Jordan Candler / November 1, 2018

The Truth About ‘Gun Injuries’ Among Youth

It has more to do with teen gangbangers using guns than a lack of gun laws.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reports that hospitals on average treat around 8,300 pre-adult gunshot victims during any given year. This number is derived from 75,086 hospital records over a nine-year period. According to researcher Dr. Faiz Gani, “In our study, we found that for every 100,000 teenagers and children arriving to the emergency department, 11 come for a gun-related injury.”

Even 11 out of 100,000 is a consequential figure. However, it’s always important to read the finer print in order to understand the core reasons and to avoid misplaced editorializing. For example, NBC News tactically added that “the American College of Physicians released new guidelines calling for gun violence to be treated as a public health emergency, and backing legislation to help control gun deaths.”

But as USA Today notes, “The most common reasons for gun injuries included assault or being shot on purpose (49 percent), unintentional injuries (38.7 percent) and suicides (2 percent). Boys were five times more likely to end up in the ER with a gun-related injury compared to females, and those ages 15-17 were most at risk.”

Notice that not only is the highest percentage related to criminal elements, but teenagers are most at risk. That is unequivocally the direct result of gang activity, which is plaguing virtually every inner city. As for unintentional injuries, parents share much of the blame. Earlier this week, a drug-carrying 24-year-old man lodged his infant daughter atop a stolen firearm after being stopped by police. Thankfully, the child is okay, but the end result is not always positive. Carelessness, a lack of preemptive measures, and poor tutelage all contribute to unintentional injuries.

And not to downplay the situation, but it’s important to put the gunshot average among kids in perspective. In August, The New York Times reported, “Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths.” Contrast that with the 8,300 pre-adults who require doctors to attend their gunshot wounds, 6% of whom on average will succumb to their injuries.

The bottom line? Personal choices are something no policy can adequately address. Add to that a rotten culture riddled with inner-city gang violence, and the statistics won’t be pretty for an especially vulnerable and gullible age group.

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