Sunday, March 31, 2013

Comment Rescue (?) and child-related gun violence in Delaware

In my post about the idiotic over-reaction to a New Jersey 10-year-old posing with his new squirrel rifle, Dana Garrett left me this response:
One waits, apparently in vain, for you to post the annual rates of children who either shoot themselves or someone else with a gun. But then you Libertarians are notoriously ambivalent to and silent about data and facts and would rather talk abstract principles and fear monger (like the government will confiscate your guns). It doesn't require any degree of subtlety to see why you are data and fact adverse. The facts indicate we have a crisis with gun violence and accidents in the USA, and Libertarians offer nothing credible to address it. Lives, even the lives of children, get sacrificed to the fetishism of liberty. That's intellectual cowardice.
OK, Dana, let's talk facts.

According to the Children's Defense Fund, which is itself only querying the CDCP data base, fewer than 10 children/teens were killed per year in Delaware by firearms in 2008 and 2009 [most recent years on record].

Theoretically the number could be 1 and it could be 9 or any number in between because the CDCP now suppresses the data if the number is below 10 because it figures that it is too easy to thereby get the children's names and breach the confidentiality of the reporting.

However, you CAN break it down for 2005-2007 to get some sort of idea of where it might lie, so I queried the database for that stat--all children/teens [ages 0-19] killed by firearms [including homicides, suicides, accidents, and "other"-for the record I have no idea what "other" could be].

This is what I got [you will have to make due with a screenshot rather than a link because individual queries don't save]:
So the "Crude Rate," or deaths per 100,000 children/teens from firearms in Delaware each year appears to be about 3/100,000.

The overall "Crude Rate" of deaths per 100,000 children/teens from all injury-related [in other words, non-disease] causes in Delaware during the same period is 16.8/100,000 [sorry I lost the screen capture on that one, but you can query it yourself here; it is a very difficult server and you will probably have to query five to six times for each result you get].

So what it looks like the stats are telling us is that 3/100,000 children/teens die from firearms injuries each year in Delaware and 13.8/100,000 children/teens die from other injuries.

But you should also know that in those years virtually all child/teen firearms deaths fall in the 15-19 year old age group.  There are none reported that I can find for the age groups 0-14 in the same period.

For that older teen age group there is a much higher 10.9/100,000 firearms-related death rate.  In 2007 [which is consistent with the other years], 6 of the 7 reported firearms deaths among older teens was a homicide; the other death in two of the three years appears to have been police-inflicted, and in the other year it appears to have been either a suicide or "undetermined."

Pretty much any examination of the statistics for teen homicides (and teen murderers) will uncover the fact that 99% of Delaware's teen homicides occur in the city of Wilmington.  Google it yourself, there are way too many articles to cite separately and no really good cumulative stats available.

So here's the thing, Dana:  Wilmington has a teen firearms death problem.  The rest of the state doesn't.

Nor would any of Governor Markell's proposed gun control legislation have a noticeable impact on those few deaths.  As near as I can tell from tracking down individual stories (and you are welcome to rebut if you actually find data rather than just sneer at me for not doing your research for you), the overwhelming majority of the guns used in teen-related gun crimes in Wilmington [either by or against a teen, or both] were already illegal under current gun laws.  Nor were large capacity magazines involved in any of those crimes I can find.

There you have it:  statistics and data rather than abstract principles.  The statistics, at least in Delaware, don't bear out your fear mongering about childhood mortality due to guns.

But, you see, it is not really about facts, data, and statistics, and it never really was.  You, along with those who believe there should be no privately held firearms in this country, are more than willing to make assertions about what the data would show, but you never produce it.  In this case, you didn't produce because it doesn't back up your argument.

[Final note for completeness sake:  I gave it the old school try to find out about guns used by children in Delaware to kill or injure other people, and I simply cannot find anywhere that such statistics are kept.]


NCSDad said...

Good thing you took the time to get this out yesterday. If it was posted today Dana's keen analytical mind would have attributed it to April Fools! I'm glad you are willing and able to do this work so I can go outside and enjoy this wonderful morning. Thank you Steve. And thank you Dana.

tom said...

By way of comparison:

from the same database, for the same age range, traffic-related deaths for those years were

Year Deaths Population Crude Rate
2005 21 227,482 9.23
2006 22 229,456 9.59
2007 19* 231,779 8.20*

* Rates based on 20 or fewer deaths may be unstable. Use with caution.

Hmmm. Maybe it time for gun-grabbers to rethink that whole "we register cars and they're way less dangerous than guns" red herring.

According to Delaware Health and Social Services, Delaware's most recent infant mortality data that I could find was

2004-2008: 8.4 per 1,000 live births.

this is an average of 99 deaths per year, and is significantly higher than the U.S. average of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

So there you have at least two opportunities to save way more children's lives than you will by harassing law abiding gun owners and violating their rights.

delacrat said...

So if we don't register guns, we should not register cars either.

tom said...

You've probably seen enough of my postings & comments to guess my opinion on that, but I don't want to go too far off topic here.

My point was that (at least in Delaware) "traffic-related" accidents are responsible for about 3 times as many deaths of children per as guns (both accidental & intentional shootings) are, and that 14 times as many children are lost to infant mortality as shootings every year.

Even reducing the infant mortality to the national average would save at least 4 times as many lives than any action you could possibly take w/ respect to gun laws.

One would think that if gun control advocates are not just being hypocritical when they trot out the tired old cliches of "If it saves one child's life..." and "But think of the children..." then they would be trying to resolve these and other leading causes of death among children before going after things near the bottom of the actuarial tables such as gun deaths.

Mike W. said...

Not only that, but if you look at FBI UCR data murders committed with "assault weapons" (AR-15's, AK clones and the like) are non-existent.

The anti-gun folks would be better off banning hands & feet if they cared about "saving lives" yet they want to ban "assault weapons" and confiscate my AR-15.$file/legis.html?open

Anonymous said...

"So if we don't register guns, we should not register cars either."

Sounds like a plan to me.

Other than liability insurance and owner identification, the whole annual "registration" process is a giant time sucking load of coercive crap wherein the "privilege" of being a vehicle owners/driver means having to physically report to the state in some office building and hand over $100's if not $1000's each and every year after year (which you can just multiply for every additional or newly-acquired vehicle if you happen to have more than one vehicle or happen to own/acquire new or different cars on a more frequent basis).

For all this tribute time and money paid over to the state's worker-bee-drones you get nothing more than about a cent's worth of paper (oooh, a sticker!!) along with MAYBE about 2 actual minutes, if that, of labor basically consisting of entry level data manipulation in the state's grand database, the primary purpose AND use of which is to bust your ass and take more money if you don't do...see above...: physically report and pay, as dictated, and then make sure you have those magical papers ready at all times to present to the state's "traffic" enforcers.

Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum. The price ALWAYS ALWAYS goes up and NEVER down....until you're too old or too dead to own or drive a car any more.

What. A. SCAM. Especially in Delaware in which the transportation fund has been raped and pillaged for decades for everything but "traffic" safety or vehicle driver/owner related public spending.

But yeah, if you want to ban the bullshit car "registration" fee and fine scams nationwide FOREVER, then....maybe....let's talk about reasonable uninvasive ownership tracking for firearms, the ownership and use of which, by the way, is NOT a so-called "privilege", as the state would have you believe driving a vehicle is.

What the state tells us is the cost of the driving "privilege" is really a payoff extorted from the state so that you when you drive a vehicle you MAY not (no guarantees) end up having their thugs run you off the road, seize you, rob you and ultimately even imprison you for not complying with the extortion scheme.

Because driving a vehicle without the state's little paper blessings and otherwise showing you have properly bought off the state from inflicting its wrath on you as you go about your day is, we all know, a menace to all public safety and decency.

Fuck any person who thinks any state or government is legitimate that acts as though the right to own and bear arms is just another state-granted "privilege" subject to its arbitrary extortions and coercions.

Scott Gesty said...

"Fuck any person who thinks any state or government is legitimate that acts as though the right to own and bear arms is just another state-granted "privilege" subject to its arbitrary extortions and coercions."

Now that's good reading!!!!

Delaware Watch said...

It is clear from my comment that I was talking about the national rate, but you chose to examine the rate of one of the smallest states in the nation, if not the smallest, population wise. Thank you for attempting to find the numbers that children kill or injure who are over age 18.

tom said...

Why do you constantly expect the people on the other side of the debate to spoon-feed you data.

There is nothing stopping you from doing your own damn research and posting the results -- except maybe your fear that the results won't support your argument.

Steve showed you a site that collects and reports the relevant statistics. Go ahead and run the same queries for whole U.S. if you think the results will be substantially different.

Steve Newton said...

Dana, Since you are unwilling to do so, even though I gave you the site, here are the stats.

In 2007 3,067 people in the 0-19 age range in the US were killed by firearms; that is 3.91/100,000.

Note that Delaware is significantly lower.

For all age ranges, 31,224 were killed by firearms, which is a 10.37/100,000 rate.

Again, Delaware is significantly lower, and children/teens account for less than 10% of the firearms related deaths in the country.

The number of children/teens killed in transportation related accidents was 6,934--significantly more than twice as many killed by firearms.