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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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
The Nevada middle school shooting that left two dead early Monday morning was perpetrated by a student, and it claimed the lives of a beloved math teacher and the shooter, who shot and killed himself with the handgun he allegedly took from his parents, CNN was reporting Monday night as details continued to emerge. More from their report:
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An official used one word to describe the scene at Sparks Middle School: chaos.
The shooter took a handgun from his parents, a federal law enforcement source who was briefed on the situation told CNN’s Evan Perez.
The gunman shot and killed himself, Sparks Deputy Chief Tom Miller said Monday evening at a news conference.
Authorities said the shooter’s motive was unclear.
“It’s too early to say whether he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree,” said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department.
Mike Landsberry, a math teacher at the school, was killed in the shooting, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told CNN.
In addition to his work as a teacher, Landsberry also had served in the Marines and served several tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, his brother, Reggie, told “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“He was the kind of person that if someone needed help he would be there,” Reggie Landsberry said. “He loved teaching. He loved the kids. He loved coaching them. … He was just a good all-around individual.”
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Two people are dead and two minors are hospitalized in critical condition after a shooting at a Nevada middle school Monday morning, school officials have told news agencies. CNN has more on the developing story:
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Sparks Middle School, outside Reno, remains an active crime scene, school officials said in a Twitter post.
Two minors are in critical condition at Renown Regional Medical Center after the shooting, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Authorities released few details about the incident, but city officials said in a statement that the suspect was “neutralized.”
“Law enforcement assures that the school and community are secured at this time,” the statement said.
City officials said authorities received emergency calls from students and staff at the school about 7:15 a.m. about an active shooter on campus.
Authorities said students were being taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School was canceled for the day at Sparks Middle School and nearby Agnes Risley Elementary, officials said.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement.
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Schools are increasingly debating the value of “zero tolerance” policies of suspending students who make threats in even the most unassuming ways. In the wake of the tragic Newtown, Connecticut school shooting late last year, some parents are jittery and want school officials to enforce the zero tolerance policy. Others, however believe that the policies discourage children from finding healthy ways to express anger. More from The Associated Press:
The extent to which the Newtown, Conn., shooting might influence educators’ disciplinary decisions is unclear. But parents contend administrators are projecting adult fears onto children who know little about the massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators, and who certainly pose no threat to anyone.
‘‘It’s horrible what they’re doing to these kids,’’ said Kelly Guarna, whose 5-year-old daughter, Madison, was suspended by Mount Carmel Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania last month for making a ‘‘terroristic threat’’ with the bubble gun. ‘‘They’re treating them as mini-adults, making them grow up too fast, and robbing them of their imaginations.’’
Mary Czajkowski, superintendent of Barnstable Public Schools in Hyannis, Mass., acknowledged that Sandy Hook has teachers and parents on edge. But she defended Hyannis West Elementary School’s warning to a 5-year-old boy who chased his classmates with a gun he’d made from plastic building blocks, saying the student didn’t listen to the teacher when she told him repeatedly to stop.
The school told his mother if it happened again, he’d face a two-week suspension.
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‘‘Given the heightened awareness and sensitivity, we must do all that we can to ensure that all students and adults both remain safe and feel safe in schools,’’ Czajkowski said in a statement. ‘‘To dismiss or overlook an incident that results in any member of our school community feeling unsafe or threatened would be irresponsible and negligent.’’
Image: School sign, via Shutterstock
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
A 16-year-old high-school student armed with a shotgun opened fire Thursday at Taft Union High School in Taft, California, critically wounding one student and leading to the hospitalizations of two others. The shooter, a boy who has not been named, was arrested after two school staff members convinced him to give up his weapon. More from Reuters:
One student critically wounded by gunfire was airlifted to a nearby hospital, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said.
A second student received minor injuries while falling over a table trying the flee the classroom, and a third student was taken to a hospital complaining of hearing loss from the sound of a gun blast, Youngblood said.
The lone suspect, a 16-year-old male student, was arrested after a teacher and a school administrator who confronted him persuaded the boy to put his gun down, Youngblood told a televised news conference.
His identity was not immediately released, but police said the suspect apparently had a disagreement with the student who was critically injured.
The shooting came less than a month after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults.
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