Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts is no stranger at spinning the facts in order to push her agenda of disarming law-abiding Americans. And she's at it again. This time though, she's attempting to make the argument that gun control groups are responsible for the drop in accidental shooting deaths. There's just one problem though: the firearms industry has invested heavily in gun safety initiatives.
Naturally, Watts' spin factor began by attacking National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch:
Spoiler alert: CDC data doesn’t capture all unintentional gun fatalities because it depends on how local medical examiners classify deaths. Only 31% of US homes reported having a gun in 2014, down from 48% in 1980. The @NRA just convinced a segment of Americans to buy arsenals. https://t.co/7mnXJ6Rcxm— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
In addition, unintentional hunting shootings may also be down because the percentage of Americans who hunt has declined. States that have high rates of gun ownership and strong traditions of hunting also have the highest rates of unintentional shooting deaths.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
And, really, it takes nerve for @NRA gun saleswoman Dana Loesch to tout the success of gun locks given that the @NRA opposes safe storage laws and their “Eddie Eagle” educational program has been found to be completely ineffective (and actually just markets guns to kids).— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
An estimated 4.6M American children reside in a household where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. The share of child-rearing gun owners who don’t secure all their firearms more than doubled since the last time similar research was conducted. https://t.co/v05nTKnsGo— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
From 2012 to 2014, 1,300 children died annually from a gun-related injury in the US, and 6,000 were injured. A federal analysis of school shootings released in 2004 found that 65 percent of perpetrators used a gun owned by a relative.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
This is a crisis.https://t.co/0ztcmziAy4
Go here to learn more about @MomsDemand’s Be SMART campaign, created to bring together all responsible adults to reduce suicides and the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children get ahold of an unsecured firearm: https://t.co/cShDhHepi9— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) January 7, 2019
There are so many things wrong with Watts' assertion.
First of all, the NRA's Eddie Eagle program doesn't sell guns to kids. Making that assertion is rather stupid and irresponsible. The purpose of the Eddie Eagle program is to teach children how to be safe and responsible around firearms.
These are Eddie Eagle's crucial steps when a child sees a firearm:
2. Don't touch
3. Run away
4. Tell a grown-up
These are the parts of the Moms Demand Action's SMART campaign:
Secure all guns in your home and vehicles.
Model responsible behavior around guns.
Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes.
Recognize the risks of teen suicide.
Tell your peers to be SMART.
Watts is comparing apples to oranges when it comes to Eddie Eagle and the Be SMART campaign. Eddie Eagle's mission is simple and very clear: it was designed to teach kids about gun safety, which means they shouldn't touch a gun but should instead tell an adult that they see/found a firearm. The Be SMART campaign, on the other hand, is a broader program instead of a specific program with specific guidelines. They're generalizations.
Second, Watts is completely wrong about gun locks. The program Dana was referring to is the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Project ChildSafe. This program is, arguably, the most successful gun safety initiative in the country. NSSF has established partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide and has provided more than 37 MILLION cable-style gun locks to firearms owners free of charge through those law enforcement relationships. That's a $74 million investment. In fact, the project has been so successful that in 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance gave NSSF a $2.4 million grant to continue with their Project ChildSafe efforts.
Oh, and guess who provides funds to the Project ChildSafe initiative? That's right. Gun manufacturers, the same people Watts claims only care about making money. But then again, look who's putting their money where their mouth is (and we know it's not Watts).
In addition to Project ChildSafe, gun manufacturers have included 70 MILLION cable-style gun locks, free of charge, when a gun is purchased. That's a $140 million investment.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there was a 24 percent decline in fatal gun-related accidents between 2006 and 2015. But please, tell us how the gun industry has made absolutely no dent in this issue.
At least if people like Watts are going to try to claim that they care about the safety of America's children then they should be applauding every. single. effort that's being made to reduce accidental deaths, even if it means tipping their hat to those on the opposite side of the aisle.