Leonard Pitts, Jr. starts off his national newspaper column this way:
Yet, Mr. Pitts is the one who is wrong. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2006 and 2010 a total of 303 children under age 5 years old drown in just bathtubs (see page 8). If you include bathtubs used in conjunction with other products (infant bath seats placed in bathtubs), there is a total of 346 children under age 5 years old who drown. Since these deaths wouldn’t have occurred without a full-size bathtub, it seems as if they should also be included in the total.
By contrast, over that same period, the Centers for Disease Control finds that there were 291 children under age 15 and 94 children under 5 who died from accidental gun shots. Unfortunately, the CPSC doesn’t break down deaths by age for those 5 and above.
That is a difference in annual rates of 69.2 for bathtubs for those under 5 to 58.2 for accidental firearm deaths for those under 15.
We examined the data back a couple more years. For 2004 and 2005, there were 114 and 87 accidental drownings in bathtubs for children under age 5 (see page 5). By contrast, the Centers for Disease Control found 63 and 75 accidental gun deaths for children under age 15. Over this entire period accidental drowning in bathtubs for those under age 5 averaged 78 per year and accidental gun deaths for those under 15 averaged 61.