ABC: Kids will play with guns

Little kids will play with guns, even while telling each other “don’t touch” and “tell an adult,” ABC’s Young Guns report shows. And they’re good at figuring out where their parents have hid guns. (Two words: gun safe.)

When you “plant two real, unloaded guns among toys and a backpack in grade school classroom and then tell kids that, while unsupervised, they should indulge in some nearby candy,” they just might touch the guns, Reason‘s Hit&Run scoffs.

“Every other day, a child is shot to death,” says Diane Sawyer, citing a new study. 

“But, the study doesn’t match the ABC’s far-fetched image of young kids finding guns among their playthings in school,” responds Hit&Run. It includes 18- and 19-year-olds who are legal adults able to buy rifles.

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  1. I’ve read many articles on “children” being killed/injured by guns and, following the links, found that “children” is often defined as “teenagers” or “under 21” – leaving the door wide open for the all-too-frequent scenario of young thugs and gun violence – nothing accidental about it.

  2. Every other day?? I would be very interested to know what the statistics are for *accidental* shootings between kids who aren’t trying to hurt each other, who have found a gun and are curious about it. Gang/criminal shootings must account for about 95% of those. Accidental “curious” shootings do happen, but in my entire life I have known of one.

    • Here ya go –

      As you suspect Sawyer, to make her politically-motivated point, is conflating two age groups that are treated as separate entities in the study. Otherwise the numbers just don’t lend themselves to creation of the sort of hysteria Sawyer’s looking to whip up.

      • Darn, the link doesn’t work. That’s exactly what I want to read. Try again please?

        • Sorry about that. Google doesn’t seem to like to cough up direct links to pdf files –

          Checked and double-checked.

          • Yes! Thank you! That is very helpful.

          • Mark Roulo says:

            For those that do not wish to click through to the PDF and then hunt down the relevant tables:
            Unintentional firearms deaths among children age 1 to 14 was 62 in 2010 (and 62, 47 in 2008 and 2009).
            Unintentional firearms deaths in the 15 to 19 age range was 72 in 2010 (and 61,66 in 2008 and 2009).
            62 + 72 = 134, so even counting 19 year olds as children we don’t get “Every other day, a child is shot to death,.” (this would require ~ 182 deaths).
            The New York Times in “Children and Guns – The Hidden Toll” claims that accidental gun deaths are massively under-reported: “A New York Times review of hundreds of child firearm deaths found that accidental shootings occurred roughly twice as often as the records indicate…” So this may be part of the claim, too (I haven’t watched the video).
            Do with these numbers what you will.