Skip to comments.NosyASK Campaign Improves on the National ASK Day (rev. 6/19/2002)
Posted on 06/19/2002 3:27:20 PM PDT by john in missouri
Improving on the National ASK Campaign
1) whether they have a gun in their home, and
2) if so, how it is stored.
The goal, obviously, is to prompt participants' neighbors to make sure all firearms are stored in such a way as to prevent unauthorized access. This is a worthy goal, even if some might very seriously question the effectiveness (and the ultimate effects) of the specific approach being promoted.
But unfortunately, although organizers bill their campaign as "a comprehensive national public health campaign," government statistics clearly show that only 1 and one half % of accidental deaths of children aged 12 and under each year are caused by firearms.* And of course, many of these 60 or so tragic deaths per year (roughly 1 death for every million American children) are caused by adults carelessly mishandling firearms in the presence of their children.
Thus, even if we were able to blanket the nation with the National ASK Campaign, questioning every single adult in the country about their firearms, this national campaign still would leave roughly 99% of accidental deaths of children completely unaddressed.
Obviously, this is a gravely serious oversight.
Nevertheless, the basic idea seems to be such a good one. If only we were more willing to ask our neighbors probing questions about their lives, we might save many more children. Being "nosy," after all, can conceivably save a child's life. After all, one out of every ten thousand children in American will meet with some kind of accidental death this year.
That's why we've decided to expand the concept of the ASK Campaign, and correct its glaring failure to address some 99% of accidental deaths of children. In doing so, we've come up with a new, improved, far more comprehensive program: the NosyASK Campaign.
Yes, you too can be a NosyASK Neighbor -- it's easy!! All you have to do to participate is print out the following letter/ questionnaire and take it to any and all of your neighbors that your children might occasionally play with, or whose homes they could conceivably go into.
In order to help provide the maximum impact for children's safety, and fill in as much as possible of that 99% gap, we've also decided to focus the National NosyASK Campaign on the same day as the National ASK Day -- June 20, 2002.
Remember: ASKING SAVES KIDS!
* According to the U.S. Government's Centers for Disease Control, accidents with firearms claimed the lives of 380 American children aged 12 and under during the 5-year period from 1995 through 1999, out of a population of some 50 million kids. Non-firearm accidents resulted in 25,622 accidental deaths of children.
(So what's all this about, really?)
Obviously, people will participate in the "National ASK Campaign" in hopes that it might save a child's life. And it's just possible that it might. But at what cost?
There are some 60 accidental firearms deaths of children under 13 each year in the United States, and perhaps 120 accidental firearms deaths of teens aged 13 up to 18, for a total of about 180 accidental deaths per year of minors up to age 18. And yes, there are also about 1,600 firearms-related suicides and homicides of minors per year (although it's quite unclear what percentage of these could be prevented by adults "locking up" firearms).
Statistical estimates on defensive uses of firearms against range from 60,000 to 2.5 million defensive uses per year. If we take even the very most conservative of these statistics (60,000 defensive firearms uses), and then assume that only one tenth of those defenses were legitimate, necessary defenses against a violent criminal who otherwise would have taken a victim's life, we have 6000 lives per year saved by the legitimate defensive use of firearms.
What if a National ASK Campaign successfully encourages "locking up" 1% of the nation's firearms? We might see a few lives of minors saved, but the most likely scenario would seem to be that "success" of such a campaign would, when all the effects are considered, actually cost lives:
Estimate of "preventable" deaths: 180 accidental deaths, plus perhaps 800 suicides / homicides (assumption: half of the suicides/ homicides are "preventable"). In round figures, roughly 1000.
Conservative estimate of lives saved: 6000.
If we estimate a 1% effect, and that, say, even one third of the firearms we prompted people to "lock up" were thus made unavailable in an emergency, then our massive national campaign might save 10 lives per year -- and cost 20.
If any of the parameters used are in reality less conservative, then the number of lives this expensive national campaign is likely to cost only goes up.
Let me make one thing plain: I am absolutely FOR parents taking great care to make certain that their children are kept safe from all kinds of harm. But it's plain that the National ASK Campaign is NOT about the safety of children and other Americans -- else the organizers would pay attention to the actual likely effects of such a campaign. It is instead an ill-conceived, ill-advised, busybody attempt on the part of firearms-phobic extremists to make firearms themselves taboo in American society. Or at least to make them so "locked up" that they are no longer useful as a defense against violent criminals and therefore slowly disappear, because they have been made useless.
All at the cost -- yes, cost -- of the lives of American parents, and sometimes even at the cost of the very lives of the children the gun-control fanatics are supposedly trying to protect -- such as Ashley and John William Carpenter (see http://www.aardvarknews.com/carpenter.htm ).
There are better ways to protect your children. For starters, if you don't know your neighbors well enough to know whether they have firearms, and how careful they are with them (as well as whether or not you can trust them not to molest your children), then your kids shouldn't even be in their house. Secondly, your kids are going to be exposed to cars, knives, guns, lakes, swimming pools, ladders, violent individuals, fools, cancer-causing chemicals, alcohol, drugs, and other things that are potentially dangerous. It's your responsibility as a parent to make sure you teach your kids how to deal with each and every one of these potentially dangerous things -- most of which have some legitimate use. You might ask your neighbors about their gun storage habits -- but the odds are good that when you kid first encounters a firearm, it will be at the house of somebody you didn't even think of.
Unless you teach them first, hands-on, precisely how to behave around guns, and exactly what to do if some fool is careless with them. And unless you take the responsibility to remove the mystique and glamor of firearms by allowing your children access to them under your close adult supervision, and by pounding the safety rules into their heads year after year, rather than keeping them a "forbidden fruit" and allowing your children to learn what they know about guns from Hollywood.
Boys are notorious for handling a firearm that they find. Your children should be trained and tested in exactly what to do if they find a firearm. The proper response is: Stop. Don't touch. Leave the room. Go tell an adult.
This can be done under controlled conditions, with either a toy gun or with a real gun that you've verified about 3 or 4 times as unloaded and completely inaccessible to any ammunition. If the child passes the test, give him a big reward. If he fails, punish appropriately.
Repeat as necessary, perhaps with the help of a sibling, until your child is fully trained and no doubt remains as to what your child would do if he found a gun, alone or with a friend.
Should firearms be kept securely locked up from children? Yes, but only in ways that do not counter-productively compromise their usefulness as a tool for saving lives through self-defense, and for defense of those same children, in the event of an emergency. Additionally, children should be trained and tested in firearms safety.
Secondly, you have a responsibility to teach your kids responsibility, common sense, and how to maintain a proper safety margin in regard to anything they encounter that has the potential to be dangerous. Cars, hiking trails, bicycles, potato salad, anything.
Finally, they shouldn't be hanging out with fools, or families of fools. A fool will find a hundred different ways to kill or injure your child, not just one. Even if you do succeed in getting fools to lock up their guns, they're all too likely to lead your child into a head-on collision, off of a cliff, or into a drug overdose.
The effort that you and I put into these kinds of issues are far more likely to save your children's lives (and adult lives, too) than simply pressuring your neighbors to "lock up all firearms."
The article above, as you probably noticed, subtly alludes to this...
Do responsible gun owners PROMOTE firearm safety? Of course...
Read the entire article for full perspective:
And from my previous days as Mo Coord for SAS, see comments below. Let it be known that these people are gun control elitists who will exploit tragedy to further their own cause.
The leaders of the gun control movement are amongst the elite. Ms Blek said herself that she lived in a gated/guarded community/neighborhood. She is amongst a small group of people who are fortunate enough to have armed guards and gates protecting them from 'dangerous criminals who might have illegally obtained guns".
The leaders and MANY supporters of gun control are rich. They are movie stars, and media personalities with well-recognized names. They are multi-millionaires. They are Multi-million dollar corporations. Many, like Rosie O'donnel, already know the value of a firearm. They know that firearms are the great equalizer. They know that violent criminals can be stopped by a simple act of using a firearm for self-defense.
These so called 'leaders' believe that you and I who live on the 'outside' of their gated communities, those of us who live outside their 'social and economic groups" need to be 'regulated, interrogated and intimidated". They DON'T CARE that you and I are already law abiding. They don't care THAT YOU AND I support the notion of 'safety training". They don't care that you and I believe that their focus should be on criminals.
The gun control elitists don't care that many of you have been educated your entire lives on the proper use of firearms. Many don't care that you were/are in the law enforcement community and have already been trained through a government authorized program. They don't care about your basic human right to self-defense.
But also ask if any of her children living at home are "sexually active!"
Because, after all, "asking saves kids" - as in yours, from being dragged into promiscuity by theirs!
Because, after all, "asking saves kids" - as in yours, from being dragged into promiscuity by theirs!
Ah yes. A mere oversight which will surely be corrected in the next version of the questionnaire. :-)