More than 7,500 children are admitted to hospitals for gunshot wounds each year according to a study that was unveiled at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.
As part of the study, researchers reviewed records for 36 million pediatric hospital admissions from the years 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009. And they found that the gunshot wound numbers have gone up. Between 1997 and 2009, hospitalizations from gunshot wounds rose from 4,270 to 7,730, and in-hospital deaths rose from 317 to 503. (And the numbers for both figures, hospitalizations and deaths, were higher in 2006 than 2009.)
Naturally, pro-gun rights fetishists responded by implying that the study isn’t fair because it didn’t measure people who didn’t become victims because they were armed. Guns save lives!
One calculation that’s mentioned too rarely involves the deaths and injuries that are prevented by legally armed citizens, said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
“When you look at the number of people who are alive today or who didn’t have to be hospitalized because they weren’t a victim — and the money saved on that — you have to look at that side of the equation to get good public policy,” Gottlieb said.
I don’t know what to call this other than psychosis.
If your natural reaction to a sharp increase in gunshot wounds among children is to call for more guns, there’s something deep and terribly wrong with you.
It hasn’t been studied by the Bureau of Justice Statistics since 1992 (partly because studying it was banned until President Obama lifted the ban last year), but at the time the Bureau found that roughly 1 percent of victims of violent crimes used a gun to defend themselves over a 5 year period.