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Kamala Harris Reiterates False Claim That Gun Violence No. 1 Killer of Children Day After Chiefs Shooting

Fact-Check: Behind Vice President’s Claim on Child Gun Death Rates

Vice President Kamala Harris

The event that unfolded on February 15, 2024, following the tragic incident during the Kansas City Chiefs’ parade is still fresh on our minds. As the nation grappled with yet another episode of violent occurrences, Vice President Kamala Harris took to a social media platform, X. Her statement, concerning the outcomes of gun violence in the country, reignited a familiar debate.

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Vice President Harris marked a post on X with a significant assertion, ‘Gun violence is the leading death cause amongst American children, outpacing diseases or vehicular accidents.’ This claim, however, isn’t the first iteration of such a statement coming from the Vice President. Indeed, it echoed a near-identical declaration made in July of 2023.

The claim by the Vice President was, at the time, thoroughly examined by Breitbart News. They presented fact-checked data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The numbers were quite contrary to what was argued by the Vice President.

Surveying data from the CDC, firearm-related deaths for children between 0 and 17 years old accounted for 2,281 instances in the year 2020. This number, while indeed alarming, was however surpassed by motor vehicle-related fatalities for the same age group. The motor vehicle accident-related deaths were recorded to be 2,503 for the same year.

What’s more illustrative were other comparisons that emerged from the CDC’s figures. For instance, children are statistically 27 times more likely to lose their lives in accidental car crashes than from accidental gun-related incidents. A sobering statistic to ponder.

Following incidents of gun violence, it’s natural to find ourselves swirling in the debate and discussions around firearm safety. However, when we look into the data, we also find startling numbers that point out to other prevalent risks we tend to overlook. Unintentional suffocation deaths, for example, occur 10 times more frequently amongst children as compared to accidental gun deaths.

Revisiting the statement made by Vice President Harris, her declaration seems to diverge to some extent from the statistics provided by the CDC. Still, it doesn’t significantly diminish the fact that there is a gun violence problem that needs addressing within our nation.

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Despite the discrepancies in the numbers, the Vice President then chose to restate the claim the day after the disheartening event at the Chiefs’ shooting. Her aim was less about the statistical accuracy, and arguably more about emphasizing the need for immediate action.

In issuing the assertion once again, Vice President Harris brought the issue back to the forefront and underlined the need for action. More precisely, she called upon Congress and state legislators to have the courage required to make significant changes by passing sensible gun safety legislation.

Without downplaying the importance of numerical deviations, Harris’ call aims to focus more on the urgency required in addressing the broader issue. Certainly gun-related incidents claim far too many young lives, while other causes of accidental deaths can’t afford to be ignored either.

As the nation grieves with the consequences of gun violence, it’s essential to keep in mind a perspective fostered on the larger truth. A narrative that doesn’t overlook the other, at times overshadowed causes of fatalities among children.

In the end, it’s not just about debating the numbers but understanding their implications. The urgency in tackling gun safety, the risks of vehicular accidents, and other accidental deaths signify the need for a broader safety net for our children.

By keeping the conversation alive and urging our legislators to act, there’s still hope that the safety of our children will continue to be prioritized. Regardless of the divergence in numbers, fostering a safer environment for our children remains our collective obligation.

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