POLITICO’s September 8 Playbook signature letter contained an ad from NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun group claiming “seven kids are murdered with guns…every day in America.”
Below this claim is a link to a Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) campaign calling for renewed pressure on Congress to expand background checks and a reiteration of the claim that seven kids are killed every day with guns.
While Chicago is undoubtedly a dangerous place for children because gun control gives criminals the lion’s share of weapons–440+ school age children were shot in Chicago during 2012 alone–national crime figures simply DO NOT support the claim that “seven kids are murdered with guns…every day in America.”
For example, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 National Vital Statistics Report puts the number of assaults (homicides) against ages 1-4 years at 370 for the the entire year and the number of assaults (homicides) against ages 5-14 years at 269 for the entire year. That’s a total of 1.7 children killed each day in this country, and not all of these were killed with guns.
Who knows how many of these kids were shaken to death, starved to death, or killed in other ways that are unfathomable to the rational mind?
The bottom line is by focusing only on the number of assaults (homicides) in which a firearm was used the number would fall well below 1.7 children a day.
The only way to get this number near seven “kids” a day is add those who are 15 t0 17 years old–prime ages for gang activity and other criminal ventures in certain areas. Doing that adds another 1690.5 assaults (homicides) per year to the mix. But even when this figure is added to the numbers from kids ages 1 to 15 you only reach an assault (homicide) rate of just over six per day and not all of these were killed with guns.
If we looked only at the number killed with the guns the per-day number would fall considerably.
Think about it this way–FBI Crime stats for 2011 show 12,664 total murders in America for that year, 67 percent of which involved a firearm. And although 67 percent is an extremely high percentage to apply to “kids” age 1 to 17, doing so gives us a per day assault (homicide) rate of about 4.2 a day.
This breaks down to 1.2 a day for ages 1-14 and three a day for ages 15 to 17.
In either case, this is a long way from “seven kids…murdered with guns…everyday in America.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins