Another interesting study.
Jeremy, I've read the citation and I find myself underwhelmed. Even if the statistics CDC used are accurate, there are a number of problems with jumping to the conclusion that firearms themselves are the cause of the results. The first problem is that the sample is immense and the number of children involved in firearm deaths is miniscule. Another problem is that in general the study deals with "firearm related deaths," not murders. It lumps together suicides, accidental firearm deaths, and murders. Unless I'm mistaken it's murders we're concerned with. A kid who's set on suicide doesn't need a gun, though a gun's convenient if it happens to be there. Accidental deaths are, well, accidental. That kind of death can be produced with a gun, but it can be produced with a car, a mountain, football, contaminated food, etc., etc. Finally, we get to homicide. The study states: "Of the homicides, 1464 (73%) occurred among U.S. children." First, that's an extremely small number relative to the population sample, and second, it doesn't differentiate between age groups. As I said earlier, it includes 18-year-olds in drug wars, inner-city gang bangers, and drive-by shootings in downtown Detroit where a kid in bed happens to get hit.
The real question is: how many kids are killed by guns in the hands of people who legitimately hold the guns? In other words, in a locale like my own, where many people carry legitimate concealed weapons, is the serious crime rate, including murder, rape, etc., higher or lower than in places like New York City where only criminals are allowed to have guns?
One citation I was going to give you was John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime
, but there have been enough attacks on that book that I'm sure you'd immediately come back with one of them. Instead, I'm going to give you a reference to a Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concealed_carry_in_the_United_States#cite_note-CHE-87
. As "Rhossydd" pointed out in another thread, people can use Wikipedia to suggest their personal opinions are facts, but this article includes hard citations for each statement. The best summary of the article I can come up with is a paragraph from the article: "In reporting on Lott's original analysis The Chronicle of Higher Education has said that although his findings are controversial Mr. Lott's research has convinced his peers of at least one point: No scholars now claim that legalizing concealed weapons causes a major increase in crime." I personally think legalizing concealed weapons causes a noticeable, if not major decrease in crime, but I can't prove it.
Since I live in Colorado I can't help but think about the Columbine massacre and wonder what would have happened if that teacher who held the door while his kids got out and then was killed had been armed. Had he been carrying, that'd have been the end of the massacre. The same thing's true in the other school and college massacres we've had these past few years. I've come to believe that high school teachers and college professors should be required to go through the same kind of handgun training I went through in the Air Force and be required to carry a gun at all times in the classroom. I think that'd bring the school massacres to a screeching halt!