Despite Leftist Handwringing, Bicycles More Dangerous to Kids Than Guns

Liberals are still wailing about the “danger” our kids face in schools due to guns in the classroom and mass shootings. But even as Bloomberg’s absurd anti-gun group and others act as if we have some national crisis, the reality of it is that bicycles hurt more kids every year than guns, and not by just a little.

Certainly it is appalling if even one child is hurt in school and outrageous if he is hurt with a gun, but before we get all crazed over the “crisis” of guns in school, we need a bit of perspective.

For instance, left-wing Slate magazine noted just after the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 that 297 kids had been killed in school shooting between 1980 and 2012.

Again, it is horrid that even one child should be killed at school, but let’s look at just a few other statistics to which to compare that three decades of school shootings.

30,000 kids each year are injured in biking accidents, 10,000 require hospitalization. Depending on the year some 200 kids (up to age 18) are killed each year while riding a bike.

In 2011, 1,140 kids died in car accidents while 171,000 were injured.

It is estimated that 4,423 kids are injured each year by amusement park and carnival rides.

98,000 kids are noted in USA Today, recently:

As it happens, the numbers assembled by [Moms Demand Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns] are not out-of-line with historical patterns, and, in fact, are lower than two decades ago when gang violence was especially problematic at school settings. And, as added perspective, consider that there are more than 50 million school children in America, making the risk of fatality well below one in two million.

So, the claims that gun crime in our schools is somehow “on the rise,” or out of step historically or even higher than that of deaths by other means is simply untrue.

Further, we need these actual facts taken into account before we start making hasty and ill-conceived laws or rules concerning guns, schools and kids.

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Posted by on February 18, 2014.
Filed under 2nd Amendment, Barack Obama, Big government, Constitutional Issues, corruption, Culture, Culture Of Corruption, Deaths, Education, Gun control, Liberals.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com and BigJournalism.com, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, RightPundits.com, StoptheACLU.com, Human Events Magazine, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions, EMAIL Warner Todd Huston: igcolonel .at. hotmail.com "The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it." --Samuel Johnson

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  • Brucehenry

    So were you against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security because the risk of being killed by a terrorist in America is infinitesimal?

    • jim_m

      Two points on that:

      1) the DHS was a waste because it added unnecessary bureaucracy onto already existing defense and intelligence operations which could have been modified without adding the wasteful bureaucracy.

      2) preventing terrorist acts is essentially preventing acts of war against the US. This is a mandate from the Constitution to provide for the common defense. Or do you not believe that we should be following the constitution? (who am I kidding we already know that you don’t give a rip about the constitution)

      • Brucehenry

        Damn good swerve, Jim. You’ve got dishonest argument down to a science.

        My point is lots of bad things are statistically not likely to happen, or are less likely than other bad things, but are still matters of concern.

        • jim_m

          Yes, but not all need to be matters of government oversight. I don’t need the government hectoring me over wearing a bicycle helmet. Similarly, the leftist handwringing over gun violence is ideologically driven and not founded in facts.

          When you look at Bloomberg’s BS fake stats you find they are full of falsehoods:

          But their statistics are not what they seem. Included in the numbers are suicides. Also included are late night shootings taking place in school parking lots, on their grounds or even off school property, often involving gangs. As “shootings,” they also include any incident where shots were fired, even when nobody was injured.

          So the left is trying to invent a problem that really does not exist.

          • Brucehenry

            So it’s not a problem that kids are being killed with guns, whether in the hands of crazed school shooters, gangbangers, or even themselves?

          • jim_m

            If you read the article a lot of the suicides are adults.

            The statistics are being used to claim that children at school are being victimized but the data includes many incidents that are not related to children in school.

          • Brucehenry

            Ok so some of Bloomberg’s statistics may be suspect but I think if kids are getting killed at school then maybe some “hand wringing” is warranted.

            The question, I assume you’ll agree, is what, if anything, to do about it. Maybe nothing CAN be done…

            One thing’s for sure, something CAN be done about Florida’s insane self-defense law, which resulted in the insane Michael Dunn verdict yesterday. A verdict in which he was found guilty of TRYING to kill 4 teenagers he didn’t kill, but in which the jury deadlocked on whether he was TRYING to kill the kid he did kill!

          • jim_m

            The point is that kids being killed in school is an issue but not for the reasons being cited.

            Florida’s self defense law is not insane. As we saw with the Loud Music murder trial the jury hung on the murder charge because the defense muddied the waters and the prosecution was run by a political flack who hadn’t worked in the court room enough.

            The law was not the problem, the problem was the prosecution was inept. This was a very different case that the Trayvon Martin killing.

          • Brucehenry

            Maybe so. Sad and tragic thing, though. There was a good Diane Rehm Show about it today on NPR, it’s probably available for podcast.

            Edit: BTW on a not-too-closely-related-but-kinda note, check out the movie “Fruitvale Station,” a dramatized re-telling of a police shooting incident in Oakland in 2009. It will outrage all but the most apathetic.

          • jim_m

            Seen the trailers. Not much new about police murdering people and then blaming the victims. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/02/16/video-la-sheriffs-kill-80-year-old-man-in-bed-in-meth-raid-gone-bad/

            Just about the last people we should be arming are the police.

          • Brucehenry

            I agree. I appreciated the film as a work of art, though. And the actor who played the lead was phenomenal, as was the woman who played his girlfriend.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            So it’s not a problem that lefty whackadoodles are killing folks right left and center? We need lefty whackadoodle control…

          • Sky__Captain

            I respectfully submit that we start the lefty whackadoodle control with L’il Brucie’s keyboard.

          • jim_m

            See my reply to Steve about child drownings. When you are interested in stopping what really kills kids then I will believe you are not simply standing on their dead bodies trying to advance your political agenda. Until that time you are simply a jackass exploiting the loss of a family for your own benefit.

          • Brucehenry

            Your logic is faulty. By that reasoning we should quit looking for a cure for breast cancer because heart disease kills more women, and stop trying to solve the crisis in Ukraine because Syrians are dying in the Middle East.

            I’m not espousing any course of action here, simply saying that any “handwringing” is warranted when kids are getting killed. The debate should be about what can be done, not whether these kids deserve the status of “children.”

            Because your dismissal, elsewhere on this thread, of 14, 15, 16, and 17 year olds, coerced or otherwise inducted into gangs, as something other than children (collateral damage? monsters? evil criminals who deserve no empathy?) is disgusting in my opinion.

          • jim_m

            Your logic is faulty.

            If your analogy were correct then people would already be arguing for curing one disease and not the other. In fact people are already arguing for curing both and there is little inconsistent in that since in working to cure both they demonstrate that they consider both to be a problem to be dealt with.

            However, with guns and swimming pools only one is deemed so dangerous that we must do something to save the children. The other, which happens to kill more children, can stay but we should put up some minor window dressing to make it look like we have done something.

            No, criminals do not deserve empathy. They are victimizing other people. You claim that they are being forced into committing crimes? Prove it.

            What amoral society are you suggesting we develop that people should be powerless to assert themselves and stand up for their moral and ethical beliefs? Oh yeah, it’s one where you have demanded that cultural and religious views on morality be banned from public discourse and that such beliefs should have no effect on our laws or behavior. If people really are being forced to commit crimes as you claim then the fault lies with people like you.

            You complain about these poor helpless children being forced to commit murder? Get a grip. I feel bad for the people they kill and not for those who do the killing. Take a moment and get your priorities in order, you’re being an ass.

            And again, you resort to the leftist claim that guns cause crime and ignore the fact that criminals use guns illegally and will continue to do so even when you completely ban guns. That last fact has been demonstrated in every corner of the globe where idiots like you have managed to ban guns.

          • Brucehenry

            I have made none of the claims you ascribe to me, but that’s par for the course with you.

            Starting with the swimming pools and bicycles thingie, we do indeed make rules that kids wear bicycle helmets and people restrict access to their swimming pools so their neighbors’ kids can’t just, you know, wander over and fall in and drown. You know, common sense restrictions, there ARE such things.

            You claim that a 14 or 15 year old kid who gets killed with a gun and is also a gang member deserves no sympathy. Fuck ‘em, says ol’ Jim. I say that it’s still something to wring our hands about when 14 or 15 year old kids are killed with guns, even if those kids have made some stupid choices.

            And no, I didn’t mean to imply that all gang members have been forced into gangs, much less “forced to commit murder.” But many kids find themselves in situations where gang membership is either unavoidable or seems like the least bad of a set of bad choices. Do you deny that?

            Your paragraph beginning with “What amoral society…” is incomprehensible gobbledygook and more par for the course yada yada that only “sounds good” to wingnut ears. No logic, nobody made any of those claims, what the fuck are you even talking about?

            I didn’t say anybody should feel bad for murderers, but I do think people should try to empathize with minors who are shot, whether or not they are members of a gang. I have no doubt that many gang members who are killed by ghetto gun violence have never personally killed anybody — at least not yet.

            And again, I have never suggested banning guns or that “guns cause crime.” I do think that anybody who wants to wring their hands over gun violence and question what, if anything, can be done to lessen it is justified in their hand wringing.

          • jim_m

            I understand that sometimes kids in the inner city are given some really tough choices, but just because it is sometimes hard to choose to do the right thing doesn’t mean that we should give you a pass for choosing the wrong thing.

          • Brucehenry

            I agree but that’s a far cry from dismissing their deaths or saying that their deaths don’t count or shouldn’t matter, as you seem to be doing on this thread.

          • jim_m

            I think that if your death is directly connected to illegal activity that it is specious to blame that death solely on the fact that a gun was available (legally or not). You were knowingly living outside the law and dealing with violent criminals. Dying a violent death is less related to the weapon involved as it is to the fact that you were in the gang to begin with.

            You really care about kids getting shot in Chicago? Stop the street gangs. They have had a total gun ban for decades and yet the killing goes on.

            Wringing your hands about guns is effectively saying that you want to take advantage of their deaths to advance an unrelated agenda. I guarantee you that gangs will go on killing each other as long as there is some weapon available and it has already been demonstrated that total bans on guns are utterly ineffective.

          • Brucehenry

            Good thing I’m not calling for one then.

            But I think it’s true that before the explosion of guns on the streets there were fewer gang deaths. The Sharks and the Jets fought with fists, brass knuckles, even switchblades., not Glocks.

            Of course that was also before the “war on drugs” made drugs so profitable that kids were willing to kill each other over them.

            So I don’t know what the answer is. My only point here is that we should ALL be wringing our hands when kids are being killed. Specific steps to address the problem are what should be debated, not whether a 14 year old’s death — gang member or not — should be cause for concern. It should be.

          • jim_m

            The explosion of guns has not equated to a spike in the national murder rate. Look it up. Murder rate is declining despite more access to guns. Your claims are contra-factual.

          • Brucehenry

            If I remember my 1980s history guns became ubiquitous in the inner cities with the explosion of crack cocaine. Yes it has been declining since that peaked but is still all too common.

          • jim_m

            The level of legal gun ownership is not connected to the level of criminal gun use. Period. No a mount of weasel words will enable you to connect the two issues. Of course you are free to start lying and talking out your ass like you usually do.

          • Brucehenry

            Why do you insist I espouse a position I have not taken? I’m saying that SOMETHING should be done to reduce the level of gun violence among young people. I am not advocating banning guns or taking guns away from those lawfully entitled to them.

            Mostly I’m just objecting to you pooh-poohing the deaths of 14 year old kids who find themselves dead because they wore the wrong gang colors or got their stupid asses into something they shouldn’t have.

            If someone has a suggestion on how to “get rid of street gangs” without disarming them I’m listening.

          • jim_m

            I’m not pooh-poohing the deaths of these people.

            I am saying
            1) that people who complain about children dying from gun violence are not really concerned about child welfare when they ignore far more significant modes of death

            2) that people who complain about gun violence often include many deaths that are related to gangs and that a) they do nothing to alleviate the problem of street gangs which is clearly the source of the problem and not gun availability (law abiding people aren’t running around with illegal guns) and b) the reason these gang members are shot is a direct result of the criminal activity they are engaged in.

            So yeah, It’s OK with me if you think I am hardhearted to not care that much when someone, who has been previously convicted of violent crimes or connected to violent crimes but never charged, dies in connection with their illegal activity and associations. These people pretty much deserve what they get. I feel a lot more sympathy for the innocent people these thugs victimize than I do for them. It certainly sounds as though you care more about the thugs.

          • Brucehenry

            Yes you have definitely made yourself clear. I know exactly what you mean, now.

          • jim_m

            Of course, I haven’t even touched on the historical truth that gun control has often been used as a method of repressing blacks and has very deep racist roots.

            Of course it should come as no surprise that the political party that wanted to keep blacks from getting guns 100 years ago is the same party that is trying to do that today.

          • Brucehenry

            Your link does a good job citing historical evidence that gun control was a weapon in slave control and later in Jim Crow. Then it devolves into specious nonsense and self-contradiction in its second half.

            What a surprise. It argues just like you do.

            See you in Brazil in 2016. You’ll probably take the Gold in Conclusion Jumping.

          • jim_m

            I do think that anybody who wants to wring their hands over gun
            violence and question what, if anything, can be done to lessen it is
            justified in their hand wringing.

            So the tacit admission here is that they really don’t give a rip about the people who die. It is only about the access to guns and what part that may or may not play in their deaths.

            And that really is the point. We already have ample evidence that guns are not the reason that most people are killed. If you want evidence of that I suggest a visit to Rwanda where you can see where millions were hacked to death with machetes and small children were bludgeoned to death by beating their heads against walls.

            Banning guns doesn’t change human nature.

          • Brucehenry

            There was no “tacit admission” of anything, unless you are tacitly admitting that you have once again read words on the page that are invisible to others.

          • jim_m

            Again, my point is that if you are really concerned about their deaths, then you are concerned about their dying regardless of how they die. Since you are only interested in the gun deaths it really isn’t about the dead people at all. It is only about the guns.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m interested in all the deaths, but we are discussing guns and gun violence on this thread. And bicycles and swimming pools, too.

          • jim_m

            The “you” was meant to refer to a generic person that is only concerned about gun violence and otherwise does not give a rip about the people living in the neighborhoods where gun violence occurs. That would include about 99% of people who protest gun violence.

          • Brucehenry

            So when you and I are arguing on the internet, and you say something like “You don’t believe in the constitution,” or “you don’t care about these deaths except as a way to advance your agenda,” you’re not referring to ME personally but to the imaginary “you” I represent in Wizbang’s comment section?

          • jim_m

            No. This case is the exception so I wanted to point it out.

          • Brucehenry

            Damn I thought I had got all mad so many times when you didn’t really mean it. Turns out you did, lol.

    • warnertoddhuston

      No, I was against the DHS because it is a federal boondoggle that wasn’t needed to fight terrorism.

    • Brett Buck

      Completely missing the point, which was, “gun violence” against children is not growing, it’s shrinking, and it is so small that claims of it growing are demonstrably spurious. Never mind that shooting children is already illegal, and that in many of these cases (Sandy Hook, but as a far better example, Chicago), the existing anti-gun laws were extremely draconian. Why, it’s almost as if restricting gun rights causes the problem it was intended to solve and that knowing there is no one to shoot back emboldens these psychos to act.

  • 914

    If liberals cared …

  • Paul Hooson

    This is absolutely true! Single vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury or death on all two wheeled vehicles. Insurance company data notes single vehicle accidents with motorcycles are a leading cause of injury and death, and with bicycles the same also follows. – In the case of motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, accidents are sharply reduced if the motorcyclist wears a white rather than dark helmet. The reason for this? Most motorists believe that motorcycle police wear white helmets, so they watch more carefully for any motorcyclist wearing a white helmet rather than a dark one.
    Bicyclists tend to often ride recklessly, do not have rider education, licensing or insurance, and often run past stop signs or ride through traffic lights, only increasing accidents as well as injury or death. Motorcyclists tend to be much more responsible as riders, however the increased power and speed of these vehicles only increases the danger factor for these vehicles compared to automobiles.
    Guns do carry their own dangers as well, including accidental death or increased risk of suicide among some gun owners. Guns are used in 67% of homicides, or equal to 11,078 in 2010. Also guns are the leading cause of suicide as well, accounting for 19,392 suicides in 2010. And accidental gun deaths rate for thousands more deaths each year. My grandmother’s own 16 year old brother died as a result of an accidental gun death while hunting. My sister’s husband remains disabled to this day from injuries caused by an accident gun firing when he was just 12.
    In the right owner, guns, bicycles and motorcycles can be safe or not. It depends entirely on the owner or user.

  • SteveCrickmore075

    ‘Despite Leftist Handwringing, Bicycles More Dangerous to Kids Than Guns’ The headline of this post.
    Approximately 3,000 kids in in the US die per year, from gunshot wounds. One reason, it is not larger is that hospital trauma centers are getting better and more experienced. 200 kids up to the age of 18, in the US die from bicycle accidents, according to Huston per year, 15 times less, than from gunshots. Which are more dangerous? I think Wizbang needs an editor who actually edits rather than just having their names put up on the masthead.

    • jim_m

      Yep as long as you call kids anyone under 24 YO which by definition are NOT children and are often gang members committing crimes.

      Steve wants to take away our rights because criminals commit crimes.

      • Jwb10001

        He’s comparing apples to oranges what was claimed was:

        For instance, left-wing Slate magazine noted just after the crime at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 that 297 kids had been killed in school shooting between 1980 and 2012.

        So perhaps the issues isn’t editing on the site but reading comprehension on the part of our troll.

        • SteveCrickmore075

          What was claimed is that bicycles are more dangerous than guns for kids in a bold headline, unequivocably without qualification. I don’t suppose that but for a rare cases have kids have died from bicycle accidents on school property if the overall death rate is 200 a year. The concern is no so much at schools, but outside schools where so many kids especially in what may be termed loosely gang related activities have wide acesss to guns. and innocent bystanders , often other children are the innocent victims.

          • jim_m

            If you restrict the issue to real children and then look at total number of injuries then bicycles are more dangerous (in terms of total injuries although the severity may be less). So are swimming pools more dangerous and they actually kill more children (not 24 YO children but real children).

          • SteveCrickmore075

            You are tendentious. I’m using 18 as the upper limit in children. Most everyone in the world has fallen off a bicycle and got a scrap. About 400 children aged 18 or less die in swimming pools a year, about 3000 children in the US the result of gunshots, usually from other children.

            The big problem is among juveniles (minors under the age of 16, 17, or 18, depending on legal jurisdiction) serving in correctional facilities, 86% had owned a gun, with 66% acquiring their first gun by age 14. There is also a tendency for juvenile offenders to have owned several firearms, with 65% owning three or more. Juveniles most often acquired guns illegally from family, friends, drug dealers, and street contacts. Inner-city youths cited “self-protection from enemies” as the top reason for carrying a gun.

          • jim_m

            Most of the statistics I have seen on gun violence and children has used 24 as the upper age limit for “children”.

            Show me a link to a study that shows children as under 18. Better yet show me one that is children under 13 since most teenagers involved in gun violence are gang members.

            After all, the concern here is over innocent victims and not about kids involve in criminal acts.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            Huston wrote .” Depending on the year some 200 kids (up to age 18) are killed each year while riding a bike”. so I was using 18 as the dividing line.

          • jim_m

            Too many teens are involved in gang violence for their numbers to be reflective of any real danger.

            Better is the data of 12 and under which averages only 112 per year. That was from 2006 to 2012. Data for bicycle injuries in 1998 shows children 14 and under were more than double that.

            Now, sure that is a different time period and a slightly larger age demographic but it is still double the injury rate.

            Contrast that to the ~706 children under 14 that drown every year (data from 2005-2009). Yet assholes like you see no problem with swimming pools even though 7x as many children are dying from them.

            When you get serious about saving children from the things that are really killing them we will start to believe that you actually care about children and are not simply standing on their dead bodies trying to make some ideological gain from their deaths.

          • jim_m

            Steve: From the cdc link above

            Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects)

            Like I said. You are simply standing on the dead bodies of children trying to make political points. You don’t give a damn about saving a single life, you just want to advance your agenda and if that means taking advantage of some family’s loss then you are perfectly willing to exploit that loss to the fullest.

            You’re a disgusting ghoul.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            Now you are calling me an ass hole and ghoul for my innocuous comment above. No wonder hardly anyone bothers to read this blog any longer, all the civilized conservatives have left. A couple of years back Jay Tea and Kevin would have suspended you!

          • jim_m

            My apologies. My point is that if you are going to stand against gun rights because children are dying then you need to actually stand against things that are killing children. But by and large the left doesn’t stand against things that kill children because the bodies of dead children are merely a prop which the left uses to try to impose their agenda on everyone else.

            It’s a fair comment to quibble about the bicycle comparison because it is not a direct apples to apples comparison.

          • SteveCrickmore075

            Sure the left stands against things, that affect children lives or safety, quality of air, lead in gasoline, life preservers on boats and so forth . I think both left or right should be stronger on gang violence..that is something that could be diminished. Some community based programs have been susccesssful. Rhode Island is an example, with the authorities being allowed to trace guns that are involved in a violent crime. I don’t know if you watch the A&E reality program ‘First 48 hours’? It is online. Much of the program, focuses on a favorite minority, actually they are a majority in terrms of violence.’ young people´, more often than not black, using guns that are bigger than their brains (but the pólice never seem interested in where they got the guns because there is nothing they can do about it or it is minor offence) to settle scores or for robberies under a hundred dollars, as a matter of course, that result in homicides that seem to affect the shooter, no more that if they squashed a fly. This is a very large problem statistically, much more than accidental tots deaths by firearms, but certainly no wants to touch it, least of all Obama or the NRA from a different perspective, for that matter, both because of the optics..

          • jim_m

            In my state it is illegal for a minor to own a gun so by definition all of these “children” are felons.

            Once again you are citing criminal activity and mistaking it for victimization.

  • Par4Course

    This piece buys into the liberal lie that gun control is about safety. Gun control is about CONTROL, about disarming the populace, about making government relatively more powerful by making individuals less powerful, about growing the scope and reach of government, etc. (The NRA has done much more to promote gun safety than all the government efforts, federal, state and local.) No one suggests banning bicycles because that would not accomplish none of the same goals as gun control.