Friday, June 27th, 2014
There’s no doubt that the discussion about gun control and gun violence has increased since the Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown two years ago.
A new study (“Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths“) just released by Everytown for Gun Safety reveals that between December 2012 and December 2013 at least 100 kids (younger than 14 years old) across the nation have died as a result of accidental shootings. Toddlers (ages 2 to 4) were more likely to die from self-inflicted shooting while school-age kids (ages 12 to 14) were more likely to die from a peer shooting.
The Huffington Post reports:
Unintentional shootings of children occurred most often in places familiar to those who were killed. Eighty-four percent of victims were killed in their home, the home of a friend, or the family car, according to the study. In 76 percent of the cases, the gun belonged to a parent or other family member.The killings occurred more often in small towns and rural areas than in cities. They occurred in 35 states.
The findings from Everytown came from an extensive review of news stories and subscription services in the 12 months following the December 2012 shooting in at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which resulted in the deaths of 20 students and six school employees. Researchers with the group followed up with law enforcement officials in cases where there was any ambiguity. If it remained unclear whether the shooting was accidental, the researchers did not count it.
As a percentage of total victims of gun violence, children who are unintentionally killed is quite small. But the 100 shootings over the course of the year averages out to almost two per week.
Part of the problem, Everytown argues, is poor education about the dangers of firearms and how to safely store them. The group advocates “well-tailored child safety” laws, including those “imposing criminal liability” for irresponsible gun storage. The report cites Florida’s “Child Access Prevention” law as one to emulate.
Image: 9 mm gun on wooden table via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
A shooting that left a student and the gunman dead at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon is the 74th school shooting since the tragic 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. That shooting claimed 26 lives, 20 of them children, and while the full list includes non-fatal incidents in which a gun was fired in schools nationwide, the numbers are startling to parents, students, and educators alike–New York magazine reports that the figures amount to a shooting once every eight days:
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In 2014 so far, there have been 37 school shootings. As of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.
Georgia tops the dishonorable list, with ten shootings reported since Newtown, while Florida is next with seven. Overall, 31 states are represented on the list.
The numbers, compiled by Everytown for Gun Safety, which has the full list, include any time, fatal or not, “a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts,” and therefore may actually be under-counting.
Monday, October 28th, 2013
A new analysis of hospital records by two Boston doctors who presented their research to the American Academy of Pediatrics shows an astounding rise in the number of kids injured or killed by gunshot wounds. More from NBC News:
About 500 American children and teenagers die in hospitals every year after sustaining gunshot wounds — a rate that climbed by nearly 60 percent in a decade, according to the first-ever accounting of such fatalities, released Sunday.
In addition, an estimated 7,500 kids are hospitalized annually after being wounded by gunfire, a figure that spiked by more than 80 percent from 1997 to 2009, according two Boston doctors presenting their findings at a conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics, held in Orlando, Fla.
Eight of every 10 firearm wounds were inflicted by handguns, according to hospital records reviewed by the doctors. They say the national conversation about guns should shift toward the danger posed by smaller weapons, not the recent fights over limiting the availability of military-style, semi-automatic rifles.
“Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade,” said Dr. Arin L. Madenci, a surgical resident at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and one of the study’s two authors. “Furthermore, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home.”
Among homes with children, rates of gun possession ranged from 10 percent in New Jersey, for instance, to 62 percent in Montana, the researchers found.
Madenci, and his colleague, Dr. Christopher Weldon, a surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital, tallied the new statistics by culling a national database of 36 million pediatric hospitalizations from 1997 to 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.
Image: Small handgun, via Shutterstock
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Friday, February 22nd, 2013
The Facebook Town Hall interview with Vice President Joe Biden conducted earlier this week by Parents.com executive editor Michael Kress has made headlines on a wide range of outlets, with analysts and reporters commenting in particular on a comment Biden made urging a mother to “buy a shotgun” instead of a weapon with a high-capacity magazine.
Wednesday night, the moment was featured as the “Moment of Zen” on the Comedy Central program “The Daily Show” (video below). Here are links to some other news reactions to the Town Hall:
Gawker.com: Joe Biden’s Advice for Defending Your Home: ‘Buy a Shotgun, Buy a Shotgun’
Politico.com: Biden Gets Testy
NBC Nightly News: Biden: ‘Get a Double-Barreled Shotgun’
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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
The political blog Politico.com is saying Vice President Joe Biden became “testy” when certain questions submitted by Parents Magazine readers were asked during a Tuesday Facebook Town Hall interview on gun safety. The 30-minute conversation took place at the White House, where Parents.com executive editor Michael Kress asked questions regarding Second Amendment rights, ownership of assault weapons, gun crime, and reducing gun violence. Politico blogger Donovan Slack said Biden seemed “caught off guard” by one question:
One questioner equated gun control to drug control — if criminalizing drugs didn’t get them off the streets, why will criminalizing guns? — and a second asked if limiting assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would limit people’s ability to protect themselves.
“Is this Parents Magazine? I have Parents Magazine. I’ve never heard anybody in Parents Magazine ask these kinds of questions,” Biden said.
On the question about drug control, he tried to tamp down the notion that the administration wants to criminalize guns (“There is no ban on guns, no one’s banning a gun.”) and he took issue with the comparison to illegal drugs.
“Are you suggesting we have no, we just legalize all drugs? Is that what you’re suggesting? That would go real well in Parents Magazine,” Biden said. “Let’s talk about being able to — no matter what your age — go out and be able to purchase cocaine. What do you think about that idea?”
“Look, these comparisons are not appropriate, quite frankly, but secondly the idea [that] you should have no law unless the law you have prevents all violations of that law, that is not the way society works.”
Watch the Full Interview With Vice President Biden
Image: Vice President Joe Biden, via Jason and Bonnie Grower / Shutterstock.com
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