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OPINION

Who Really Cares About Dead Kids?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

We've heard a lot lately about how Republicans don't care about dead kids -- just keep your hands off their guns! The bullhorn insurrection staged by Tennessee legislators, for example, was justified on the grounds that they were JUST TRYING TO SAVE CHILDREN'S LIVES!!!

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As MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell put it, the bullhorn episode showed "who is trying to protect the children of Tennessee and who isn't."

The amazing statistic that's supposed to make us give up our guns PRONTO is that since 2020, gun violence has become the leading cause of death for American children.

You're supposed to be thinking of the little kids killed in school shootings, like in Uvalde or the Christian school in Nashville. In fact, the odds that a child will be killed in a mass school shooting are 1 in 10 million.

The trick is that "children" includes 16-to-19-year-old gang members. Exclude 16-to-19-year-olds, and the number of kids killed by guns every year plummets from 2,811 to a few hundred.

It turns out, black teenagers are using guns to kill a lot of other black teenagers.

This will come as a surprise to most people because black-on-black violence is not considered newsworthy. (By contrast, any white-on-black violence, even the sort of thing that wouldn't make local news if the perp were black, will get front-page coverage at The New York Times, international headlines and a call from the president.)

Based on arrests reported in the local news, here are a few recent examples of "children" being killed by gun violence. You will notice that none of these suspected homicides would have been prevented even if Republicans gave up all their guns.

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And consider that, in most urban areas, the huge majority of murders never result in any arrests at all. For example, the "clearance" rate for murder -- which is much higher than the "arrest" rate -- is only 22% in Chicago, 43% in Baltimore and 37% in Philadelphia.

According to police arrests:

-- On March 29, 2023, 16-year-old Vincent Lee Bradley III and 17-year-old Devonte J. Pool fired at least 33 shots, gunning down a 16-year-old high school student, Larry Marshall III, in Tacoma, Washington.

-- A few days earlier, 16-year-old Lorenzo A. Brooks and 19-year-old Aaron Randolph Carter allegedly shot and killed 18-year-old Jasiah Smith in a Fredericksburg, Virginia, parking lot.

-- A week before that, 19-year-old Adrian Daeshawn Granville and 24-year-old Teonjenique Elizabeth Lashay Hudson Howard were shot and killed at the Embassy Suites hotel in Portland, Oregon, by an unknown suspect -- the same hotel where 15-year-old Deandrae Barber fatally shot 18-year-old Parnell Badon Jr. on Nov. 19, 2022. (Can't wait to read the Yelp reviews.)

-- On March 7, 2023, two brothers, Jacob Tobias Bryant, 18, and John Aalen Bryant Jr., 20, along with an unnamed 16-year-old juvenile, fatally shot a 17-year-old in Georgetown, South Carolina.

-- On Feb. 23, 2023, Keith Melvin Moses, 19, shot and killed a 9-year-old girl, T'yonna Major, and her mother in a shooting spree in Orlando, Florida, that left several others wounded or dead.

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-- On Jan. 23, 2023, 18-year-old Preston Walls removed his ankle bracelet before gunning down rival gang members, 18-year-old Gionni Dameron and 16-year-old Rashad Carr, at a violence reduction program in Des Moines, Iowa.

-- On Jan. 4, 2023, 18-year-old Jakari Harps fatally shot 17-year-old Breck Gerard Williams Jr. and 14-year-old Adrian Daniels in west Fort Worth, Texas.

-- Right before Christmas last year, 17-year-old Lavon Semaj Longstreet and 18-year-old TaeShawn Adams-Wright killed 19-year-old Johntae Raymon Hudson at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, standing over Hudson's body and firing "multiple rounds into his body."

-- Earlier in December, 17-year-old Tejuan Johnson and 18-year-old Jaylan Dubose shot and killed 15-year-old Nonaisha Jones and 19-year-old Logan Lawson in the Roselawn neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio.

All these incidents of "children" dying by gun violence consisted of black teenagers killing other black teenagers -- and a 9-year-old.

More than half of all black teenagers who died of any cause in 2020 were killed by guns. Black males 15 to 34 years old were more than 20 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white males that age.

Unfortunately, there is probably no story of less interest to our media (or the president) than the epidemic of black teenagers killing one another. In Jill Leovy's acclaimed book, "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America," there's a full page of racist quotes explaining why, historically, "black-on-black killing drew so little notice." This one is from a white Tennessean during Reconstruction: "[N-word] life's cheap now."

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Or, as Cook County (Illinois) State's Attorney Kim Foxx put it in declining to prosecute a gang shootout, it's "mutual combat."

Far from highlighting the crisis of black teenagers shooting one another and declaring a national emergency, the media, corporate America and Democrats mightily egged on black violence after the death of George Floyd. It's fun for them. They get to watch riot porn from the safety of their lily-white neighborhoods.

The only people who actually give a damn about black people getting killed are the police. And who have the bien-pensants declared war on? You guessed right.

Propose anything that would actually reduce the plague of black-on-black crime, such as arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning criminals, and liberals scream, STOP PUTTING BLACK BODIES IN PRISON!

Needless to say, Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, the Tennessee representatives who attacked democracy because they were JUST TRYING TO SAVE CHILDREN'S LIIIIIVES, are huge BLM supporters. They prattle about "ending police violence," blacks being "lynched by police officers," and accuse the police of running a "system of white supremacy."

Jones told Teen Vogue that "more policing does not lead to community safety." (The thousands of black men who are still alive thanks to Mayor Rudy Giuliani's more policing policy would disagree.) Instead, Jones proposed "more funding to social workers, public education [and] ending poverty." (Why didn't anybody else think of that?)

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On NPR, Pearson blamed "white supremacy" for the death of Tyre Nichols. ("White supremacy" is such an awesome force, it even infected the five black Memphis police officers charged with Nichols' death.)

You want to know who doesn't care about "our children's lives," MSNBC? You, the rest of the media, George Soros-supported prosecutors and the entire Democratic Party. Their motto: "[N-word] life's cheap now."

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