Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our Children Are Far More Likely To Be Kidnapped And Sexually Assaulted or Killed Than Hurt By Someone With An "Assault Rifle" in a Mass Shooting

I was recently having a discussion on Facebook with a friend of mine from college about something I posted about how Israel has fewer school shootings because there is much more security over there and even teachers are often armed.  He asked how do you explain something like that to a 6 year old.  That got me thinking, we actually already explain "stranger danger" pretty regularly in schools and at home as we are constantly under threat of someone taking our kids.  Every month or so I get an alert from my school about someone in a car trying to lure a child they don't know into it.  If the child is small, they promise candy or toys.  Sometimes they say that their parents have been hurt and they are going to drive them to the hospital.  It isn't hard to imagine what would happen if the child gets into the car.  That is a much bigger worry for me than some random guy going into a school with a semi-automatic rifle and the statistics show my worries are correct.

The latest official statistics from the Department of Justice are from 2002 but I'm sure they haven't changed by too too much.  They estimate 58,000 children are abducted by non-family members and 46% of the time are sexually assaulted by the perpetrator.  There are also 115 "stereotypical" abductions which is defined as:

A nonfamily abduction perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger in which a child is detained overnight, transported at least 50 miles, held for ransom or abducted with intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.

In "stereotypical" abductions, the ones that are often featured on crime dramas, the child returns home only 57% of the time and are usually injured in some way.  Most of the time they are just killed and sometimes they are not found at all.

The difference in the abduction definitions is that in one the perpetrator will only kidnap the child for a defined period while in the other one the intent is to kidnap "permanently". Either way, based on these numbers, about 27,000 kids are molested while being abducted and another 50 or so are killed after being abducted. 

As an apples to apples comparison, let's look at the number of school violence associated deaths in the same year as these kidnapping statistics.  In the 2001-2002 school year there were 17.  In 2002-2003, there were 16.  Some of these were from suicides or fighting or stabbing so the total number of shooting related deaths in those two years was only 8 (5 in 2001-2002 and 3 in 2002-2003).  Put simply, in the same year as these child abduction statistics came out your child was 10x more likely to be murdered in an abduction by a stranger than in a school shooting.

Even factoring in Newtown and the ones I was able to find listed on the internet, the number of shooting related deaths in schools this year is probably around 30.  Again, you child is more likely to be killed due to some crazy sick psychopath abducting them and far far more likely to be sexually assaulted than to be killed by an "assault rifle" attack.

Instead of being driven by headlines, how about we focus on a real issue that is a danger to our children, one that has nothing to do with "assault rifles". 

No comments:

Post a Comment