In the first six months of 2019, there were at least 130 incidents where a child under the age of 18 gained access to a loaded, unsecured firearm and pulled the trigger. In a number of cases, more than one person was injured or killed in a single incident.
By the numbers:
46 children were killed
83 children were injured
1 adult was killed
4 adult were injured Continue Reading
Children were killed more than once a week last year under similarly tragic circumstances – a loaded gun and an adult’s attention lapse – presenting prosecutors with a vexing question: Who is to blame, and how should that person be punished?
At least 73 juveniles under age 12 were killed last year, roughly the same pace as the previous five years. What happened next varied widely. Continue Reading
In the 30 days of June 2018, there were 29 shootings involving children with access to negligently stored firearms, resulting in the deaths of 10 children. Nineteen children and one adult were injured when a child unintentionally shot them with a gun left accessible.
- Thirteen of the shooters were under the age of 13. Five were toddlers.
- Thirteen children shot themselves. Ten shot a friend. Five shot a sibling or other family member. One shot a neighbor.
- Nineteen incidents occurred in the victim’s home. Four occurred at a friend’s home. Three occurred in a vehicle. Three occurred in outdoors, in a public place, or an undisclosed location.
- Louisiana and Tennessee saw the most incidents, six in Louisiana and three in Tennessee.
- There were multiple shootings some days in June. One June 1st alone, there were five separate incidents. Of those five shootings, three were in Louisiana.
- Based on the reporting at the time of the incidents, charges were brought or pending in only 11 of the 29 shooting incidents. In five of the 11 cases where charges were filed or pending, the child shooter was the individual charged, Of the children charged, all were between the ages of 13 and 14.
*UPDATE: since publishing this post yesterday, another fatal unintentional shooting has been reported. The numbers below have been updated.
In the first seven days of June, there have been 15 shootings resulting in 11 injuries and five deaths. All involved minor children with access to loaded firearms. Shootings involving kids and negligently-stored firearms generally spike in the summer months, however the number of incidents already this month, an average of 2 per day, is notable.
- The youngest victim was a 2-year-old fatally shot by a 13-year-old sibling.
- Four children shot themselves, one died.
- Three shot a sibling, one died.
- Eight shot a friend, three died.
- Six of the shooters were under the age of 13.
- One one day, June 1st, there were five separate shooting incidents.
- Three incidents occurred in Louisiana, all on June 1st.
Commentary re The Hill written by Devin Hughes is president of GVPedia, a comprehensive resource providing public access to research on gun violence. Beth Roth is co-founder of Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance and executive director of Safe Tennessee Project; Jen Pauliukonis is executive director of GVPedia and Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.
In his op-ed on May 24, pro-gun commentator John Lott contends that Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws will cost lives and that making guns more readily accessible is the answer to gun violence. The opposite is true. Significant evidence shows that CAP laws save lives, and the defensive gun use myth fuels even more gun violence.
Lott’s article is riddled with fabrications and falsehoods. For example, he opines that “every place in the world that has banned guns has seen an increase in murder.” Yet Japan is the developed nation that has come closest to completely banning firearms, and it has seen its homicide rate fall more than 75 percent since it adopted its ban in 1958. While correlation is not causation, Lott’s correlative claim is unmistakably false. Further, a 2013 study found that among developed nations, more guns per capita was associated with significantly higher rates of firearm deaths.
Lott’s most glaring errors, though, surround the core theses that safe storage would cost lives by preventing defensive gun use and that unintentional child shootings are rare, with those that do occur being the result of criminal adults. Continue Reading