It's "For the Children" (cont'd)
As a reward for outstanding academic achievement, over 100 Boston Public School students received new bicycles and helmets. The Boston Police Athletic League (PAL) funded this initiative as a way of congratulating the students for their 100% attendance record. Youth Service Officers from each of the 11 police districts have worked closely with each of these dedicated pupils since the beginning of the school year.
Seems like a great program, right? Rewarding kids for their relentless pursuit of outstanding academic achievement - who could argue the merits of such a plan?
From the Center for Disease Control's WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) website:
The number of injuries, of all intents, for kids 5 to 14, in the year 2004 (excluding those cases where the injured were "treated and released"):
Bicycle-related = 10,763
Firearms-related = 1,068
So...in 2004 (the latest year for which data is available) bicycle-related injuries sent our kids to the emergency room at a rate 10-times greater than injuries caused by firearms. Yet, here we have the Boston Police Department just handing out these dangerous child-maiming devices ... to our children!!!
For the love of God, have we gone mad???
"OK, but how many kids are killed by guns, compared to bikes, every year?"
Well, let's see.
Using 2003 (again, latest year with data available), for the same age groups, we find the following fatality rates:
Cycling-related = 125
Firearms-related = 324
"AH-HA! Got you!", screamed the gun-fearing liberal.
But, whatever happened to "IF IT SAVES JUST ONE LIFE!"?
And, in an age where bicycles are being used in our city with increasing regularity in the commission of violent crimes...
A 60-year-old woman had a heart attack after she was mugged in South Boston Thursday morning.
A man on a bike tried to take her bag at the intersection of West 5th and D Street around 5:15 a.m.
A 17-year-old Acton, Mass., man was arrested after he allegedly threw a 10-speed bicycle off the roof of a three-story apartment building, hitting and seriously injuring a woman on the sidewalk below.
The shooting took place outside 38 Paul Place in the South End just after 10 p.m. on July 28. Witnesses said two boys on BMX bicycles with hoods pulled tight around their faces rode up into Castle Square and fired, spraying the corner with bird shot.
Sierra will be charged with first-degree murder as an adult while a second teen, whose name has not been released, is being charged as a juvenile. The pair were spotted fleeing the scene on separate bicycles...
...do we really want to be providing our young people with such easy access to these crime-causing implements? Clearly, what's needed here is some kind of bike buyback program to get these things "off the streets" before anyone else gets hurt or killed.
Editor's Note: The preceding post was brought to you today by the joint venture of the "Tongue-in-Cheek Humor Department" and the "My Statistics Can Beat Up Your Statistics Society". So relax - I think it's fucking awesome that these kids all got new bikes.