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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 1st, 2013
Advocates on all sides of the national debate about gun violence were heard Wednesday when a Senate held an emotion-filled hearing on the issue.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was seriously wounded in a gun assault in 2011, testified despite having difficulty speaking because of her injuries. “Violence is a big problem,” she said, “Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard. But the time to act is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you.” Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, urged Congress to enact better mental health screenings and other gun control measures–emphasizing that they are both gun owners themselves.
On the other side of the issue, gun advocates testified that women and mothers in particular would be put in danger if strict gun control measures limit the number of bullets a gun can contain. The Week magazine reports:
Gayle Trotter, a representative of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, testified that military-style weapons with high-capacity clips are “the great equalizer for women,” and that “in a violent confrontation, guns reverse the balance of power.” She argued that “using a firearm with a magazine holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, a woman would have a fighting chance even against multiple attackers.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) concurred, saying, “Fifteen rounds in the hands of a mother trying to protect her children may not be enough.”
The hearing is Congress’ first major step toward revisiting gun legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting and other recent gun violence tragedies.
Image: The U.S. Capitol, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
After yesterday’s shooting at a Cleveland-area high school, two students have died, CNN.com reports. Russell King Jr., 17, was declared brain dead early Tuesday, and student Daniel Parmertor died on Monday. Three others were reportedly wounded in the shooting.
The teenaged shooter, who has not been named by officials, has only been identified as a male sophomore student at the school. Some students who witnessed the shooting told CNN the shooter was a withdrawn classmate named T.J. Lane. A lawyer for the Lane family described the boy as “very, very scared and extremely remorseful.”
There is no school today at Chardon High School. “I want people to stay home tomorrow to reflect on their families,” Superintendent Joe Bergant told CNN, choking with emotion at a Monday afternoon news conference, “and if you haven’t hugged or kissed your kid, do.”
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Monday, February 27th, 2012
A gunman opened fire this morning in the cafeteria at Chardon High School near Cleveland, Ohio, news sources are reporting. At least three students were reportedly hit and have been taken by helicopter to the hospital for treatment. Their condition is not yet known.
According to CNN.com, Chardon is a small city of about 5,100 people located 30 miles east of Cleveland. About 1,150 students attend the high school, which is next to Chardon Middle School and across the street from Maple Elementary School.
The gunman has reportedly been taken into custody.
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
Chances are you’ve seen the YouTube video of Tommy Jordan, the North Carolina dad who shot his teenage daughter’s laptop. Viewed more than 22 million times in one week, the video has sparked passionate debate across the Internet.
Jordan’s 15-year-old daughter posted an angry, hurtful rant on Facebook about having too many chores, and Jordan—who’d spent hours the previous day updating her laptop—was furious that this was how she was using it. “Today was probably the most disappointing day of my life as a father,” he says at the start of the video. He reads his daughter’s post to the camera and then shoots her laptop eight times.
Comments on YouTube are split: Many say Jordan’s reaction is too extreme or criticize his use of a gun. But many others praise his tough-love approach with comments like “Give this man a medal” and “Tommy Jordan for President.” On Time.com, columnist Susanna Schrobsdorff notes that many parents of teenagers dream of doing what Jordan did:
It is both disturbing and so deeply satisfying that you can’t watch it without reliving every fantasy you’ve ever had about hurling one of your teen’s gadgets out a window or under a car after they’ve used it to ignore you or deceive you, or distract themselves from something they’re supposed to do.
KJ Dell’Antonia of the New York Times Motherlode blog writes that “Mr. Jordan acted childishly,” but she says she’s felt his anger: [I]f you’ve grounded a kid in anger, or yanked an arm or felt an ugly expression on your face and heard a tone in your voice that you’ve never used with anyone other than your beloved child, you know what I mean. Our children infuriate us like no one else.”
Jordan hasn’t spoken to reporters, but he has posted comments on his Facebook page. (He says child protective services did pay him a visit, and found his guns stored securely.) He also mentioned lessons he and his daughter have drawn from the experience. From the Los Angeles Times:
“We’ve always told her that what you put online can effect you forever,” [Jordan] said. “She’s seen first-hand through this video the worst possible scenario that can happen. One post, made by her Dad, will probably follow him the rest of his life; just like those mean things she said on Facebook will stick with the people her words hurt for a long time to come. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, so think carefully before you use the Internet to broadcast your thoughts and feelings.”
Readers, what’s your take on the laptop-shooting dad?
Image: Tommy Jordan screenshot via the Los Angeles Times.
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