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Fake News: Media Pushes An Anti-Gun Narrative With False Numbers

Fake News: Media Pushes An Anti-Gun Narrative With False Numbers

“Do it for the children.”

It’s one of the most heart-wrenching pleas of our time. After all, we all love our children and want to protect them.

That’s likely why the anti-gun “mainstream” media is so willing to deceive their readers, viewers and listeners when it comes to endorsing the passage of more restrictive gun laws. And we’ve recently witnessed again how the media are willing to push off lies, half-truths and bait-and-switch reporting as fact to make guns and gun owners look bad.

Consider these disturbing nuggets: “16 U.S. children hospitalized with gunshot wounds each day, study says” — CNN. “Guns Send About 16 Kids to the Hospital Every Day” — WebMD. “16 Kids Hospitalized Each Day For Gun Injuries, Study Finds” — CBS’ Philadelphia affiliate.

Seeing such reports is indeed disturbing. It conjures images of 4-year-olds getting gunned down in the streets, and 9-year-olds in gunfights with their 10-year-old classmates. But wait until you learn the truth before becoming overly distressed.

This latest “study” on “kids” comes courtesy of a team of researchers who presented their work at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, held May 6-9 in San Francisco. Titled “Pediatric Hospitalizations due to Firearm Injuries in the U.S. in 2012,” the chief conclusion of the report is the researchers’ contention that 16 children are hospitalized each day for firearms injuries. The researchers relied on data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), which tracks pediatric hospitalizations.

Juveniles and young adults ages 15-19 comprised an overwhelming 83.6 percent of the “children” hospitalized with firearm injuries in 2012.But what the “mainstream” media won’t tell you is really the most important part of the story: Juveniles and young adults ages 15-19 comprised an overwhelming 83.6 percent of the “children” hospitalized with firearm injuries in 2012. Additionally, two thirds of the injuries sustained by individuals in that age group were the result of an assault.

Such findings might lead a rational individual to advocate for reforms to our juvenile and adult criminal justice systems. Yet, the abstract’s lead author, Alyssa H. Silver, makes clear that her goal is to prevent unintentional firearms injuries among children by attacking gun ownership.

“Our findings add urgency to the need for preventive public health measures to reduce gun injuries in children,” Silver stated in a press release, adding that the research “highlights the need for improved gun safety and storage practices.”

While firearm safety and safe storage practices are both important aspects of responsible gun ownership—and any child accidentally shot is a tragedy—the plain truth is that accidental shootings of children become rarer each year, thanks in no small part to programs like NRA’s Eddie Eagle. Figures from the Centers for Disease Control show that unintentional fatal firearms injuries among children have been falling for decades. In fact, over the last 20 years, the number of yearly gun accident deaths has decreased by more than half. Over the same time period, Americans have acquired more than 150 million new guns and today own approximately 350 million guns, an all-time high.

Figures from the Centers for Disease Control show that unintentional fatal firearms injuries among children have been falling for decades.It’s also likely that many of the older teen “children” hospitalized due to gunshot injuries were shot by law enforcement or even law-abiding citizens in episodes of armed defense. Of course, anti-gun advocates seem to think it’s fine to lump those young criminals in with the small number of actual children accidentally shot each year.

As editor of A1F Daily, I spend significant time every morning perusing incidents of armed self-defense for inclusion in our “Armed Citizen” features and news shorts. And nearly every day I find at least one instance of a “child” aged 15-19 shot by a law-abiding citizen during commission of an armed robbery, home invasion or other violent crime.

For instance, just last Saturday a concealed-carry permit holder shot an armed 16-year-old trying to rob him in a bank parking lot in Oak Park, Ill. Also last week, an off-duty Border Patrol officer in Los Angeles shot a 14-year-old and 15-year-old who attacked him on the street and were trying to rob him. And the week before, a security guard shot a 19-year-old “child” who was shooting up a Las Vegas convenience store. Chalk up four more “children” hospitalized because of “gun injuries.”

In truth, these episodes are excellent examples of why the right to keep and bear arms is so vitally important. Yet researchers and the media somehow equate them with true tragedies to push an anti-gun agenda.

In the long run, researchers are likely to continue reporting—and media to continue regurgitating—the fake news that there is a giant problem of “children” being hospitalized for “gunshot wounds.” And while even one innocent child shot is one too many, anti-gunners using inflated figures to push for more gun laws further muddies the water in the search for a solution to solving violent crime and criminal gun use.

Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.