Unsafe access to guns in the home is a leading cause of death among
U.S. children and teens, according to The Truth About Kids & Guns:
2015, a new report from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
For example, suicide by firearm increased among American adolescents for the third consecutive year, according to the Brady Center’s analysis of the latest fatal injury data
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2013,
suicide by firearm claimed 876 lives among adolescents ages 10 to 19,
the highest level since 2001.
Research shows that most of these
youth suicides (82%) occur with a gun belonging to a family member,
usually a parent. The same trend holds true with unintentional shootings
and even school shootings. Most involve a gun taken from a parent or
Dan Gross, President of the Brady Center, stated:
of Americans have a gun in their homes thinking that it makes their
family safer, but every day in our nation, dozens of these families
learn just how dangerous and tragic that miscalculation can be. The
bottom line is, having a gun in the home dramatically increases the
danger that a child will be shot and killed.
“This is the third
year in a row we’ve seen a rise in the rate of adolescent suicide by
gun, and it’s usually a parent’s gun. The same holds true for
preventable accidents and school shootings, including the tragedy at
Sandy Hook. It’s usually a gun that belonged to a parent or a relative.
day, 48 children are wounded or killed by gunfire. One of the most
significant ways we can address this serious public health and safety
issue is to educate parents about the risks of unsafe access to guns in
the home. Parents are the first line of defense against gun violence, so
we all need to realize the risks and take the appropriate steps to make
sure our kids do not have unsafe access to guns.”