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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 
Even our own kids are collateral damage

by digby

Well this is sobering:
A year after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mother Jones has analyzed the subsequent deaths of 194 children ages 12 and under who were reported in news accounts to have died in gun accidents, homicides, and suicides. They are spread across 43 states, from inner cities to tiny rural towns.

Following Sandy Hook, the National Rifle Association and its allies argued that arming more adults is the solution to protecting children, be it from deranged mass shooters or from home invaders. But the data we collected stands as a stark rejoinder to that view:

127 of the children died from gunshots in their own homes, while dozens more died in the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives.

72 of the young victims either pulled the trigger themselves or were shot dead by another kid.

In those 72 cases, only 4 adults have been held criminally liable.

At least 52 deaths involved a child handling a gun left unsecured.

Additional findings include:

60 children died at the hands of their own parents, 50 of them in homicides.
The average age of the victims was 6 years old.

More than two-thirds of the victims were boys, as were more than three-quarters of the kids who pulled the trigger.

The problem was worst over the past year in the South, which saw at least 92 child gun deaths, followed by the Midwest (44), the West (38), and the East (20).
That's chilling. And it may be understating the problem:
Our media-based analysis of child gun deaths also understates the problem, as numerous such killings likely never appear in the news. New research by two Boston surgeons drawing on pediatric records suggests that the real toll is higher: They've found about 500 deaths of children and teens per year, and an additional 7,500 hospitalizations from gunshot wounds.

"It's almost a routine problem in pediatric practice," says Dr. Judith Palfrey, a former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics who holds positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. Palfrey herself (who is not involved with the above study) lost a 12-year-old patient she was close with to gun violence, she told me.

No other affluent society has this problem to such an extreme. According to a recent study by the Children's Defense Fund, the gun death rate for children and teens in the US is four times greater than in Canada, the country with the next highest rate, and 65 times greater than in Germany and Britain.
As I noted in the post below, we seem to have decided that children are collateral damage. I knew we thought that about those dusky foreigners, but it would appear we've decided that in the cause of what the American right wing defines as liberty, our own kids are disposable too. Their own kids are disposable too. How sick is that?

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