“There is a crisis of youth gun violence in this country,” reads January’s Center for American Progress’ (CAP) 13-page report that shows how our Second Amendment rights are devastating the Millennial generation. According to their data, most of which is from the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Justice, “gun deaths are on track to surpass motor vehicle traffic deaths for this age group in 2015.”
Well, that’s certainly a horrid milestone, but like most anti-gun studies, the data is often skewed or includes debatable subcategories, like suicides, to inflate the numbers in order to add to the narrative that America has a gun violence epidemic; it doesn’t.
In the CAP study, they include suicide as gun violence, saying, “the third highest cause of death for this age group [15-24] in 2010 was suicide, and again, guns played a large role, accounting for a plurality—45 percent—of those deaths.” In that same year, the second most frequent cause of death was homicide, wherein a firearm was used in 83 percent of the cases.
Suicide is tragic, but it’s debatable to consider it gun violence. Furthermore, when police engage armed felons with their service pistols, should that be considered gun violence? If we’re tracking gun violence (i.e. homicides or other acts of violence committed by one person against another) in instances that resulted in fatalities, then the study has inflated numbers.
Here’s the introduction [emphasis mine]:
Even though violent crime has steadily declined in recent years—overall violent crime declined 19 percent between 2003 and 2012, and the murder rate declined 17 percent during that period—rates of gun violence remain unacceptably high. On average, 33,000 Americans are killed with guns each year, and the burden of this violence falls disproportionately on young people: 54 percent of people murdered with guns in 2010 were under the age of 30.3 Young people are also disproportionately the perpetrators of gun violence, as weak gun laws offer easy access to guns in many parts of the country. Far too often, a gun not only takes the life of one young American but also contributes to ruining the life of another young person who pulls the trigger.
So, CAP just admitted that the murder rate has gone down. In fact, firearm-related homicides have declined 39 percent between 1993-2011.