Friday, March 10, 2006

Note to Brady Campaign: Grow Up!

The Seattle PI published an article today about missing children that got me thinking. According to FBI statistics, 662,196 children went missing last year, for reasons varying from runaway to kidnapping. Furthermore,
[t]he FBI data show that two-thirds of all missing-children reports were for 15-, 16- or 17-year-old youths.

Only 2,223 infants were reported last year.

The files also show that local police classified 16,897 cases -- or slightly less than 3 percent -- as "endangered," meaning authorities feared the children had been kidnapped or were in the company of a dangerous adult.
This leads us to think about other common dangers to children. Drowning, for instance, is scary:
  • In 2000, there were 3,482 unintentional drownings in the United States, an average of nine people per day. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • It is estimated that for each drowning death, there are 1 to 4 nonfatal submersions serious enough to result in hospitalization. Children who still require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the time they arrive at the emergency department have a poor prognosis, with at least half of survivors suffering significant neurologic impairment. (American Academy of Pediatrics)

  • Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children under the age of 15. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • 19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present. (Drowning Prevention Foundation)

  • A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under. (Orange County California Fire Authority)

  • Children under five and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 have the highest drowning rates. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • An estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to unintentional drowning-related incidents each year; 15 percent die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. (National Safety Council)

  • Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less. (Orange County, CA, Fire Authority)

  • The majority of children who survive (92 percent) are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and most children who die (86 percent) are found after 10 minutes. Nearly all who require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) die or are left with severe brain injury. (National Safe Kids Campaign)
Here we have a table (I was going to write "nice table," but changed my mind) showing all sorts of accidents from which children die (year 1996). We find in this list that, for chilren 14 and under, the leading causes of accidental deaths are from: Motor vehicle (1404), Drowning (981), Residential Fire (740), Pedestrian Traffic Related (723), Suffocation and Choking (666), Bicyclist Traffic Related (197), Firearm (138), Poisoning (109), Fall (107).

And now we can articulate what we all know about the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. It's not about the kids. It's not about safety. It's not even about doing good in general. It's about one thing. IT'S ABOUT GUNS.

The money they spend is absolutely wasted. I feel very comfortable making the following conjecture: The tens of millions (hundreds of millions?) of dollars spent by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has had no impact whatsoever on child mortality rates. None. Another conjecture I think is accurate is that that humongous pile of money could have been used in ways that could have actually prevented many of the other accidental deaths listed above. But no, the Brady Campaign isn't really interested in saving children's lives, or the most possible number of children's lives. The utility of the situation eludes them because they are fixated on guns. Their attitude is appaling. It is inexcusable, and unforgivable.

If the Brady Campaign had a conscience, they would become the Brady Campaign to Reduce Serious Childhood Accidents. They could rightly put an entire page on their new website dedicated to gun safety, namely the four rules and other useful safety pointers, and a link to the NRA Eddie Eagle program. I'd give them my money in that case.

2 Comments:

Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

A kid is more likely to be killed by a plastic bag or a bicycle than a gun. I'd pay money to see Hillary get worked up about that.

3/10/2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Rusticus said...

Liked it, linked it.

3/13/2006 3:38 PM  

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