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Bang / Guns
See other Bang / Guns Articles

Title: Michael Bloomberg's Claim About 'Children' Killed by 'Gun Violence' Is Off by 73%
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/2020/02/02/micha ... -by-gun-violence-is-off-by-73/
Published: Feb 2, 2020
Author: Jacob Sullum
Post Date: 2020-02-03 09:43:12 by misterwhite
Keywords: None
Views: 107
Comments: 15

Such inflammatory exaggeration seems designed to avoid a substantive discussion of the presidential candidate's gun control proposals.

Michael Bloomberg's Super Bowl ad, which presents the Democratic presidential contender as a brave advocate of public safety who is not afraid to take on "the gun lobby," claims "2,900 children die from gun violence every year" in the United States, which is not true. That number includes young adults as well as minors, and it includes suicides as well as homicides.

Bloomberg's campaign cited Everytown for Gun Safety, a Bloomberg-backed group, as the source of the number used in the ad. "Annually," the organization said in June 2019 fact sheet, "nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed." The ad changed "children and teens" (including young adults) to "children," presumably because that makes the deaths more shocking, strengthening the emotional case for the gun control policies Bloomberg favors.

According to to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FactCheck.org notes, the average number of firearm-related deaths involving Americans 17 or younger from 2013 through 2017 (the period used by Everytown for Gun Safety) was about 1,500, roughly half the number cited by Bloomberg. Furthermore, nearly two-fifths of those deaths were suicides, meaning the number of minors killed each year by "gun violence," as that term is usually understood, is about 73 percent smaller than the figure cited in Bloomberg's ad.

The case highlighted by the TV spot does not actually fit into any of these categories. The ad features Calandrian Kemp, whose 20-year-old son, George, was shot to death in 2013 at a park in Richmond, a Houston suburb, during a confrontation that a Texas appeals court described as "gang-related." According to the court, "two groups of young men, most of them teenagers, had met that night for a fight." Two of them, including an 18-year-old, Corey Coleman, fired the handgun rounds that struck Kemp. Coleman was convicted of murder and sentenced to 34 years in prison.

An honest discussion of this issue would start by clearly defining the problem. Bloomberg fails that test by using a highly misleading number referring to "children," half of whom were adults, and by using a definition of "gun violence" that includes suicides, a very different problem that is likely to require different solutions.

"Ask any grieving parent whose 18- or 19-year-old son or daughter was shot and killed, and they will tell you they lost a child," a Bloomberg campaign spokesperson told Fox News in defense of the ad. "There are simply too many of these deaths, and Mike has a plan to prevent them with common-sense gun safety laws." Everyone is somebody's child, of course, so by this reasoning all firearm-related deaths involve children.

Leaving aside Bloomberg's slippery numbers, how well do the "common-sense gun safety laws" he supports address the problem exemplified by George Kemp's death? Many of Bloomberg's ideas, such as banning "assault weapons," passing more "red flag" laws, and closing the "boyfriend loophole," have nothing to do with cases like this. Others seem more relevant but are unlikely to have much of an impact.

Bloomberg wants to require background checks for all firearm sales and ban purchases by anyone younger than 21. Those rules would be effective in preventing murders like George Kemp's only if young men like Corey Coleman are currently obtaining handguns from sources that can reasonably be expected to follow the new requirements, which is highly doubtful.

Bloomberg also wants to "make straw purchasing and trafficking stand-alone federal crimes, with serious penalties for offenders in order to help stop illicit sales." Yet people who buy guns from federally licensed dealers already have to certify that they are not buying the guns for someone else, and lying about that is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The same penalty applies to anyone, including a private seller, who "knows or has reasonable cause to believe" that the person to whom he is transferring a gun is legally disqualified from owning it.

Finally, Bloomberg supports allocating "at least $100 million annually for local violence intervention programs," which might make homicides like this less common if those programs are effective. Everytown for Gun Safety cites several programs it considers promising. Whether it makes sense to spend more taxpayer money on such programs is a subject worth discussing. But Bloomberg's dishonest, inflammatory approach seems designed to avoid that sort of substantive debate.

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#1. To: All (#0)

A 19-year-old gangbanger is not a "child". Let's accept the initial number:

2,900 -- children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed.
-1400 -- 18- and 19-year olds
-600 -- gun suicides
= 900 children killed by gun violence.

Now subtract those killed by police while committing crimes -- they don't count. Now subtract those killed by an illegal gun -- existing laws obviously didn't stop those murders. Now subtract accidental gun deaths -- no law will stop those.

So what are we down to? Maybe 50? 100? Whatever the number, how will Bloomberg's new laws stop those 50-100 nationwide annual deaths?

misterwhite  posted on  2020-02-03   10:06:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: misterwhite (#1)

Bloomburg just wants the mothers to murder them in the womb by the millions. If elected he should be indicted for accessory to murder.

A K A Stone  posted on  2020-02-03   10:08:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: misterwhite (#0)

splitting hairs, kids are dead and a gun is involved

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-04   6:57:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: paraclete (#3)

splitting hairs, kids are dead and a gun is involved

5-gallon buckets kill about as many but I don't see you calling for a ban.

misterwhite  posted on  2020-02-04   9:00:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: misterwhite (#4)

Guns are dangerous, cars are dangerous, you are not allowed to drive a car without a license and be of a responsible age, why should guns be different?

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-04   15:56:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: paraclete (#5)

Guns are dangerous, cars are dangerous, you are not allowed to drive a car without a license and be of a responsible age, why should guns be different?

If cars were the subject of the second amendment we would treat them differently.

misterwhite  posted on  2020-02-05   9:46:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: paraclete (#3)

Then why lie? If folks have a good case, they shouldn't need to inflate the numbers. I guess RATS LIE...it is who they are...MUD

"Devolve Power Outta the Federal Leviathan and Back to the States,
Localities, and Individuals as Prescribed in the US Constitution."

Mudboy Slim  posted on  2020-02-05   14:35:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: misterwhite (#6)

If cars were the subject of the second amendment we would treat them differently.

The second amendment is horse and buggy thinking

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-05   22:37:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: paraclete (#8)

The second amendment is horse and buggy thinking

The second amendment has always, and still does, protect the formation of state militias -- which includes the right of the people to keep and bear arms as part of it.

State constitutions protect the individual right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

misterwhite  posted on  2020-02-06   9:17:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: misterwhite (#9)

The second amendment has always, and still does, protect the formation of state militias -- which includes the right of the people to keep and bear arms as part of it.

That isn't how it has been applied, the term militia refers to an organisation not an individual. Under this interpretation an individual would need to be a member of a militia, meaning there is responsibility.

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-06   22:02:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: paraclete (#10)

Under this interpretation an individual would need to be a member of a militia, meaning there is responsibility.

Wrong.

It is an individual right. Read it again.

A K A Stone  posted on  2020-02-06   22:54:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: paraclete (#10)

the term militia refers to an organisation not an individual.

A militia consists of individuals.

"Under this interpretation an individual would need to be a member of a militia, meaning there is responsibility."

Correct.

misterwhite  posted on  2020-02-07   9:55:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: A K A Stone (#11)

No it is just an interpretation based on usage, in other words a common law right, the meaning of the clause is clear, a militia was thought to be needed in time of national emergency since there was no standing army

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-07   19:02:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: paraclete (#13)

a militia was thought to be needed in time of national emergency since there was no standing army

The militia is every able bodied man. The people have the right to bear arms. An individual right that if taken away leads to death.

A K A Stone  posted on  2020-02-07   23:38:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: A K A Stone (#14)

The militia is every able bodied man. The people have the right to bear arms. An individual right that if taken away leads to death.

what you don't need is a bunch of disorganised red necks calling themselves a militia, what you need is a well trained and organised army, any thing else is a myth

paraclete  posted on  2020-02-08   7:57:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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