Each day nearly 20 kids are shot in America. You'd think we'd do something about that
Each day three or four children under age 17 die and an additional 16 are hospitalized from a single cause: gunfire. In fact, according to a new analysis of federal data published in the academic journal Pediatrics, gun violence is the third leading cause of death for American kids between ages 1 and 17, and the second leading cause of injury-related deaths after motor vehicle accidents.
That is a significant public health issue, and a uniquely American one – the U.S. accounts for 91% of firearm deaths of children ages 1-14 among all high-income countries. But Congress, co-opted by the National Rifle Assn. when it comes to gun policy, doesn’t treat gun violence as a threat to public health, which is outrageous.
The analysis exposes some interesting differences among victims. The highest rates of gun homicides were in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana, and then concentrated in the South and Midwest, as well as California – despite our relatively strong gun laws – and Nevada. Boys are victims at more than four times the rate for girls, a difference that increases among teenagers.
“The majority of these children are boys 13 to 17 years old, African American in the case of firearm homicide, and white and American Indian in the case of firearm suicide,” the report said.