Thursday, March 15, 2018

McPaper Far Exceeds My Admittedly Low Expectations

When USA Today appeared, many people (mostly journalists, I think) called it McPaper; something national, inoffensive, and not too demanding.  This 2/19/18 op-ed piece by Prof. James Alan Fox, who is not historically pro-gun:
With the high school massacre in Parkland, Fla., several days gone but hardly forgotten, the time seems right to examine closely some of the statistical hype that made frightening news alongside details of the horrific shooting.
In print and on TV, Americans were bombarded with facts and figures suggesting that the problem of school shootings was out of control. We were informed, for example, that since 2013 there has been an average of one school shooting a week in the U.S., and 18 since the beginning of this year. While these statistics were not exactly lies or fake news, they involved stretching the definition of a school shooting well beyond the limits of most people’s imagination....
Notwithstanding the occasional multiple-fatality shooting that takes place at one of the 100,000 public schools across America, the nation’s schools are safe. Over the past quarter-century, on average about 10 students are slain in school shootings annually.

Compare the school fatality rate with the more than 100 school-age children accidentally killed each year riding theirbikes or walking to school. Congress might be too timid to pass gun legislation to protect children, but how about a national bicycle helmet law for minors? Half of the states do not require them. There is no NRA — National Riding Association — opposing that.
I’m all for shielding our kids from harm. But let’s at least deal with the low hanging fruit while we debate and Congress does nothing about the role of guns in school shootings.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Bicycle helmet legislation and promotion efforts have been, without question, associated with a reduction of cycling related head injuries.

This is because:

Compulsory helmet laws lead to a decline in cycling.
"after it became compulsory to wear helmets in Australia, the level of cycling fell by about twice as much as did the number of cyclists admitted to hospital for the treatment of head injury"

Helmet promotion leads to a decline in cycling:
promotion of bicycle helmets has the negative effect of incorrectly linking cycling and danger.

Risk Compensation
The findings are consistent with the notion that those who use helmets routinely perceive reduced risk when wearing a helmet, and compensate by cycling faster. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21418079