How many of his students were getting shot, he wanted to know?
“I could tell you exactly how many schools we closed, how many
children had the H1N1 virus,” he said Tuesday from his office in
But not how many Chicago kids getting shot. Or data to compare Chicago with other cities.
“No one, literally, could tell me anything,” Duncan said.
And so he began collecting his own statistics on how many CPS students found themselves at the wrong end of a gun.
It’s a horrifying number, now estimated at 500 a year.
“Estimated” is the key word here.
We have lousy numbers on gun violence.
Marin’s column is about, primarily, the way the NRA prevents the accurate and useful collection of data on gun deaths of children, but there’s something else at work here, too, and that’s the media argument, which involves class and race as always. Gun violence has killed far more children than swine flu ever will, but which one has parents in a total nervous tizzy on Action News 3000?
Get enough talking heads yammering all day about this on TV as the Sudden Top Priority and the NRA will all of a sudden stop getting their phone calls returned. Real change will require our national AND local media to begin treating this like it’s as big a deal as swine flu, no matter what color the victims are, or how willing their parents are to be quoted.