The world at large heard instantly about the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., where 20 youngsters were murdered in 2012 in a terrifying spree of gunfire. Far less noticed but no less horrific is the unending toll from the more routine bursts of gunfire that each day send an average of 20 American children and adolescents to hospitals, many of them for long-term treatment.Joe Nocera on tracking gun violence:
This grim statistic is found in a new study that focuses on the lasting damage suffered by young victims who survive. Of 7,391 hospitalizations of youths ages 19 and under shot in 2009, 6 percent ended in death; the rest joined the growing casualty list of gun victims, many needing lengthy and costly treatment, according to the study published in Pediatrics magazine. An estimated 3,000 additional youngsters died before reaching emergency rooms.
[T]he biggest surprise, especially early on, was how frequently either a child accidentally shot another child — using a loaded gun that happened to be lying around — or an adult accidentally shot a child while handling a loaded gun. I have written about this before, mainly because these incidents seem so preventable. Gun owners simply need to keep their guns locked away. Indeed, one pro-gun reader, Malcolm Smith, told me that after reading “about the death toll, especially to children” in The Gun Report, he had come to believe that some gun regulation was necessary. He now thinks gun owners should be licensed and “should have to learn how to store guns safely.” No doubt he’ll be drummed out of the National Rifle Association for expressing such thoughts.If you haven't been paying attention to David Walman's GunFAIL series, you should.
Second, the N.R.A. shibboleth that having a gun in one’s house makes you safer is demonstrably untrue. After The Gun Report had been up and running for a while, several Second Amendment advocates complained that we rarely published items that showed how guns were used to prevent a crime. The reason was not that we were biased against crime prevention; it was that it didn’t happen very often. (When we found such examples, we put them in The Gun Report.) More to the point, there are an increasing number of gun deaths that are the result of an argument — often fueled by alcohol — among friends, neighbors and family members. Sadly, cases like the recent shooting in a Florida movie theater — when one man killed someone who was texting during the previews — is not all that uncommon.
Third, gang shootings are everywhere. You see it in the big cities, like Chicago, Detroit and Miami, and you see it in smaller cities in economic decline like Flint, Mich., and Fort Wayne, Ind. Drive-by shootings are prevalent in California, especially Los Angeles and Fresno. As often as gang members shoot each other, they kill innocent victims, often children who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Much more below on the day's top stories below the fold.
Switching topics, Coca-Cola's multilingual Super Bowl ad is still making waves. Paul Whitefield at The Los Angeles Times adds his take:
Frankly, I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing from angry America. I’m also less than fond of knee-jerk America. And when you combine the two with the Internet, you too often get stupid America, which is really annoying.Peter Roff at US News & World Report:
Face facts, folks: A lot of people came here not speaking English. We like to think that they all quickly learned it. Some did; many didn’t. But, their kids did. And their kids speak English; many probably couldn’t speak the grandparents’ native language if they wanted to.
So get a grip: We’re not being overrun by hordes of Spanish speakers. Just like always, we’re growing a new crop of Americans. They are enriching the country. They are working hard, paying taxes. And they will create future Nobel Prize winners and future presidents and future titans of industry.
In short, they will make America beautiful.
Why is it such a big deal to have people representing different population and language groups sing "America the Beautiful" in their native tongue? There are, as a percentage of total population, a very few people who adhere to the abhorrent and unacceptable view that the United States is a country for white people and white people alone. To be blunt, they have their own web sites to talk to one another and probably aren’t logging on to the Coca-Cola site to share their extremist opinions. So what’s going on?Bloomberg's editors:
You need not look much farther than Washington for the answer. The media, especially conservative niche publications and web sites, have for some time now been ginning up the story that the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives is about to sign off on a broad grant of “amnesty” for anyone and perhaps everyone who is currently in the United States illegally. For most people this is an unacceptable way to deal with the issue. [...]
The smart thing would be for the Republicans in the House to take the lead on busting up the plan for comprehensive reform and to instead address the major issues one by one, with national and border security being the first thing they take up. [...] America is not just for the Americans – it is for everybody who wants to be an American too. If anyone is at fault it’s the politicians who preach the importance of balkanization and separatism over the need for assimilation and unity.
At best, the immigrant experience has been messy, unfair and sometimes manically ad hoc. It’s worth noting, however, that it has also been one of the great successes in the history of nations, the benefits of which grow more pronounced in a more global economy.Finally on the topic of young adults, Zara Kessler takes a look at the numbers and the fact that more of them are living with their parents:
The estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. constitute sensate facts on the ground. The real-world options for dealing with them come down to three: Deport them, legalize them (with or without a path to citizenship) or do nothing about them. [...]
Poverty and meager education have been recurring features of American immigrants. Yet each successive wave has overcome its disadvantages. To bet against the rise of the newest immigrants is to bet against the fierce ambition that propelled them here, against the adaptability of American capitalism, against the endurance of the American dream. Tough times or no, such pessimism is unjustified.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, 36 percent of the country’s 18- to 31-year-olds were living in their parents' homes in 2012 -- the highest proportion in at least 40 years. That number is inflated because college students residing in dorms were counted as living at home (in addition to those actually living at home while going to school). Still, 16 percent of 25- to 31-year-olds were crashing with mom and pop -- up from about 14 percent in 2007 and 10 percent in 1968.1 In a Pew survey conducted in December 2011, 34 percent of adults aged 25 to 29 said that due to economic conditions they’d moved back home in recent years after having lived on their own.
Pew’s analysis of the 2012 data cites lower levels of employment, an increase in college enrollment and a decrease in young people getting married as factors in the increase of millennials living at home. Of course, tying the knot might not be the best option when you don’t have a job. Which brings us to the big unknown both for millennials and those trying to sell products and services to us: Has adulthood been delayed or wholly upended?