Sally Kohn's 10,000 dead/injured children lie

Last week, noxious leftwing gasbag, Sally Kohn, authored a “opinion” piece for CNN titled: We regulate toys, so why not guns? I put “opinion” in scare quotes because opinion implies there is a factual basis underlying an opinion, otherwise the technical term is “fantasy.” In Kohn’s world, firearms are not regulated. This will come as a huge surprise to anyone who has bought one, tried to carry one in public, or used one in their front yard. The baseline for her creative writing effort is this:

Recently, my CNN colleague Mel Robbins made a startling point. Robbins was on “Legal View” to discuss the case of an 11-year-old who shot and killed an 8-year-old neighbor when host Ashleigh Banfield noted that 10,000 children are killed or injured by guns every year.

Because, you know, you have to get your intellectual content from a trusted source like Ashleigh Banfield.

The 10,000 number has much in common with Bill Clinton’s defense in the Monica Lewinsky case. Just as Clinton focused on the meaning of “is”, Kohn is focusing on the word “child.”

One of the basic propaganda techniques used by the left is to try to load down their arguments with emotionally charged words that shut down argument. “Tolerance,” for instance, doesn’t apply to Christians but it does apply to boys using the girls’ bathroom and to homosexual marriage. The worst offenders in the leftist menagerie are “public health” types who label people “obese” and “overweight” based on a measurement that is only marginally useful (Brad Pitt, for instance, is overweight). The CDC, that hotbed of leftist nannies, is the ground zero for the 10,000 number. That number is derived by treating as “children” persons as old as 19.

Let’s take a look at the data from 2013.

Non-fatal firearms injuries from all causes

firearm non fatal all

Fatal firearms injuries from all causes


firearm fatal all

As you can see, when you start using a definition of child which comports to the meaning that a native English speaker would associate with it, then the picture isn’t quite as dire as Kohn makes it out to be.

Let’s go back to Kohn’s “opinion” piece:

Then Robbins pointed out that when the government found out that a certain type of crib resulted in 32 children dying over 10 years, what did the government do about the cribs? “Outlawed them,” she said. But 10,000 kids die or get injured because of guns every single year and we can’t pass even the most measly common sense safety laws?

Well, then, how does crib safety stack up against handgun safety. If you assume a child sleeps in a crib until they are two (not being facetious here but mine started sleeping in a child bed with a bed rail when they were about a year old) then the safety record of firearms in regards to accidental deaths is actually better than the banned crib. If you compare the prevalence of handguns with the market penetration of that particular crib, you were much, much safer with a firearm in the house than the crib.

The only way you make firearms a problem with children is by adding all causes together and then expanding the definition of child until you have to include soldiers in Afghanistan and armed street gangs in the mix. It is a calculated and coldly dishonest ploy designed to make a very minor safety issue into a significant issue.



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