Readings: Guns kill kids

This is kind of old news by now, but relatively new to me thanks to an editorial at Bloomberg.com. Two studies in late 2018 offered some interesting, tragic fact.

The first is that children in the U.S. are far more likely than kids in other countries to die by gun:

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While the death rate from guns remained flat from 1999 to 2013, it jumped 28 percent in the next three years, to 4 deaths per 100,000 American kids. “We’re seeing increases in both gun homicide and gun suicide” among children and adolescents, Cunningham says.

Cunningham says she’s not sure why gun death rates have increased. But she says it should be addressed. “I don’t think it’s acceptable for firearms to be a preventable cause of death and remain the second cause of death of children and teens,” she says. “We’re not doing enough to keep kids safe.”

The other study, from November, suggests that laws make a difference:

Compared with U.S. states with the strictest gun control legislation, gun deaths among children and teenagers are twice as common in states with the most lax gun laws, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

“A child is 82 times more likely to die in our country of a firearm injury than in any other developed nation,” said senior author Stephanie Chao, MD, assistant professor of surgery at Stanford. “We focus a lot on the federal government and the things they can do to protect our children from firearms. But our study shows that what states do at the state level really does have an impact.”

Guns are killing our children. That’s a choice we’re collectively making.

Author: joeldermole

Joel Mathis is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and son. He spent nine years as a syndicated columnist, co-writing the RedBlueAmerica column as the liberal half of a point-counterpoint duo. His honors include awards for best online commentary from the Online News Association and (twice) from the City and Regional Magazine Association.

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