The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has produced a series of public service announcements encouraging people to report “gun crime”. They appear to be aimed at reducing gangs and gang violence.
The first two videos produced feature former Green Bay Packer Antonio Freeman and actor Clifton Powell. The video with Freeman entitled “Game Over” is below.
The video starts with these statements:
“Gun Violence Killed 31,593 People in One Year”
“Gun Violence Killed 2,966 Children (Aged 19 and Under)”
“Gun Violence Kills 87 People Every Day in the U.S.”
And the source for these numbers? The Brady Campaign and this “report”.
These raw numbers come from the CDC’s WISQARS database for 2009. If you go deeper, you find that 59% of the deaths using a firearm are suicides. Only 36% are homicides or what the average person would call a result of violent crime.
Of the 87 people that “gun violence” kills per day, 56 are self-inflicted. Only an average of 31 per day nationwide (or a few weekends in Chicago) are the result of crime.
Looking at the “children” killed by “gun violence”, we find that 2,420 out of the 2,966 deaths are for those aged 16 or older. This would include self-inflicted deaths, gang violence, legal interventions by police, accidents, and murders. Given that a 16 year old can be tried as an adult in most states, I think that is a more appropriate age cut-off than those under age 20.
The data is out there and it is available from reputable government sources. Given that, why is the ATF using skewed statistics from the Brady Campaign? Moreover, why are they using the term “gun violence” when as the chief Federal agency charged with the regulation of firearms they should know better?
These videos are nothing but propaganda and the ATF should be ashamed of themselves. I think Congress should be asking just how much was spent to produce these pieces of propaganda. They should also be asking why they used the Brady Campaign talking points.