Firearms are now the number one cause of death for children in the United States, but rank no higher than fifth in 11 other large and wealthy countries, a new KFF analysis finds.
Guns – including accidental deaths, suicides, and homicides – killed 4,357 children (ages 1-19 years old) in the United States in 2020, or roughly 5.6 per 100,000 children.
In each of the peer countries, guns kill fewer children than motor vehicles, cancer, congenital diseases, and other injuries, and often behind other conditions such as heart disease.
The U.S. is the only country among its peers that has seen a substantial increase in the rate of child firearm deaths in the last two decades (42%). All comparably large and wealthy countries have seen child firearm deaths fall since 2000. These peer nations had an average child firearm death rate of 0.5 per 100,000 children in the year 2000, falling 56% to 0.3 per 100,000 children in 2019.
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation
Jon Stewart’s Interview with Gun Violence Extremist, Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm
Stick with the video to the end, when Stewart totally destroys this bozo’s ridiculous argument. Jon Stewart is an amazing prosecutor!
YouTube, “The Problem With Jon Stewart”, March 3, 2023 State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-OK) has penned several bills loosening gun restrictions, including the nation’s first anti-red flag law against restricting gun access to those deemed dangerous. Not only does he want to protect the Second Amendment, but he also believes guns make us safer.
California has kicked off 2023 with a bang: two mass shootings in 72 hours. (Mass shootings constitute events in which four or more people are injured or killed, not including the murderer.) This has probably been the country’s most massacre-intensive January ever – and certainly since the Gun Violence Archive started tracking this data in 2014. Only a small fraction of these nearly twice-daily horrors (647 in 2022) gets much media coverage. Still, this seems like a nightmarish Groundhog Day.
The comparative data leaves other rich nations buried (so to speak) in the dust. Firearms killed 4,357 young people here in 2020. The next highest nations, based on a recent research review of selected similar societies: Canada and France, with 48 each. Correcting for Canada’s far smaller population, its gun mortality rate for folks aged one to 19 is still less than 10 percent of ours.
Even that shameful ratio under-represents how bad our relative situation is. Canada and France themselves have much higher rates than other wealthy nations. The next highest number on the list is that of Germany, where only 14 young people died due to guns in 2020. Given that its population is one-quarter of ours, that figure would extrapolate to just 56 if we were the same size.
Now, this is not to say that most gun-owners are fanatics about their weapons. Many are responsible, or support at least some gun safety measures, or legitimately use firearms for protection or hunting.
Pick your poison. The National Rifle Association. Our distorted democracy. The self-perpetuating cycle of easy access and ease of use making for a way of life. The legacy of racial animus. The fear of guns being taken away, which drives the purchase of yet more. The related conviction that more guns equal more protection from more guns. Gun collection as a hobby. Americans loving (ahem) Freedom, as long as it’s that of a gun owner and not a gun victim. The reliance on a Second Amendment adopted at a time of muskets and citizen militias. Or maybe all of the above.
There’s yet another view of what drives our gun culture and gun deaths, courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Terminator 2. Though the context for this clip was the threat of nuclear holocaust, it works equally well for a different kind of self-destruction:
Another answer is even simpler and better than the one Ahnold offers. It’s asserted by the Australian comic Jim Jefferies, in mimicing a hypothetical American gun devotee:
“I like guns!”
Here are the two parts of Jeffries’ brilliant commentary on Americans’ penchant for firearms – though be forewarned, he’s very profane, is politically incorrect, and employs a word that’s apparently much more commonly accepted in Australia than here:
A Shot at Success?
Is there any light at the end of the gun barrel? There are glimmers of hope.
As I’ve noted, loads of evidence indicates that countries and states with stronger gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths; maybe someday such data will mean something for our nation’s public policy.
In fact, we’ve seen instances of public opinion or legislation shifting on other issues more than previously thought possible. The examples range from acceptance of gay and lesbian marriage to last year’s so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which for all of its flaws was an unprecedented environmental step forward.
Still, manyof us have remained politically unmoved by the Sandy Hook and Uvalde school massacres, by a lone Las Vegas gunman murdering 60 concert-goers and injuring over 400 others, and by so many other atrocities that we lose count.
Now, the sure way to lose the fight is to lose hope. But for now, Americans face the reality of constantly shooting ourselves in the foot, the head, and everywhere in-between.
Benicia resident Stephen Golub offers excellent perspective on his blog, A Promised Land: Politics. Policy. America as a Developing Country.
To access his other posts or subscribe, please go to his blog site, A Promised Land.
It’s a high-stakes gambit that will test whether the Supreme Court actually meant what it said in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson (2021), which held that because of SB 8’s unique style of enforcement, it was immune from meaningful judicial review — and thus would take effect despite very strong arguments that the law was unconstitutional at the time.
Shortly after Jackson was decided last December, Newsom announced that he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s conclusion that states can dodge judicial review of unconstitutional laws. But Newsom also said that, if the Court’s Republican-appointed majority would give this power to states, then he would use it to limit access to firearms.
If states can shield their laws from review by federal courts, then CA will use that authority to help protect lives.
We will work to create the ability for private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in CA. pic.twitter.com/YPBJ00vN6z
Indeed, California’s new gun law, known as SB 1327, is explicit that the new law’s fate is tied to SB 8’s. SB 1327 provides that its SB 8-like provisions “shall become inoperative” if SB 8 is struck down “in its entirety by a final decision of the United States Supreme Court or Texas Supreme Court.”
The state of California, in other words, appears to be trolling the Supreme Court. SB 1327 should force the justices to either overrule Jackson and admit that they were wrong to let states evade the Constitution, or give California’s new gun ban the same immunity from judicial scrutiny that five justices gave SB 8.