NewsWorldFirearms in the United States: a child shoots by accident every five days

Firearms in the United States: a child shoots by accident every five days

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution enshrines the right to ownership of firearms for personal use of its citizens, under the argument of self-defense. However, the collateral victims that this permissiveness takes away puts, from time to time, the debate on whether it should be reversed or not.

One of the hardest statistics on which those who defend the limitation or, at least, the increase of control over these weapons rely refer to what has come to be called “unintentional shootings”. Accidents with firearms involved in which, according to fearsome statistics, is causing a real scourge for the most vulnerable: children.

According to data from the organization ‘Every Town For Safety Gun’, which advocates for greater control and care in the use of weapons, So far in 2023 alone there have been 20 such incidentswhich have been charged 9 fatalities and left 12 injured. The latest, a 3-year-old boy from DeLand, in Volusia County, Florida, who found one of his parents’ two guns and shot himself in the face. In the house were his brothers, 7 and 16 years old.

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The presence of firearms near minors, especially young children, is behind the vast majority of these incidents.

All agencies point to the lack of adult care. The case of this child is paradigmatic: the little boy found the gun on a nightstand, began to play, and shot himself in the face. The police found another gun, a 9mm Glockon top of the refrigerator, but in full view. both were loaded.

Although in this case it can be seen that there was no intention whatsoever, other shootings take place simply because of the children’s difficulty in understanding the seriousness and seriousness of having firearms in their hands. Example: a 10-year-old boy who killed his mother because she didn’t want to buy him a virtual reality set.

The typical case: loaded weapons within the reach of children

In 2022 there was a total of 324 shootings unintentional cases involving children, most of them in the eastern half of the United States, that were claimed 145 dead.

Shootings with children involved in 2022 in the United States

Of them, 145 were dead.

The vast majority of these events have a similar typology: children or adolescents between the ages of 5 and 14, who find their weapons loaded, start playing and shoot inadvertently, usually at their relatives or friends who are at home. There are some that are especially difficult, like a 2-year-old boy from Wichita, Kansas, who was lying next to his mother, was able to pick up a gun, take off the safety and shoot it. The 22-year-old adult was injured but survived.

The lack of security in the conservation and handling of firearms is critical. The grouping ‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’ (Mothers Call for Action on Gun Sensitivity in America) has launched a campaign, ‘Be SMART for kids’, to raise awareness about safe gun storage. They establish three basic rules:

  • Guns must be unloaded

  • Keep them locked up, in a security cabinet or combination safe

  • Keep guns and ammunition separate

Using these three basic rules, they estimate, many children’s lives can be saved or even eliminate the hit stat.

In addition to the tragedy of a possible victim shot by a child, the consequences that it can leave are added. In the event of the 3-year-old boy from Florida, psychologists from the United States Department of Family had to intervene to advise not only the surviving parents and children, but also the police officers who acted in the report.

That is why it is essential extreme care with weapons, even if the legal regulations are changed. “I don’t think there is anything in the legislation that can punish that family more than it has already punished it tonight,” said Sheriff Mike Chiltwood, in charge of the Florida incident investigation, and asked parents for more caution. After all, children are children.


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