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Posts Tagged ‘accidental shooting’

A twelve year old boy was killed on Saturday in our neighboring county. He liked playing roller hockey, video games and being outside in the woods in the fort he and his friends had built, His father was working, and his son was supposed to have been with a relative. Instead he was in the fort with a friend and a gun. http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/year-old-boy-dies-in-apparent-accidental-shooting-in-madison/article_f1e95c7c-3f63-11e3-aaf6-0019bb30f31a.html

The American Academy of Pediatrics writes in its policy statement on guns, “The safest home for a child or adolescent is one without firearms.”  I think this bears repeating:

“The safest home for a child or adolescent is one without firearms.” 

In a country where at least six states have put forward legislation that would actually prevent a doctor from asking his/her patient, or the patient’s parents, if there are guns in the home, this is the kind of local news that flies under our national media radar.

We childproof our homes when a baby is born. We buy gates, and locks for drawers and electrical outlet covers. We strap them into padded car seats. And yet, what the gun lobby does not want us to know, is that nearly 800 children under 14 were killed in gun “accidents” from 1999 to 2010 – and any research on recent gun violence, thanks to lobbying efforts by the NRA, is almost impossible to find.

We hear about mass shootings in schools, and we mourn as a nation. But what we don’t always hear about are the incremental, single, child by inquisitive child deaths that are happening every day in this country. Millions of children live in homes with guns, yet half of their parents or guardians do not keep them locked and unloaded.

According to the CDC, the rate of firearm deaths among children under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. American children are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die in a firearm accident than children in these other countries.

Of, course these statistics include suicides, homicides, and “accidental” deaths. But it turns out that children living in the South, in rural areas have a much higher incidence of unintentional gun injuries. And surprise surprise, boys are more likely to be the victim. Proponents of guns would like us to believe that gun safety is the panacea, that if they teach their children to respect guns, nothing will happen.

Bob said the latest study on gun violence shows “..that if there is a gun in the home, the chances of that gun killing or injuring a member of the household is 25 times the likelihood that it will protect a household member.”   

My heart goes out to that family in Madison County. And to the young boy who accidentally shot his friend, and his family, I cannot imagine their pain. Grief counselors have been on duty at their middle school.  Children will be children, and they are not bulletproof.

Wetsel school pic

 

 

 

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