Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America published a new report today, which analyzes various figures concerning unintentional child gun deaths within America. The report found that over the last 12-month period, over 100 children died from unintentional gun violence, which amounts to about 2 deaths per week. Even more shocking was the fact that 70 percent of these shootings could have been prevented if the guns had been stored responsibly. They study also found that 65 percent of the shootings occurred within the victims’ home or vehicle.
While these statistics may be shocking, as Everytown and Moms Demand Action highlight, the most disheartening aspect of the report is the amount of accidental deaths that could have been prevented by responsible storage. The immediate past president of the American Acadmey of Pediatricsm Thomas K. Mclnerny, MD, FAAP commented, “as this report so tragically illustrates, access to guns in the home puts our children at risk of serious injury or death. Young children are naturally curious – expecting them to reliably follow safety rules as the only means to prevent gun injuries is a recipe for disaster. That’s why people who own guns have an absolute responsibility to store them unloaded and locked out of reach of children.” Indeed, 86 percent of Americans and 77 percent of gun owners agree that parents have a responsibility to keep gun locked and unloaded in their homes. Writers of the report remind readers that since children are home for the summer, it is more important than ever to ensure that children are not exposed to unsecured guns. Just like pool safety rules are important for keeping kids safe, the writers of the report reason that responsible gun storage rules should also exist to keep kids from unintentional gun deaths.
In their report, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action also offer several ways to decrease the amount of unintentional child gun deaths. Besides greater awareness, the two organizations advocate for states to enact stronger laws that would prevent children from accessing unsafe guns. They also believe that doctors and teachers should be allowed to educate and promote gun safety and Congress appropriate funds to research new gun safety technologies. All of these methods could play a crucial role in saving the lives of children.
To read the full report click here.