Guns have finally beat out cars as the leading killer of American kids

Originally published at: Guns have finally beat out cars as the leading killer of American kids | Boing Boing


This news leaves ammosexuals with yet another another disingenuous argument that won’t be as useful as it once was.

This classic article is also worth a re-post.


The car example is a useful and provides some easily transferable actions.

Require licensure and training. No avoiding background checks. Pass a safety and competency test. Removing more dangerous products like extended capacity weapons from the market. Ticket people for smaller safety and other violations. Require insurance that compensates people injured; including the gun owners if accidents occur. Use technology to make the products safer. Learners permits for younger owners.


The Repbulican headline would be something like “Open carry permits have reduced the number of children killed in car accidents”.


The rejoinder from the gun cult is always along the lines of “BuT dRiViNg IsN’t PrOtEcTeD iN tHe CoNsTiTuTiOn!”

Setting aside gun cultism in general, which is its own problem (and, to be sure, antecedent to many of the other problems regarding guns that we face culturally) the reasoned response should be to point out that gun ownership is an enshrined right in a specific context and for a specific purpose that as it turns out is no longer relevant to national defense (*). Unfortunately the Scalia court put paid to that with a deliberate and disingenuous misreading of the 2nd Amendement in Heller.

(* let’s not even get started with the fact that a central part of that purpose is that states demanded a right to raise posses to keep enslaved people from revoting.)


“The average adult in America is about 66 inches tall. Around 36,600 people die from gun violence here a year.”

In fairness, a lot of those people who die from gun violence are apparently kids, so it’s probably only 35 miles or so.


The right to travel is protected in the Constitution. The Founders didn’t obviously know the types of vehicles that are available today; but neither did the know of the types of weapons available today.

Freedom of movement under United States law is governed primarily by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitutionwhich states, “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” Since the circuit court ruling in Corfield v. Coryell , 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (1823), freedom of movement has been judicially recognized as a fundamental Constitutional right. In Paul v. Virginia , 75 U.S. 168 (1869), the court defined freedom of movement as “right of free ingress into other States, and egress from them.”


This is true. The argument goes that “there are other ways to travel, so it’s OK to restrict specific transport mediums,” which is incidentally the same argument that justifies airport security, no-fly lists, etc.

Whereas the 2nd Amendment talks about “HAVE GUN” and “USE GUN” which (according to the argument) leaves less wiggle room there. (As noted previously they are very good at unseeing the “IF MILITIA” part.)

Not saying it’s super coherent but there is at least a notion of a meaningful distinction being made. As a bonus they are really great at also ignoring the reality that all freedoms, even those explicitly enshrined, are limited in cases where exercising that freedom results in actual harm. As it turns out, the freedom of speech doesn’t allow you to shout “fire” in a crowded theater but the same sort of limitation doesn’t apply to the 2nd amendment (according to the cultists).


“Gun” does not appear in the Constitution.


Excuse me: “HAVE ARMS” and “USE ARMS”.

I can see where you’re coming from, though – if “TRAVEL” at large can be limited by medium, why can’t “ARMS” be likewise? That is a fair question. I can’t speak to what their argument is there but I imagine it has something to do with the fact that “arms” are a thing and “travel” is an activity.

(“Speech” is an activity, is it ever limited by medium?)


Extending that to modern guns doesn’t comport with a strict textualist reading of the Constitution. In the same way they argue that inalienable rights don’t extend to LGBT people because of the Founders not specifically including them.


If you’re Scalia, it’s OK for “head axes” to be illegal under the constitution but not AK-47s.


If you’re Scalia, you’re dead.


Now there’s an obituary I read with great relish.


That’s roughly 40 miles of bodies a year.

The NRA is a domestic terrorism cell.


This is what I have been trying to explain to Second Amendment absolutists for years. There’s nothing in the Constitution that defines which kinds of arms citizens can bear, and “arms” could mean anything from swords and clubs to thermonuclear warheads. We’ve always had restrictions.

There is no difference in principle between a law stating “no, you can’t own a Stinger missile” and a law stating “no, you can’t own a military-grade assault rifle.”


“My kid getting shot is a small price to pay in order to have the freedom to buy guns to protect my kids! 'sides, we can always make more, can’t we RuthAnn?”
“uhm… guns or kids?”
[weltangst emoji]


To cannons and mortars. Originally, private citizens and companies did own the most destructive weapons of war, along with small arms. So I don’t think you can say we “always had restrictions”. Clearly as arms developed the cost and later the regulations made it so private citizens can’t own certain highly destructive weapons.

But I am not an absolutist, so I agree there can be some restrictions, but probably disagree where that line is.

As for the article/paper, there is clearly a spike in murders in the US over the last several years. I haven’t heard a good explanation as to why. This is part of the reason why adolescent deaths are up. I would like to know more as to why there are two bumps in an otherwise fairly flat rate.

Suicides have been relatively stable, from the chart I see below. Accidental gun deaths have always been a small fraction of overall deaths, though I don’t know if there has been a spike of those or not.


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Overall, this is true. But the age group specifically under discussion, this is not true at all.

My patient population is experiencing a mental health crisis unlike anything I have ever seen. While simultaneously, mental health resources are increasingly limited. This is certainly not the entire story, but is a significant contributing factor. It started prior to the pandemic, but has been made much worse during.


its says keep and bear arms.

bear means simply “carry” ( or “endure” ) – it has no connotation of use. some might think it’s obvious that it implies use, ie. what use is a gun unless you can kill someone with it – but the constitution doesn’t protect that as a right.