Over a three day period, three Memphis children shot themselves with negligently stored firearms. On Friday, a 4-year-old little girl was home with two other other children and their father when she picked up a gun and unintentionally shot herself with it. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Just one day later on Saturday, a 4-year-old boy unintentionally shot himself. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and later died. Then, on Sunday, an 8-year-old boy found his father’s gun hidden under a pillow and shot himself with it. He did not survive. Continue Reading
July 29, 2017 – The Houston Chronicle Editorial
Kids and guns
Shooting deaths could be reduced, yet elected officials are reluctant to act.
It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day; bad news about gun violence keeps popping up with maddening regularity.
Today we learn that 3.5 children die from gun violence every day and 15.5 more are injured. Specifically, a study in the journal Pediatrics has reported that between 2012 and 2014, 1,300 kids a year, on average, were shot and killed, making firearms second only to motor vehicle accidents as a cause of injury-related deaths. And make no mistake about it, this is a uniquely American tragedy. Among the world’s 23 richest countries, the United States accounts for a whopping 91 percent of all firearm related deaths of children under 14, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Not so expected was a significant rise in suicides, which accounted for 38 percent of deaths. Suicide by gun among youngsters has climbed 60 percent since 2007. These victims were more likely non-Hispanic whites or Native Americans.
The Pediatrics study is so disheartening because with the exception of homicides, most of these shootings are easily preventable. All it would take is a genuine effort to improve gun safety in the home and to remove impediments to the development and sale of smart guns. As for homicides – and suicides – we need a better understanding of the societal, cultural, and familial pressures that drive a kid to kill kids – or himself. Congress should repeal the Dickey Amendment, which has for 20 years prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from undertaking research into gun violence.
Strengthening Child Access Prevention laws, which hold gun owners accountable for safe storage of firearms, would have a significant impact on child shooting deaths, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. There are no CAP laws at the federal level, and only 27 states have some form of the law, ranging from relatively strong to very weak. Texas has one of the stronger laws, and it is only a misdemeanor.
The most effective solution, of course, would be built-in technologies that make guns child-proof. Consumers have come to accept child-proof caps on medicines, finger-print protected smart phones, and are well on their way to accepting self-driving cars. So why not smart gun technology, which is designed to prevent anyone other than the owner from firing a weapon?
The National Rifle Association and its lobbying arm have used their significant power over elected officials to prevent progress on all these fronts. Why? Because they view each as a ploy by enemies of Second Amendment rights to confiscate their guns. Truth is, some serious gun control advocates don’t much like the idea of a technological solution either since they fear safer guns will make it harder to ban or limit firearms.
Our representatives in Austin and Washington D.C., could settle this argument once and for all.
Take the side of their youngest constituents and just say no to the NRA. Require under penalty of law that guns be safely stored, support research into the causes and prevention of gun violence, and encourage development of smart gun technology. But don’t take too long. Kids are dying every day.
There are many things that are unique to the United States. Unfortunately, one of them is the number of our children who are injured and killed when they find unsecured, loaded guns and fire them. These shootings are #NotAccidents. They are the direct result of an adult’s choice not to store their gun responsibly. In the first week of July, there were fourteen shootings involving kids with access to negligently stored firearms. Seven of the kids died. The youngest was only 3-years-old.
There has been an uptick in incidents this year compared to 2016. Although the number of fatalities remains close, the number of incidents and number of injuries have increased significantly.
So far this year – January 1 to present —
Total incidents: 189*
*Includes incidents where more than one child were injured or killed in single shooting incident.
The youngest shooter was a Nashville 1-year-old
106 of the shooters were 13 or younger
10 children shot a cousin or relative
1 child, a 2-year-old toddler, shot and injured his mother
28 children shot a sibling. 10 of those siblings died.
120 shootings occurred at the shooter’s home
12 shootings occurred at a friend’s home
14 shootings occurred in a vehicle
This summer in America – June 1 to present —
Total incidents: 48*
*Includes incidents where more than one child were injured or killed in single shooting incident.
Nationally, there has been an uptick incidents this year compared to 2016. Although the number of fatalities remains close, the number of incidents and number of injuries have increased significantly.
*UPDATE: Another incident occurred on June 30th. That brings total number of shootings in June to 34. In the last week of June there were 14 shootings – 14 shootings in 7 days.
As June draws to a close, once again there were more kids shot as a result of negligently stored firearms (33) than there were days in the month. This month also saw two incidents where a child unintentionally shot an adult, in one case killing the adult.
In the last week alone, there were at least 13 shootings that were the direct result of an adult’s careless choice to leave their firearm unsecured. Of those 13 shootings, three resulted in a fatality. In one case, an 11-year-old in Montgomery, Alabama child was playing with a gun and unintentionally shot and injured a 16-year-old and killed a 9-year-old. The 11-year-old has been charged with reckless murder and second-degree assault. There have not been any charges filed against the adult gun owner.
13 shootings in 7 days.
These are not accidents. They are fully preventable tragedies that are the direct result of adult negligence. Every gun in a child’s hands must first pass through an adult’s. The single most important responsibility of being a gun owner is keeping guns out of the hands of children. Safe storage saves lives.
KIDS WITH ACCESS TO UNSECURED GUNS BY THE NUMBERS:
Total incidents: 34
Children injured: 19
Children killed: 14
Adults injured: 1
Adults killed: 1
Children who shot themselves: 14
Children who shot a sibling: 7
Children who shot a friend: 9
Children who shot a cousin: 2
Shooters under age 13: 14
Shooters between ages 13-17: 16
Shooters between ages 1-3 (toddlers): 6
Youngest victim: 2-years-old (2 incidents, 1 fatality)
States with highest number of incidents: Ohio (4), Florida (3), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (3)
Data from the Children’s Firearm Safety Alliance (CFSA) database which uses news stories and police reports gathered by The Gun Violence Archive and news alerts. More information on individual cases can be found in the searchable CFSA database.
Between June 14th and June 21st, there were at least NINE shootings involving children with access to loaded guns. Of those nine shootings, five resulted in fatalities. The youngest victim was a 3-year-old who fatally shot himself.
Earlier this week, Pediatrics published a new study from the CDC on the number of children inured and killed each year by gunshots. According to the study, over 7,000 children each year are require medical attention after being shot – nearly 1300 children die and 5790 are treated for gunshot wounds each year.
While many of these injuries and fatalities are related to homicide or attempted homicide, many are related to suicides (which showed a 60% increase from 2007 to 2014) and unintentional shootings. The shooter playing with a gun was the most common circumstance surrounding unintentional firearm deaths of both younger and older children.
This is what a week of unintentional shootings involving kids with access to loaded, irresponsibly stored guns looks like. The shootings happen across the country, north, south, east, and west. They happen in rural, urban, and suburban areas, and to families of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They happen when toddlers pick up a gun and when older kids who know better pick up a gun. Sometimes the child shoots themselves and sometimes the child shoots someone else, often a sibling or family member. The only common denominator in all of them is an adult gun owner’s negligent and reckless decision to leave their firearm unsecured.
June 21, 2017 – Memphis, TN – 15-year-old injured
A 15-year-old unintentionally shot himself at a house to police. His condition is unknown.
June 20, 2017 – Clinton Township, MI – 3-year-old killed
The parents of a 3-year-old boy told investigators they were outside when they heard a loud bang and found the toddler with a gunshot wound. Police say it appears the boy — who’d been playing with some other children — found, picked up and himself fired the handgun
June 19, 2017 – Barberton, OH – 13-year-old killed
A 13-year-old boy died Monday after he shot himself in the head while playing with a gun. He was a friend’s house with other kids. Investigators have not said how the boys got the gun.
June 18, 2017 – Chestnuthill Township, PA – 4-year-old killed
A 4-year-old child gained access to a loaded gun and fatally shot himself in the head with it.
June 18, 2017 – Rosamond, CA – 16-year-old injured
A 16-year-old and his cousin were looking at a gun in Rosamond when it accidentally went off, striking the cousin of the 16-year-old.
June 17, 2017 – Orlando, FL – 11-year-old injured
An 11-year-old boy was taken to the hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the eye at his home. He was taken to the hospital in grave condition.
June 16, 2017 – Union County, SC – Adult injured
A 13-year-old and 22-year-old were fishing on a pond. The sheriff says the boy dropped a gun and it shot the man, who was also taken to the hospital for treatment.
June 16, 2017 – Spartanburg, SC – 4-year-old killed
A 4-year-old girl was accidentally fatally wounded Friday by her 6-year-old sibling in Spartanburg, S.C. Officers who arrived at the scene said the victim’s 6-year-old sibling accidentally discharged a handgun and the bullet struck the 4-year-old.
June 14, 2017 – Tulsa, OK – 17-year-old killed
Three teens were hanging out in a garage and were handling a shotgun. According to the two survivors, the gun was placed on an appliance where it was knocked off, causing it to discharge, striking and killing one of the teens. No charges have been filed.
The 2nd toddler shooting a toddler incident happened today, one in Colorado and the other in Philadelphia. ANOTHER BABY who should have not died.
What seriously is wrong with us? Prayers just aren’t saving these little kids, regardless of what they might be telling you.
Holding adults responsible is a big solution. About 25 states don’t have laws that allow prosecutors to hold gun owners liable if a child accessed a gun and pulled the trigger. However, we expect adults who allow kids to be harmed in any other way to be charged with child abuse, right?
Until we get serious & vote with these kids in mind, nothing will change.
Toddler fatally shoots himself inside Pa. home
The case of a toddler who allegedly found a gun in a Delaware County, Pa., home this afternoon ended with deadly results.
6ABC in Philly is reporting police are investigating the shooting death of a toddler in Chester Township.
It happened around 3:30 p.m. Saturday on the 2900 block of Bethel Road, the station writes, adding:
A family member told Action News that the boy found the gun and accidentally shot himself.
FOX29 is reporting the child’s age as three-years old.
The police investigation continues.