Unintentional shootings

PROBLEM: Easy access to firearms leads to unintentional shootings in every age group in the U.S.

DID YOU KNOW? States with high household gun ownership have more unintentional shooting deaths than states with low household gun ownership.

•In 2010 in the U.S., 606 people died from an unintentional shooting (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)).

•In 2011,14,675 people were wounded in an unintentional shooting but survived (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).
•The mortality rate from accidental shootings is 8 times higher in the four states with the most guns compared to the four states with the fewest guns (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For kids ages 5 to 14, the mortality rate is 14 times higher in high gun states than low gun states (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For kids ages 0 to 4, the mortality rate is 17 times higher in high gun states than low gun states (Miller, 2001, p. 481).

•For every age group, where there are more guns there are more accidental deaths (Miller, 2001, p. 483).

•For adults, keeping a gun in the home quadruples the risk of dying of an accidental gunshot wound (Wiebe, 2003).

DID YOU KNOW? A third of homes contain guns, many of them readily accessible.
•Thirty-three percent of U.S. households contain a gun (Pew, 2009), and half of gun-owning households don’t lock up their guns, including 40 percent of households with kids under age 18 (Johnson, p. 175).

•Both firearm prevalence and questionable storage practices (i.e. storing firearms loaded and unlocked) are associated with higher rates of unintentional firearm deaths (Miller, 2005, p. 665).

•A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in a completed or attempted suicide (11x), criminal assault or homicide (7x), or unintentional shooting death or injury (4x) than to be used in a self-defense shooting (Kellermann, p. 263).
•Most unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home (65 percent), based on data from 16 states. The most common context of the death (30 percent) was playing with the gun (Karch, 2010).

•In almost half of unintentional shooting deaths (49 percent), the victim is shot by another person. In virtually all of these cases, the shooter and victim knew each other (Hemenway, p. 1184).

DID YOU KNOW? Unintentional shootings are a problem among children, teens, and young adults.
•For 5 to 14 year olds, the U.S. unintentional firearm death rate is eleven times higher than the combined rates of 22 other high-income developed countries (Richardson, p. 4).

•In 2010, 134 children and teens ages 0-19 were killed in an unintentional shooting (NCIPC).

•In 2011, 2,886 children and teens ages 0-19 were treated in an emergency room for an unintentional gunshot injury (NCIPC).

SOLUTION: We make it too easy for dangerous people to obtain dangerous weapons. There are only a few gun control laws on the books, and even those have loopholes. We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and youth to get the guns in the first place. We can do this by passing effective laws that make sense.

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