There are few stories out there that are more heartbreaking than the ones that involve children who've been injured or killed by gunshots. But sadly, they're not hard to find.
Nowadays, we read these kinds of stories in the news almost every day. And still, child gun injuries have become more prevalent in the United States than we realize.
According to Ars Technica, a new study published in Pediatrics states that 1,300 children ranging in age from 0-17 years old are killed by gunshots each year in the U.S. Approximately 5,800 children end up suffering from non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
That means that guns are the third biggest child-killer in America.
These stats include accidental shootings, homicides, and suicides. When you remove homicides and suicides, though, gunshots are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths for children, behind car accidents. What's more is that roughly 19 children are either wounded or killed every day from a gun.
Frankly, this isn't a political issue when it comes to these statistics. It baffles me that the freedom to own a gun without any general requirements for background checks overshadows the safety or our nation's children. There aren't even any legal obligations to store weapons safely and out of the reach of children.
If you think an adult taking the life of another person changes them forever, consider how profoundly affected a child accidentally killing another kid would be for the rest of their life.
Sean Smith accidentally shot and killed his sister when he came across his father's gun that he didn't know was loaded at the time.
While the study in Pediatrics did show that unintentional fatal shootings and firearm homicides have been decreasing recently, researchers also found that suicide deaths from guns have alarmingly increased 60 percent between 2007 and 2014.
Parents out there who own guns: Wake up! It's time to take notice of what's going on. Take the necessary precautions to reduce your child’s risk of dying from a gunshot.
I get that people have the right to protect their homes, but that includes the children living inside. How easy is it to lock the gun and the bullets up in a combination safe so that there’s no way a child can get them?
How many more times do we have to open the paper or turn on the TV and read or hear the words, "another gun, another child, another death?" It has to stop.