Friday, June 6, 2014

Children's Deaths By Car Accident Not As "Sexy" As By School Shootings

"Sexy" is a term used by news organizations describing something that is:
"3) interesting, exciting or trendy".
"Apples and Oranges" is a phrase that is often used as a crushing blow to an analogy when in fact, "denigrating an analogy by accusing it of comparing apples and oranges is, in and of itself, comparing apples and oranges."

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When it comes to children's (usually defined as 17 years old or younger) deaths in school shootings, almost everybody gets wildly and irrationally emotional. Parents, educators and especially craven politicians' reactions to school shootings, whether they realize it or not, are fodder for both the Mainstream Media (MSM) and countless bloggers because the subject and reactions are just too darn "sexy" to pass up. When it comes to children's deaths in vehicular accidents, the reaction is, well, uh, fairly muted. In fact, children's deaths in vehicular accidents are so "un-sexy" that when one types in a Google search for, "politicians call for stricter laws on children deaths in car crashes", not only does one get over 861 million hits, but most of those hits are about children's deaths by school gun violence! A true "what the hell" if there ever was one. Apparently not only does the search parameters on Google think the shooting deaths are more "sexy", they also show that the "apples and oranges" argument is alive and well as, "comparing apples and oranges is, in and of itself, comparing apples and oranges."

Why is this so significant? Let us look at the numbers. Between 1980 and 2012, the number of people killed in shootings at school is 297, which includes mostly children, but also adults. The number of children killed in vehicular accidents is estimated at more than 51,000 for the same period. The numbers are so drastically different that the free-for-all reactions that happen in the MSM and in political houses across the country over school shootings show that the topic is not only "sexy" but "damn sexy" as well. Looking at the numbers alone, one would think that the reactions should be diametrically opposite, but, of course, they are not. Why?

I mean, look, even when typing a Google search for, "number of children deaths by accident in home per year", and one still gets trafficked to sites about children dying in school shootings by the multitude, one is forced to admit that something is wrong in how we are dealing with the deaths of children. As school shootings over the years have resulted in schools resembling prisons more and more, despite the fact that the odds of one's child being killed is so extremely rare, and the improvements to car safety lag so woefully behind in comparison, one is again forced to ask: why?

While after a school shooting it is now de rigueur for a parent (more often than not the father) to begin a media blitzkrieg condemning lax gun control laws before their child's body is even cold; there is no corresponding reaction to the daily toll of over three child deaths in vehicular accidents. Are there mass condemnations or protests in front of General Motors headquarters? No one suggests or even wants to put the head of Ford Motor Company's head on a pike and parade it down the street to the jeering cries of a multitude of people. Although that reaction would certainly be a "sexy" news item in the eyes of the MSM, it just never happens. In fact, the gap between reality and Americans' perception of horrible, out of control gun violence prompted the Pew Research Center to publish a reality check entitled, "Gun Homicide Rate Down 49% Since 1993 Peak; Public Unaware".

When it comes to gun control, there are extremists on both sides of the issue and they both can outdo the other when it comes to outrageous behaviors, which are, of course, imminently "sexy" to both the MSM and the craven politicians. However, when it comes to somehow really curbing the death toll of children in vehicular accidents, there are no corresponding extremist positions and not really even a middle one. The best we have is Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), with no such opposing group such as Fathers For Soused Driving existing or even contemplated. MADD is a good group to have around, obviously, because a lot of the deaths of children in vehicular accidents are caused by drunk drivers.

Among the many things about the United States of America, love it or leave it, that make it so damn interesting, yes even "sexy", are the many inconsistencies and incongruities. From religion to mass entertainment or political discourse to sexual mores, the USA is a blooming basketful of apples and oranges. If one stops to think about it, one might wonder how the country has survived for as long as it has. Yet, while the continued overreaction to the woefully few children's deaths at school because of guns is undermining the education process itself and turning schools into prisons, any meaningful change in vehicular safety for the sake of "our children" is condemned to the "non-sexy" well of sickening silence.

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