Guns are the leading cause of death among children, new CDC statistics show. But while the horrific massacre in a Texas elementary school rightly outrages the nation, such mass shootings are not the primary reason for that grim statistic.
Most young people killed by guns are shot in gang violence or other crime — which has only gotten worse since the George Floyd race riots and their long anarchic aftermath.
Homicides of youth between the ages of 10 and 17 rose 47% in 2020. That 47% increase far outpaced the record-breaking 29% spike in post-Floyd homicides across all age groups in 2020.
Black youth between the ages of 10 and 17 were killed at 11 times the rate of white youth in 2020. Virtually none of those black deaths was protested by Black Lives Matter activists, since the victims were killed overwhelmingly not by the police and not by whites but by other blacks — and thus did nothing to advance the narrative about lethal white supremacy. Blacks between the ages of 14 and 17 commit gun homicide at more than 10 times the rate of white and Hispanic teenagers combined.
Children under the age of 10 were also mowed down in barbaric drive-by shootings. Examples of the youth carnage in 2020 include:
- A 9-year-old girl killed Oct. 3 during a family gathering in a park in Sacramento, Calif.
- A 3-year-old boy in Orlando fatally shot in the head while playing in his living room Sept. 22, when a passing car sprayed bullets at the front door and windows of the home.
- A 1-year-old boy in Kansas City, Mo., killed Sept. 21 when someone walked up to the car in which he was riding and riddled it with bullets. The victim, Tyron Patton, was among the 13 children who had been killed in shootings through late September in Kansas City.
- A 7-year-old girl killed Aug. 29 while at a family birthday party in South Bend, Ind.; the assailants shot from a passing car.
- A 14-year-old boy who opened the door of his mother’s apartment in St. Louis Sept. 21 in response to a knock and who was fatally shot in the head.
- An 11-year-old girl shot in the head in an SUV in Madison, Wis., on the morning of Aug. 11; two days later, her family took her off of life support.
- A 7-year-old boy shot in the head while sitting on his family’s front porch in West Philadelphia on the morning of Aug. 11. The boy died two days later.
- A 9-year-old fatally gunned down on the near North Side of Chicago while playing with friends Aug. 1. As of that date, the number of shooting victims 10 or younger in Chicago was three times that of 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune.
- 1-year-old Ace Lucas killed in his bed in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 1; his twin brother sleeping next to him was wounded.
- 9-year-old Devonte Bryant killed with a shot to his head in New Orleans July 14.
- A 1-year-old boy in a stroller killed by a shot to the stomach at a cookout in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, July 12;
- At least eight children killed in drive-bys nationally over the 2020 Fourth of July weekend, including 8-year-old Secoriea Turner, who was in a car with her mother in Atlanta trying to inch past a barricade illegally erected by Black Lives Matter protesters.
This carnage is out of sight, out of mind for most of the country. If these children had been white, there would have been a national revolution. The media ignore the routine killings of black children just as assiduously as the race activists do and for the same reason: They were not mowed down by alleged lethal white hate. In fact, the lethal-white-hate narrative that has entranced Democratic politicians and the press for the last two weeks is false: Blacks commit hate crimes nationally at more than twice the rate of whites. In New York City, blacks commit hate crimes at 2.43 times the rate of whites.
The killing will not stop until the family and cultural breakdown that drives it is confronted head on. As President Barack Obama observed in 2008, too many black fathers are ignoring their children and abandoning their responsibilities. Boys grow up without learning impulse control and respect for authority. The intact, biological family is the best form of crime prevention because it is the best way to socialize children.
That fact breaks a number of taboos, however, and so forms no part of our cultural discourse. Until the inner-city family is restored, policing is the second-best solution for saving black lives. Too bad President Joe Biden again regurgitated the fiction this week that law-abiding black Americans are at daily risk of their lives from the police, a fiction that will only cost more black lives.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The War on Cops.”