Increased revolver ownership associated with more child deaths


Photo: Scott Olson (Getty)

There is a new study on gun ownership in the United States. This in itself is noteworthy since the ARN has done everything in its power to stifle research on firearms and armed violence, but this particular research gives weight to something that seems a very clear truth to me: You do not need a revolver.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, analyzed gun ownership data for the past 41 years and found that the proportion of families with small children who had guns decreased from 50 to 45 percent for white families. (According to CNN, the study authors did not have enough data to draw reliable conclusions for Black families.) But not all weapons are created in the same way. The study found that while overall ownership among families with young offspring decreased, 49 percent of these guns were pistols in 1976. But by 2016, 72 percent of them were pistols.

According to CNN, this is what happened:

This increase was associated with a doubling of child deaths by firearms in the past decade, partially explaining, according to the study.

Child deaths from firearms peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s and were declining until 2001, the study says. Rates began to increase again, nearly doubling in the last decade from 0.36 per 100,000 children aged 1 to 4 to 0.63 per 100,000.

This is just a piece of evidence to make a case that we really should not have to discuss further. You do not need to own a gun. If you have one and have a small child, that child is at risk. "But I keep my guns, the problem is that the owners of irresponsible weapons," people will cry. No. If you have a gun, there is a chance that she will kill your child. The child will make a mistake or you will make a mistake and your child will be dead. A weapon is small; the geometry where the barrel is pointing when it goes out is particularly deadly compared to a heavier firearm. Children do not understand this. Adults, most of the time, do not understand this.

Guns exist for one reason: to kill human beings. People argue that a weapon is a tool all the time. Yes. Weapons are tools. Its function is death. A weapon is a tool to kill people. Your ranch shotgun or hunting rifle? You can reasonably argue that they have a purpose that is not killing people. They are meant to kill things that are not people. An AR-15 or other military style rifle is also built to kill people, but that's an argument for another day. You do not hunt with a gun. I'm sure people do that, I've been in range and photographed one of the great Colt Pythons where someone takes a scope or something, but you're a jerk and a jerk if you do that.

But firing guns is fun, you can tell! Yes! That's fun. But it's not so fun that it's worth thousands of avoidable deaths.

Do you need a self-defense weapon? No you do not. If you are so afraid and unsure about keeping a firearm in your home, get a shotgun, which is easier to hold, easier to use and much less likely to penetrate the walls of your home. It is also less likely to result in the accidental death of your child. A large, heavy shotgun is much harder for a child to tamper with than a small lightweight weapon, logic that the findings of the study seem to support.

Here's what happens when you try to shoot with a weapon in self-defense: there's a good chance you'll make a mistake, or you'll hit something you did not want to hit. Probably what happens is that the other person who has a gun shoots you first, or picks up your gun and shoots you, or you can shoot them, but they shoot back. In 2009, a study found that people who owned a gun were 4.46 times more likely to be shot in an assault than people who did not have a gun. The police, trained to shoot people, shoot the wrong people all the time. You will not stop a crime. If you stop with a crime, you will be an extreme opposite to a trend that results in the death of innocents.

Why expose yourself to this? Why bring this to the equation? If you are honest with yourself, it is because firearms make you feel powerful. I understand, I really do. You can kill anything with a gun, but mostly you can kill people. You can hide it on your waist or in your pocket or on your jacket and walk around with the power to kill anyone you meet almost instantly. It makes you feel strong and in control. But it's a lie. When people are firing guns at each other, no one is in control. You do not have to tell yourself this lie anymore. You do not need a gun.


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