Youth Homicide Rate Hits Highest Point in 20 Years

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When some push the idea that guns are killing too many of our children, they’re citing a study with some shaky methodology. It counted 18- and 19-year-olds as children, after all.

When talking about homicides, we don’t need that kind of obfuscation. It’s a serious issue that needs serious people and serious discussion.

If we’re going to lump people in that age category together with kids, the term needs to be more encompassing. That’s why this report of “youth homicide” rates made me sit up a bit because the news isn’t good.

The homicide rate among individuals ages 10 through 24 in 2021 reached its highest level in 20 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021, there were 10.7 homicides for every 100,000 people ages 10 through 24, up from 8.3 in 2016 and 7.3 in 2011, according to the CDC. Suicide and homicide are the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, for people ages 10 through 24, behind accidental deaths that involve motor vehicle crashes and falls, according to the CDC report.

The homicide rate for teenagers aged 15 through 19 increased to 12.8 in 2021, up from 8.6 in 2016 and 7.8 in 2011, according to the CDC. For individuals aged 20 through 24, the increase was even more notable: 18 homicides for every 100,000 people in 2021, compared to 15 in 2016 and 13 in 2011.

Now, I get that many people would still object to 24-year-olds being termed “youth,” but let’s set those aside for the moment.

The truth is that prior to around age 25, the pre-frontal cortex is still developing. That’s the center of the brain that, among other things, controls violent outbursts. It’s why we tend to see most violent offenders under that age.

Not all, true, but most.

Further, this is the same age group that’s likely to be targeted, which leads us to the data here.

It should also be noted that a lot of the people included in this are too young to lawfully own a handgun but were likely gunned down with one. That means any who were law-abiding were unable to have anything on them to use for self-defense.

Absolutely brilliant.

Yet for those more inclined to break the law–something that isn’t universal across this age category by any stretch of the imagination–obtaining a firearm is relatively easy. They can steal them or they can buy them from someone else trafficking in stolen firearms.

Either way, they can get the means to commit homicide while their potential targets aren’t necessarily afforded the same.

Sure, a lot of the victims are rival criminals but a lot of them aren’t.

Meanwhile, gun control activists will use these homicides to try and justify still more gun control, all despite ample evidence that the bad guys are already getting around gun control regulations with a certain degree of ease.

We need to sit down and have a meaningful conversation on how to keep people, particularly in this age category, from seeking violent retribution for slights or engaging in violent crime for fun and profit, at least as they see it.

If we can resolve that, we won’t need gun control, knife control, or any kind of control. The problem will be addressed and people safer without anyone’s rights being infringed.


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