Toddlers, Guns and Passion Politics



Hillary Clinton’s intentionally misleading comments during the final Presidential candidate debate on October 19, implying that her opposition to the Heller decision was about the safety of toddlers, is just the latest in the gun-grabbers’ arsenal of obfuscation.

Prior to the Heller decision, District of Columbia law required firearms in the home to be kept essentially inoperable.  This was little more than politically-motivated suppression of residents’ ability to defend themselves, masquerading as concern for safety. This is especially peculiar since D.C. had very few gun-related accidents to begin with.

It seems that whenever anti-gunners start losing an argument based on logic, they resort to the “think of the children” strategy. This is a logical fallacy called argumentum ad passiones, or  the appeal to emotion, which attempts to manipulate the audience’s opinions based on emotions (such as, thinking of cute little toddlers).

There is no absurd example than the new Brady Campaign video Toddlers Kill.  It emotionally presents the nonsensical solution of locking up toddlers to protect them from guns.  In its associated website,, the Brady Campaign also plays fast and loose with age data.  How any of this promotes safe gun use is inexplicable.  [Editor: Stay tuned for Dr. Latebloomer’s own recommendations about safe storage.] 

This is not to say that the safety of children is not a concern when considering the presence of firearms in the home—it absolutely is. This has been a longtime focus of programs such as the the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe and the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program.

But if Hillary were genuinely concerned for children, she should prioritize statistically greater hazards for toddlers, like drowning, automobile accidents, or suffocation.

Let’s look at the CDC data for the 10 leading causes of deaths in 2014 (click on the hyperlinks for full-size images):


Next, the 10 leading causes of death by age group, highlighting accidental deaths:


Finally, the same 10 leading causes of death by age group highlighting violent deaths:

As one can easily see in Table 2, unintentional homicide by firearm in the 1-4 year age group (that is, toddlers), is 8th down the list.  If one looks at ALL CAUSE toddler deaths (Table 1) there were more than TWICE as many deaths in this age group due to influenza and pneumonia (109), than there were due to homicide by firearm (Table 3, 47). That should put a little perspective on thing.  Hillary would be more useful directing her concern toward advocating for childhood flu vaccines, than interfering with the constitutional rights of American citizens.

To be clear: ANY death, especially of a child, is tragic. But to focus myopically on firearms, to the exclusion of more obvious hazards like drowning and car accidents—which combined cause 14 TIMES as many tragic pre-school child deaths as firearms—is manipulatively disingenuous at best.

Americans would do well to take every “statistic” bandied about by anti-gunners like Hillary Clinton with a deer-lick sized block of salt. Then they should ask the same anti-gunners if they own a car or backyard swimming pool—and advise those misguided crusaders that they should “think of the children” and get rid of those far more dangerous hazards.

. . . and to get their flu vaccines while they’re at it!


DrFrau2sml“Dr. LateBloomer” is the pen name of a female general pediatrician (MD, MPH, FAAP) who enjoys competitive shooting sports, including IDPA, USPSA and 3-Gun.  Evil semi-automatic firearms are her favorites. 

All DRGO articles by “Dr. LateBloomer”