ORIGINALLY from May 2, 2016 by Mic.com – Zak Cheney Rice, @zakcheneyrice
THIS IS FROM MAY BUT WE REALLY THOUGHT YOU SHOULD SEE IT AGAIN.
NUMBERS HAVE INCREASED SINCE MAY TO 42. WE ARE NOT KIDDING.
Donald Trump has made a big deal out of barring Muslims from entering the United States on the basis that some might be terrorists sneaking in to stage attacks. But the real front line in protecting Americans’ safety may be much closer to home.
America’s own playpens.
According to the Washington Post, our nation’s nurseries are housing more than just unbearable levels of cuteness: Twenty-three people have been shot by toddlers in the U.S. since the start of 2016 — exactly 23 more than have been shot by Muslim terrorists over the same period.
Scary: Yet the threat posed by America’s gun-toting 3-and-unders hasn’t drawn nearly the same backlash as that against Muslims — begging the question of why our leaders are ignoring what, from a statistical standpoint, has proven the much bigger danger to our survival this year.
So far, no one has called for a “temporary ban” on babies leaving the hospitals in which they were born. No pundit or law enforcement official has advocated a more aggressive vetting process for toddlers passing through America’s airports, or OK’ed a multimillion-dollar police surveillance campaign to monitor places toddlers are known to frequent.
This is clearly to our detriment as a nation: Eleven of the toddler shooting cases in 2016 have been fatal, nine of which involved the toddler getting hold of a handgun and shooting him or herself, according to the report.
But it’s unclear what environmental factors are responsible for these tragedies, making it difficult to identify a concrete solution. The Post reports that Georgia and Missouri — where the largest number of toddler shootings have occurred since 2015 — have pretty lax laws governing how guns are stored to keep them away from kids.
Mic recently suggested that more “gun-friendly” states — including Missouri, Georgia, Florida and Texas — saw higher rates of toddler-related gun violence because guns are more readily available there.
This is far from a definitive answer, but regardless, the threat appears to be growing: Over the same four-month period last year, only 18 people were shot by toddlers in the U.S.