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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (262) 673-9745
Fax (262) 673-9746


March 6, 2000

HCI Conceals Data to Mislead President, Press and Public on Child Deaths

President Clinton, using Handgun Control Inc. (HCI) figures, recently asserted that "13 kids" are killed by guns each day in America. "That statement is fraudulent," according to civil rights activist Aaron Zelman. "Americans should demand full disclosure. We’re getting half-truths and lies."

Documents obtained from HCI reveal the deception: the "13 kids" figure includes people "ages 19 and under." Using that category, legal adults ages 18 and 19 are misleadingly counted as "kids." Zelman noted "if a salesman sold you a home or car by giving you doctored information, then you could sue him for fraud. HCI is steering Clinton to defraud Americans using trick data."

Using the deceptive HCI figures, the Clinton administration claims that more victim disarmament laws (euphemistically called "gun control") will save young children’s lives. Actual data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCSH) prove otherwise. Less than 0.3% of all victims of lethal misuse of firearms were children under 5 years of age. Less than .07% of the total deaths from firearms misuse were accident victims under age 5.

"Saying that toddlers are shooting one another with guns is an outright lie," Zelman stated. "Americans prevent crimes about 5,500 times per day using firearms. HCI is concealing that fact."

NCSH reported firearms-related deaths in America for 1997 totaling 32,436. There were 9 victims under one year of age, 75 victims between one and four years of age, and 546 victims between five and fourteen years of age. These figures correspond to 0.03%, 0.23%, and 1.6%, respectively. "The true figures show that over 98% of people killed by firearms misuse are not young children," Zelman observed.

So-called "gun safety devices" can have little or no effect on firearms misuse. Linda Gorman, a researcher at the Independence Institute, recently concluded that "most of the proposed ’safe storage’ measures can be defeated by 15-year-olds." Devices such as mandatory trigger locks would not "have much effect on suicides or homicides in older age groups," Gorman noted.

Darrell Huff, author of How to Lie With Statistics, wrote that "a well-wrapped statistic is better than Hitler’s ’big lie’; it misleads, yet it cannot be pinned on you." Zelman vowed his organization would "pin these false stats on the people who try to fool the American public."

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Notes

1. The 13 kids per day ... comes from the transcript of Pres. Clinton's Today Show appearance ... which was forwarded to me as e-mail. I have heard the clip played on Rush Limbaugh as well.

2. HCI's information is set forth at their website: http://www.handguncontrol.org/protecting/D1/children-guns.htm

3. The "true facts" about the child death rates comes from National Center for Health Statistics, Final Data for 1997, at website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/releases/99facts/99sheets/97mortal.htm

4. Statements by Linda Gorman, Senior Fellow at the Independence Institute, come from "Some Frequently Overlooked Facts in Gun Policy Discussions," Independence Institute, November 9, 1999 at http://www.i2i.org/SuptDocs/Crime/OverlookedFacts.htm

5. The 5,500 DGU per day is an average taken by dividing 2,000,000 by 365 days and rounding. GOA Fact sheet provides the original references to Professor Kleck's studies. The one usually cited is G. Kleck and M. Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 86, pp. 150-187 (Fall 1995).

6. The quote from Darrell Huff is in the book itself which is referenced in the Press Release, at page 9.


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