ABC Reports False Numbers on Children Shootings

Texas Law Shield firearms program attorneys were reading case law the night ABC News aired a report called “Young Guns: A Diane Sawyer Special.” So we missed the original show. Good thing, too — we might have thrown a volume of The Texas Law Review at the TV.

Host Diane Sawyer said in the report’s lead in, “Every hour, a child is rushed to an emergency room because of gunshots.” Anchor David Muir then intoned, “453 of those children die at the hospital.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of accidental firearm deaths for children ten and under in 2010 (the latest year for which statistics are available) was 36, out of 41 million children. The CDC statistics are here if you care to wade through them. John Lott summarizes them more clearly here.

Furthermore, National Review reported that “two thirds of these accidental deaths… [were] not shots fired by other little kids but… by adult males with criminal backgrounds.”

Knowing this, there is quite a bit that might bug legitimate gun owners about “Young Guns.” Specifically, that ABC did not take the time to clarify the discrepancies in the statistics they presented; specifically as they related to gang violence versus accidents or negligence.

The person ultimately responsible for the report is David Sloan, executive producer of “Young Guns” and “20/20.” Beyond what may be considered questionable journalism, he set up (or allowed staff to set up) situations in which kids “found” hidden guns in classrooms, closets, and other hiding places.  Some may suggest that without proper education and respect, it is unsafe to encourage a child to interact with firearms less immediate adult supervision, and possibly even negligent.  The Texas Legislature has even passed a law which prohibits making firearms accessible to minors.

What do you think? Did ABC News fail to properly explain statistics therefore resulting in a misinformed conclusion by its viewers? Would you be comfortable with your children being placed in a circumstance where they were interacting with firearms less proper education and respect? Let us hear your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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