A report by The Washington Post reveals that American toddlers aged 3 and younger have shot at least 23 people over the course of 2016.
This is just five more gun incidents than in 2015 for this age group. In 18 of the 23 cases reviewed by reporter Christopher Ingraham, the children who held the guns were the victims. In half of these cases, the children were killed.
In fact, Georgia has the most toddler shootings of any state, with at least eight tragic incidents occurring since the beginning of 2015, a year which averaged roughly one toddler shooting a week. Since April 20th alone there have been at least 7 instances of similar shootings in the United States. As reported by The Washington Post:
- On April 20, a 2-year-old boy in Indiana found the gun his mother left in her purse on the kitchen counter and fatally shot himself
- The next day in Kansas City, Mo., a 1-year-old girl evidently shot and killed herself with her father’s gun while he was sleeping.
- On April 22, a 3-year-old in Natchitoches, La., fatally shot himself after getting hold of a gun.
- On April 26, a 3-year-old boy in Dallas, Ga., fatally shot himself in the chest with a gun he found at home.
- On April 27, the Milwaukee toddler fatally shot his mother in the car.
- That same day, a 3-year-old boy in Grout Township, Mich., shot himself in the arm with a gun he found at home. He is expected to survive.
- On April 29, a 3-year-old girl shot herself in the arm after grabbing a gun in a parked car in Augusta, Ga. She is also expected to survive.
Shootings involving toddlers happen for reasons that cannot be directly attributed to only population or gun control laws. He describes uncovering their true causes as “a guessing game.” This is due to the fact that Congress has heavily hampered the efforts of agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand gun violence by restricting the type of gun research they can perform.
Featured image via aattp.org