Children are adults because guns kill adults who are children, so let’s take away all guns including toys!
Deliberately misleading statistics fascinate me. And now that I am blogging, I can share my concerns about them publicly.
A newspaper headline in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer reads, “Murders of the young in Phila. are more likely to be with guns — A study found that 90 percent of slayings of people ages 7 to 24 are done with firearms.” The article goes on to say that “according to a roundup of statistics on city children released yesterday by Philadelphia Safe and Sound, a group funded with nonprofit, corporate and city money” (that’s taxpayer’s money, folks!), “of the 110 victims between the ages of 7 and 24 last year, 90 percent were killed by guns.”
Well, OK…. What that means is that 99 people between 7 and 24 were shot to death in Philadelphia. 11 were murdered by other means. The implication, obviously, is that if there were no guns, 99 “children” would be alive.
The word “children” is key to understanding what is going on. The word “children” is used ten times in the article, while the ill-defined weasel words “young” and “youth” are seldom used (“youth is used three times; “young” is used only in the headline and the first sentence.) You don’t suppose someone might be planting suggestive ideas, do you?
Most ordinary citizens, I fear, read their local newspaper uncritically, and are likely to conclude that children are killing each other by leaps and bounds. I doubt very many of them think about what these statistics mean, and I would wager that even fewer would take the time to track them down. That’s why I decided to do this — just this once. I admire my blogdaddy Jeff for going after Yahoo the way he does, and well, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t make a stab at doing my small part, especially because this appeared here in my local newspaper.
The “statistics” come from Philadelphia Safe and Sound, which has a web page where I found the following statement:

Guns and youth homicide in Philadelphia are closely linked. Between 1995 and 1999, more than 85 percent of all homicide victims ages 7 to 24 were killed by guns. Within the broader community efforts to combat crime and violence, intervention must be targeted and focused on youth-related crime. For example, increased efforts to reduce the number of guns available to youth would cut the number of juvenile homicides.

Guns are thus presented as the “cause” of homicide, and no supporting data are offered to explain why “increased efforts to reduce the number of guns” would lead to fewer homicides. (Did such efforts work in Washington DC and New York — where all firearms are prohibited?)
What about the word “children”? I was amazed and delighted to find that the web page actually displays a graph, because it indicts the bogus message that “children” are being killed in large numbers. No breakdown is given in the newspaper, of course, but here is the telltale graph — lifted directly from the taxpayer-funded web site (where I hope they leave it):

As you can see, the numbers have gone down slightly over the years; 110 total this year (versus 114 in 1999), which means these numbers (particularly the proportions of 7-17 versus 18-24) are all comparable. But as to the “children”….
The last time I looked at the law, people aged 18 to 24 are adults. Not only are they adults, but this age group is considered to be at the peak age for commission of adult crimes. As anyone can see, those in the 7-17 category are only a small percentage of the total. The rest — almost 90% of the total — are simply, adults.
(Do I need to explain the logic of my last statement? No wonder I have such a terrible time with definitions….)
Self apparent though it is to any reasonable person that adults are not children, the message my newspaper presents, masquerading as news, is this: Adults in the peak crime-committing age group are actually “children.”
This is what mainstream journalists spend huge amounts of time trying to do; tricking ordinary people into thinking that adults are children. I guess if you read such Orwellian Newspeak long enough to start believing it, you might actually become a sort of child. Maybe that’s the goal here.
(Any wonder people feel compelled to blog? Hmmph! Back to the “news….”)
Precisely what would this fine paper have its readers to do about this explosion in “child” killings?
One very civic-minded lady named Shelly Yanoff has the answer:

“Adults have got to determine to make this city safer for kids, and one way to do that is to get the guns off the streets and out of our homes,” said Shelly Yanoff, executive director of another nonprofit, Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth, who attended a news conference on the report at Julia de Burgos Elementary School yesterday.

Doesn’t this woman have anything better to do than interfere with my life? I must assume for the sake of argument that when she uses the term “adults” she does not mean the adults aged 18 to 24 who murder each other, because adult murderers are not interested in getting their guns off the streets and out of their homes. So, she must be referring to ordinary adults. People who don’t use their guns to murder others. People like me.
Is Ms. Yanoff actually saying that the “kids” will be “safer” if someone takes my gun away from me? The only children I can think of who might be made safer by that are the small minority of criminally inclined “kids” who might break into my house. If I am disarmed, and therefore helpless in the face of home invasion, through her twisted logic does that make young criminals safer? It would not make law abiding children safer, because I would not shoot law abiding children.
Does Ms. Yanoff want the world made safer for “child” criminals to kill and rob people? That would be bad enough, but when we look at the 18-24 statistics….
Might she want to make the world safer for adult criminals too?
How about making the world a safer place by outlawing even toy guns? Can you believe this insanity? Like Communism, gun control has not worked, but instead of admitting it, they want to extend it.
If you ask me, I think we’d all be safer if children were taught how to shoot safely, properly, and responsibly.
Bring back the high school rifle range! Fewer “children” (whether the adult criminal variety of “child” or real children) got killed in those days.
Curiously, these statistics provide little information about the victims of shootings (especially those who might have been law-abiding as opposed to gang-banger killings). Aren’t the law-abiding ones deserving of protection?
Why not offer real protection to the genuinely law-abiding instead of more lame attempts to punish the many innocent for the crimes of a few?