*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
Every year in America, hundreds of children pick up an irresponsibly stored firearm and pull the trigger. These shootings are not accidents. They are preventable tragedies. They are the direct result of an adult gun owner’s negligence and irresponsibility. Below is a summary of the Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance report of 2017 incidents. You can download the full report here.
2017 INCIDENT SUMMARY
JANUARY 1, 2017 THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2017
133 children killed
215 children injured
5 adults killed
11 adults injured
OFTEN, CHILDREN UNINTENTIONALLY SHOOT THEMSELVES:
105 children unintentionally shot and injured themselves
67 children unintentionally shot and killed themselves
BUT, IN MANY CASES, CHILDREN UNINTENTIONALLY SHOOT SOMEONE ELSE:
85 children unintentionally shot and injured another child
51 children unintentionally shot and killed another child
11 children unintentionally shot and injured an adult
5 children unintentionally shot and killed an adult
4 children unintentionally shot and injured themselves and another child
2 children unintentionally shot one child and killed another child
2 children unintentionally shot two children Continue Reading
According to a recent analysis published in the Journal of Public health, an estimated 4.6 million American children reside in a household where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked, an estimate that is more than twice as high as estimates reported in 2002, the last time a nationally representative survey assessed firearm storage practices.
Kids find guns and unintentionally shoot themselves or others with alarming regularity. Unsecured firearms are a also leading means of youth suicide. And, children often use guns from home to commit school shootings. It is estimated that as many as sixty five percent of school shooters use a gun owned by a relative. Continue Reading
In the first thirteen days of March, there have been thirteen shootings involving children with access to firearms. Four of them occurred on the same day.
Already in March:
7 children were injured
4 children were killed
2 adults were injured
6 children shot a sibling
3 children shot a family member other than a sibling
2 children shot themselves
1 child shot a friend
1 child shot a bystander/neighbor
Incidents so far this month:
In the first 28 days of 2018, there have already been 26 unintentional shootings involving children with access to unsecured firearms. These shootings resulted in 19 injuries and 7 deaths. Five of the fatalities were children under the age of 8. Eleven of the shooters were under the age of 13.
Of the 26 shootings so far this year, twelve took place in a one week span, between January 21st and January 28. During that time, eight children were injured and four were killed. Three of those shootings took place in Texas.
In the entire month of January 2017, there were 22 shootings involving children with access to unsecured firearms.
The ongoing problem with children shooting themselves or other children with unsecured guns is not getting better. Continue Reading