is about a $14 billion/year industry. And that is for the legal stuff. The car industry far exceeds these figures, with profits being in the dozens of billions.
The author, of course, links his horror at firearms sales and profits to recent mass shootings. According to the 2010 CDC numbers, 691 children ages 0-14 were murdered, 208 were firearms homicides. An estimated 1,560 children died from abuse or neglect in 2010, the majority comprised by ages 0-15 (though ages 0-3yrs account for almost 80%). Four-fifths of these were at the hands of parents. It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls, and 1 in 6 boys, with the median age of nine, will be sexually abused. In general, sexual abuse of children goes greatly under-reported since victims often know their abusers. In 2009 1314 children under the age of 14 died from car accidents. In the same age range, 179,000 children were injured in car accidents. Current numbers on non-fatal firearms injuries are harder to find. But, for 0-14 year olds in 1993 it was 4,346 and in 1997 it fell to 2,514.
While their may be some kerfuffle about the adult entertainment industry, you don't hear the group calling for gun bans calling for porn bans (and yet, this is an industry steeped in moral turpitude, whereas there is nothing inherently immoral about a gun). And the only outcry against auto industry profits comes from the over-zealous earth first types. Yet, adult entertainment may conceivable contribute to the sexual abuse of children, and automobiles are most definitely the tools used in traffic accidents. So, where's the outrage?
Some of these numbers often appear quite higher because of the inclusion of 15-19 year-olds and 20-24 year-olds (which are considered 'youth' for some purposes at the CDC). When both of the groups are included in firearms homicides for 2009, the 681 deaths (0-14yrs) goes up to 5,543. And, when included in non-fatal injuries the 1993 number goes to 54,432 and for 1993 to 32,739. Knowing these numbers is important because, they can be used to lead you astray. When the CDC tells you 5,000 youths ages 10-24 were killed by firearms in 2009, they neglect to tell you, unless you go looking, that only 138 of those deaths were in the 10-14 year old category. And in the same way, pundits, politicians and talk show hosts often cherry pick their data, or don't look into the numbers closely enough to see what's really there.
The reason I use the age 14 as the cut off for "children" is because the 15-19 year old group includes 18-19 year olds, who are technically adults. Not to mention, this is the age groups typically involved in more high-risk activities such as gang involvement or drug selling and usage, thus the data might be be skewed as a reflection of these lifestyle choices.
That is not to say that any of these deaths are insignificant. And of course, for the families, they are soul-crushing. And so are the deaths of children who die from falls, neglect, car accidents, from other injuries, or in other types of homicides. The fact is, gun murder of children is quite low. What we have is here is not letting a crisis go to waste. People who favor strict gun control are using fear, outrage, and sadness about gun deaths to further their political objective. Part of the agenda of the left is gun-control and bans. The truth is, a child being killed by a firearm is not as likely as a child drowning, suffocating, being burned, or being involved in a fatal vehicle accident. But, banning any of the things associated with those deaths isn't very politically prudent and wouldn't be very practicable.
After the shooting at Sandy Hook, we saw a lot of states propose, pass, and continue to concoct strict gun control measures. Two of the most populous states in the union, California and New York, were among these states. Senator Diane Feinstein had a gun ban bill ready to go almost immediately. It took the president about four and a half weeks to come out with 23 executive orders on gun violence. Is it surprising that a handful of states would seek to pass legislation protecting the 2nd amendment with all this clamor for restriction on a basic American right? Is it strange that citizens would seek to purchase arms that many elected officials are trying to take from our hands?
What I'm trying to convey here is that not just one number tells the story. But we are being fed selective statistics by those who have agendas of severely restricting, or doing completely away with, the American citizens right to bear arms.
The only number that really matters is 2. Two, as in the 2nd Amendment. There is no asterisk at the end of it. There's no footnote that says, "a right to bear arms, so long as they're not used." It doesn't have fine print that says, "shall not be infringed, depending on statistics." It doesn't have a caveat that says "a right to bear arms, as long as they don't look scary." It says what it means and means what it says:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."
(emphasis added, but sorely needed).
NEXT TIME (3/6/13): A Rolling Stone Gathers No Logic. - more rebuttal to Tim Dickinson's article, specifically on "hooking the kids and seducing the ladies" - in case you weren't feeling patronized enough by the left already.
Don't want to be a statistic? Join us for SGS13 in Indianapolis, August 9&10, and get some time in at the range with the Armed & Fabulous Ladies!
Photo Credit: http://scottbridges.net/category/gun-control/
Maya Grim is a military wife, mom, gun-toter, coffee-guzzler, Catholic, runner, dental professional, has a B.A. In History, and enjoys a good kettlebell workout - because she likes to throw her weight around! Maya also serves as SGPA District Coordinator in Tuscon, Arizona.