Guns ARE NOT the Leading Cause of Death Among Children

At this point, it’s no surprise that the anti-gun political left would attempt to capitalize on the deaths of children to push their anti-gun political agenda.[1] Time and time again, anti-gunners do everything they can to keep our schools vulnerable by refusing the requests for armed security such as allowing teachers and parents to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-defense.

Ever since Joe Biden introduced the Gun Free School Zones Act as part of the Crime Control Act in 1990,[2] this useless gun control has yet to deter a single mass public murderer at a school. Yet immediately following a mass murder at a Christian Elementary School in Tennessee, President Biden began a news conference with a stand-up comedy routine about ice cream:

My name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband. And I eat Jenny’s Ice Cream (chocolate chip). I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream. By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not. [3]

Anti-gunners like Joe Biden refuse to admit that their gun control policies are at fault when a mass murderer attacks a gun-free school. Not only does the anti-gun crowd avoid responsibility for putting children at risk, but they also routinely double down with the lie that guns are the leading cause of the death of children. In fact, the Mayor of Nashville was quick to state this fallacy at a press conference following the shooting.[4] This fact sheet will thoroughly debunk that phony statistic.

Anti-Gun “Statistic” And Corresponding “Studies” Include 18-19-Year-Old Adults As If They Were Children

When anti-gunners raise this phony statistic, they usually say something like guns are the leading cause of death for “children” like Representative Adriano Espaillat[5] or the New York Times.[6] If they are aware of the flaw in the data, then they might add in a sneaky disclaimer and say that guns are the leading cause of death for “children and teens,” like Representative Nancy Pelosi[7] or Everytown for Gun Safety.[8]


The ultimate flaw of this statistic is that everyone is using the same misleading data set, which counts 18- and 19-year-old adults as children. One such study, which appears at the top of Google search results, is called “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States,” and yet also uses this same deceitful data set of legal adults.[9] Less than a month after

anti-gun researchers published this biased study, the Biden Administration began promoting it on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website[10]—a clear violation of the Dickey Amendment prohibiting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIH from “promoting or advocating gun control.”[11] NIH misleadingly titled this article the “Leading Cause of Childhood Death.”

What Does CDC Data Show Is the Leading Cause of Death of Children—Excluding Legal Adults?

Excluding legal adults from the data set and including all minors—those under age 18—tells a strikingly different story. According to CDC’s “Underlying Cause of Death” sorted by “Injury Mechanism & All Other Leading Causes” the top three causes of death are:

  • Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period;
  • Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities; and
  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings.[12]

If teenagers are excluded and only children up to 12 years old are included in the data set, then suffocation, motor vehicle accidents, and drowning also cause more childhood death than firearms.[13]

President Biden’s Gun-Free School Zones Act hasn’t worked for three decades. In fact, the killer intentionally attacked Covenant School instead of a better defended school.[14] Let’s “just do something” new and effective. During school hours, there has never been a shooting at a school where teachers were armed—let alone a mass public murder.[15] Instead of blaming the tool—a firearm—society should blame the murderers and empower law-abiding citizens like teachers and parents to defend children in the classroom.[16]

[1] Swalwell. “At least 3 children are dead in another school shooting. Yet the GOP-led Judiciary Committee is passing a resolution tomorrow to make it easier for mass shooters to obtain pistol stabilizing braces. They must cancel this hearing now.”. Twitter. March 27th, 2023.

[2] Public Law 103-322. 108 Stat. 2125.

[3] Biden, Joseph. ”President Biden Hosts the SBA Women’s Business SummitThe White House YouTube. March 27th, 2023.

[4] Cooper. “The leading cause of kids get death now [sic] is guns and gunfire.” March 27th, 2023.

[5] Espaillat. “Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. So much for so called ‘pro life’ Republicans.”. Twitter. February 17th, 2023.

[6] Gebeloff, Ivory, Marsh, McCann, and Sun. “Childhood’s Greatest Danger: The Data on Kids and Gun Violence”. New York Times Magazine. December 14th, 2022.

[7] Pelosi. “Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in America — known as ‘Generation Lockdown.’ If we want to protect our children in school, we should be banning assault weapons not books. -NP #EndGunViolence”. Twitter. March 24th, 2023.

[8]Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens.”. Everytown for Gun Safety. Last updated: 2.13.2023.

[9] Goldstick, Cunningham, and Carter. “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States”. New

[10]Preventing Gun Violence, the Leading Cause of Childhood Death”. National Institutes of Health. Last Reviewed July 5th, 2022.

[11] Public Law 117-328. Section 210.

[12]About Underlying Cause of Death, 2018-2021, Single Race”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ages <1 to 17.

[13]About Underlying Cause of Death, 2018-2021, Single Race”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ages <1 to 12.

[14] Nashville Police Chief John Drake. “There was another location that was mentioned, but because of a threat assessment by the suspect—too much security—they [sic] decided not to.”. March 27th, 2023.

[15] Lott. “Schools that Allow Teachers to Carry Guns are Extremely Safe: Data on the Rate of Shootings and Accidents in Schools that allow Teachers to Carry”. Crime Prevention Research Center. April 17th, 2019. Note: Dr. Lott is not aware of any incident at a public school since that contradicts or changes the findings of this study.

[16] Johnston. “Our Children Need Actual Protection—The Real Solution Is To Arm Teachers”. Gun Owners of America. 2022.