Toddlers are shooting people on a weekly basis, according to a new report released. Data examined reveals that in 2015, people are being shot weekly by very young children. This information was published by the Washington Post.
So far this year, 13 toddlers have inadvertently killed themselves, 18 have injured themselves as well as 10 others, and two other people have been killed. This all has to do with young children getting their hands on guns.
One of the most recent gun incidents happened in South Carolina last week, when a 3-year-old found a revolver in the car he was riding in. He accidentally shot his grandmother, who was sitting in the passenger seat in front of him. He was reportedly not in his car seat and found the firearm near the back seat. Luckily, his grandmother suffered non-life threatening injuries.
With all of the gun violence dominating headlines, it’s especially intense whenever toddlers go around shooting themselves or other people. As the report notes, mostly boys are doing this. Only one in three cases showed a girl under the age of 4 harming someone with a gun.
Of the 43 total incidents that have occurred with toddlers shooting guns this year, 13 of those had to do with the child’s self-inflicted injuries leading to death. Two other instances involved another individual who died after being shot by a young child. Cases that marked these statistics was a father in Alabama and a 1-year-old in Ohio.
In the cases of shootings by toddlers, occurrences have taken place in 24 states throughout 2015 at this point. The states that have seen the most shootings by toddlers are Missouri with five cases, Florida with four, and Texas with three. Each of the circumstances were unrelated and isolated, and “don’t necessarily follow broader population trends” because no toddler shootings have happened in California — the state with the most population in the United States.
New England or the Upper Midwest haven’t experienced any toddlers firing guns at themselves or others by accident.
It’s also believed that there could be numerous other cases that go unreported due to minor injuries that the media isn’t aware of. There’s also the possibility that toddlers are grabbing hold of guns and firing them, but not hitting anybody.
The report on toddlers shooting people roughly once a week adds that this doesn’t include older kids pulling the trigger on firearms.
“Notably, these numbers don’t include cases where toddlers are shot, intentionally or otherwise, by older children or adults. Dozens of preschoolers are killed in acts of homicide each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group for stricter gun laws, says that “more than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.”
A column showing all of the shootings by toddlers this years can be seen on the Washington Post site here. Aside from the states named with the most shootings, others include North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Arizona, Kentucky, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, Virginia, Louisiana, and Oregon.
As gun violence rages on, toddlers and guns are a huge concern. Children shouldn’t be underestimated in their abilities to get a hold of a gun. They have knack for quietly finding things, and sometimes this means stumbling across a weapon that isn’t locked up. In most instances, adults don’t intentionally leave firearms where young children can reach them, but mistakes can be made, and it might even mean a deadly – or potentially deadly — outcome.
Seeing the actual number of how many toddlers are shooting themselves and other people is definitely unsettling.
[Photo by St. Louis County Police Department via Getty Images]