In a world where the "anti" groups are trying to protect us from everything from cigarette smoke to hormone enhanced food products, the loudest voice is still speaking up against firearms.
At this time almost half of all homes in the United States contain guns - close to 250 million guns, these homes contain about 58 million children age 14 and under.
With those numbers in hand the anti-gun groups would like you to believe that firearms accidents involving children are at an all time high. But the numbers don't lie.
According to the National Safety Council report from 1998, there were only 30 accidental firearms-related deaths of children under the age of four, and 80 accidental deaths involving firearms for children age 5 to 14. There is no way for these numbers to support the anti-gun groups claims that "15 children a day" (or the current number being quoted on the nightly news) are "killed by guns."
So how do the anti-gun groups come up with their number? They include in their statistics everyone under the age of 19 involved in firearms shootings whether the shooting was accidental or not. These numbers include deaths which occurred as a result of gang violence or during armed robberies. The truth is that more children under the age of four die from drowning in buckets each year than die in gun accidents.
Gun supporters aren't making light of these deaths and injuries, but most will tell you they believe that education and safety training would go a long way in the fight against accidental shootings.
Studies show that 84 percent of gun accidents involved the use of firearms with no basic safety rules. It makes sense that safety education would be a better approach to lessen accidental firearm injuries.
The National Rifle Association and others firmly believe that education would improve safety overall. The question is why don't the anti-gun groups support programs such as Eddie Eagle, Boy Scouts and 4-H where gun safety is of utmost importance?
Sadly the answer is that these gun prohibition groups have a long term goal of taking guns from the hands of law abiding citizens. These anti-gun groups masquerade under the disguise of "gun safety" groups, when they actually aren't working to teach safety at all.
Taking a look a the bigger picture we see that in states, such as California, which have chosen to regulate guns, more harm has come than good. California requires guns be locked up to protect "the children." Unfortunately a vivid example of results of this plan came last August in Merced, California.
When an insane man with a pitchfork entered the home of Jessica Carpenter, age 14, Jessica, described by her family as "a very good shot" attempted to get to her father's gun in order to protect her brother and sister. In compliance with the California gun law, the gun was locked away and Jessica was unable to gain access. Her 7-year-old brother and 9-year-old sister were killed, and Jessica was left disillusioned with the "gun safety" laws which failed to protect her family.
In fact, in a recent study by researchers John Lott (author of More Guns, Less Crime) and John Whitley, there was "no consistent evidence that safe storage laws reduce accidental gun deaths...one possible reason for these laws not having an effect is that accidental deaths primarily occur among the not so law-abiding segments of society, and these groups do not appear to care very much whether a law exists regarding the storage of guns..."
Aided by network news, the anti-gun groups bombard us daily with numbers like 135,000 children carry a gun to school every day. Supposedly based on figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, surveys asked high school students if they carried a gun for protection. Students who answered "yes" where not given the opportunity to clarify that their answer applied to occasional carrying and not necessarily on school grounds. A fact that the anti-gun groups and network news failed to explain.
The anti-gun groups don't want you to hear stories like the one about a 12-year-old boy in Compton, California who shot a criminal who was robbing his grandmother's convenience store. Seldom will you hear stories on the nightly news where guns were used to protect and save lives.
As law abiding members of society, we have the obligation to see that gun safety and education is provided to all children, but most importantly to the at risk children. Those that are exposed daily to gangs and violence and those that aren't being taught at home. How many lives could be saved if the NRA's Eddie Eagle program was taught to early elementary school children? If the anti-gun groups have their way, we'll never know.