PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The number of kids shot accidentally is on the rise.
Just this month, a 10-year-old boy from Indiana County was shot by his brother in Cherry Hill Township. That boy survived, but a new report is shedding light on children and gun deaths. Over the past two years, one child has died, on average, about every other day from an accidental shooting.
People buy guns to protect what’s most precious to them, but at a rate of every other day, some of these weapons do the opposite, maiming or even killing a child, like 3-year-old Holston Cole of Dallas, Ga.
In a 911 phone call, the dispatcher asked Holston’s father how Holston got the gun. His father replied that the gun had been in his bookbag.
Bright and curious, the qualities that made Holston a kid also made him a victim when he saw his father’s pistol one morning in April of this year.
In a country with more than 30,000 gun deaths a year, the number of minors who die in accidental shootings is relatively small — just 320 between 2014 and June of this year, according to an investigation by the Associated Press and USA Today.
But these figures expose an undercount in federal data, and they confirm some dark facts about our youngest and littlest victims.
Most die at home with legally owned handguns, and among the most common shooters and victims? Three year olds, too young to even spell “gun.”
There is, of course, a simple solution: a law that requires guns to be locked up, especially at home. But that defeats the goal of a ready self-defense, according to many gun owners, which is why only Massachusetts has passed such a law.
The National Rifle Association prefers educational videos on gun safety.
The report based its findings on information collected by the research group The Gun Violence Archive, as well as news reports and other public sources.