Since the Snopes article doesn’t list how many of the final 52 victims were people other than the toddler, we only know of two. But we’ll extrapolate that rate to and round it up to three.

It’s probably fair to make the assumption the each of the deaths involved a different gun owner. The two most commonly used percentages of American adults that own guns are 21% from the 2015 General Social Survey and 29% from the 2016 Gallup survey. Averaging those two results yields the totally alarming statistic that those three deaths were the result of negligence on the part of 0.0000048% of gun owners. Using the total of 52 injuries and deaths, we come up with 0.000084%.

That’s even smaller than the 0.000024% of young adults ages 18, 29 and 20 that have used a legally purchased AR-15 in a mass shooting. That’s right, Nikolas Cruz is the only person under 21 to have used an AR-15 they bought themselves in a mass shooting in the entire 54 years the gun has been on the market. The only case similar to Cruz’s is that of Dean Mellberg, an ex-airman who used an AK-47 to shoot up Fairchild AFB in 1994. That’s it: two incidents since 1964.

Sure, that’s a public health threat you can really sink your teeth into. Especially if you are desperate to salvage your argument and are willing to grab any out-of-context number you can find.

Have you ever heard of vicarious liability? How about parental negligence laws? Is there some reason that you think that a gun owner that fails to secure a firearm that is subsequently used by a minor child to injure or kill another person isn’t both criminally liable and subject to civil actions on behalf of the injured party? I don’t know what the laws are in Wisconsin but here in Texas, a parent is responsible for the misuse of a firearm by a child under the age of 17. It’s a felony to allow a child to have access to a gun if that gun is used to injure or kill another person. Felony as in prison time and a federal lifetime ban on gun possession because it is considered to be a violent crime.

Holding a person responsible for another person’s actions with property stolen from the first individual is an interesting concept. Outlandish and contrary to every principle of American common law, but interesting. A criminal steals a car, uses it in a bank robbery/liquor store holdup/fill-in-the-blank-here offense. During the escape, the criminal runs down a pedestrian or strikes another vehicle, killing the driver. Is the owner of the car going to get their hand cut off? How about the victim of a carjacking?

What if a criminal “borrows” a knife from your house and uses it in a mugging or a homicide? Does the homeowner/knife owner deserve your somewhat barbaric punishment? Theft of knives is a very common offense; tactical and hunting knives are especially attractive to thieves. Since they generally don’t have serial numbers or other unique identifying features, they are virtually impossible to trace. Knives were used in nearly 18% of aggravated assaults and homicides last year. Guns of all types were used in slightly less than 27%. Bare hands were the weapons in nearly 25%.

Why do I include assaults and homicides? Because the CDC notes that about 86% of all gunshot victims survive their injuries.

Incidentally, if you actually cared about those toddlers and their victims, you would be promoting Project ChildSafe.

It’s swell that you are an instructor at a technical school up there in Janesville. It’s swell that you have a YouTube channel. [FYI: In “Writing a Persuasive Introduction,” compliment should be spelled with one i and one e. Complement is another word altogether.] But on this topic, I think you need to revert to being a student and learn the benefits of fact-checking and context. Beats the heck out of being a gullible member of the choir.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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