Children’s curiosity and guns don’t mix

Guns account for 10% of all deaths among children from age 5 to 14.

Many children have responsible parents who are hunters, and shotguns, deer rifles and pistols are stored in in their homes. Neighbors don’t want to make these gun-owning homes off-limits to their own children, but Sandy Hook Elementary School lingers in their minds. Twenty first graders and six educators were slain, and the tragedy welded the easy availability of guns into the minds of many.

Aside from Sandy Hook, what about the non-violent, accidental gun tragedies among children? The FBI estimates that Americans buy 12 million guns every year. There’s a lot of them around and for every 10 children killed each year, one is killed by a firearm. Yes, guns account for 10% of all deaths among kids from age 5 to 14. A few years back, 1,400 children under age 18 were killed by guns and for each of these fatalities, almost 5 children received nonfatal firearm injuries. Many of these curious children had access to household firearms that were stored loaded or in unlocked places.

It would be wise for parents to know if guns are secured in a locked place at the homes their children visit, especially in a country where almost as many people are killed by guns as by motor vehicles. The FBI reported that 31,236 firearm-related deaths and 36,361 motor vehicle-related deaths occurred in 2009… and the gap is closing. In fact, in ten states, more people are slain by guns each year than are killed in car crashes.

Unintentional injuries, suicide, and homicide among youth occur when young people have easy access to firearms, especially when they‘re not properly stored- 90% of fatal firearm incidents involving children occur within the home, and 40% of all firearm incidents occur in a room where a firearm is stored. Researchers also uncovered via interviews that twice as many firearm deaths among children and youth under age 18 occur in states with the highest proportion of people living in households with loaded firearms (Miller).

Through surveys, it was found that a third of adults in America keep firearms in their home, and nearly 2 million children and youth in the United States under age 18 are living with loaded and unlocked household firearms. So, it is crucial that parents ask two questions: Do you know if the parents of your children’s friends are firearm owners? If so, do you know what their firearm safety precautions are?

Robert Morton writes about the American family and enjoys writing spy thriller novels- check out his latest spy thrillers: PENUMBRA DATABASE and MISSION OF VENGEANCE




Author of Florida Keys/Bahamas/Caribbean Spy thriller series>>

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Robert Morton

Robert Morton

Author of Florida Keys/Bahamas/Caribbean Spy thriller series>>

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