The global coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities and shone an even harsher light on our country’s fundamental problems. One of the issues we face in the U.S. that has been further exposed is our reliance on guns and the culture of guns. Mass shootings and gun violence were up in 2020. This was only surprising until one remembers that gun sales surged during the pandemic. While news stories were filled with the hoarding of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, Americans were also buying up guns in record numbers.
Along with general gun violence, NPR reports that the continuing pandemic, our pathetic infrastructure, and the surge in gun sales has led to more and more accidental shootings by children. Citing advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety research, 2021 has already seen no less than “259 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 104 deaths and 168 injuries nationally.” According to the group, if this pace continues, 2021 will easily surpass last year’s high number of 369 unintentional shootings, and might even break the tragic record of 383 set in 2017.
The group’s findings include:
A child is involved in an accidental shooting almost every single day in America.
91% of shootings by children end up injuring or killing other children under 18 years of age.
70% of “unintentional child shootings” occur at home.
The ages when children are most susceptible to accidents by firearms are children under 5 and 14 to 17 year olds.
States with “secure storage or child access prevention laws had the lowest rates of injury or death from unintentional child shootings.”
Conversely, states with no such laws had accidental child shooting rates two to three times higher than those with these gun safety laws.
This isn’t that surprising. Recent research has pointed out that while most gun owners—and specifically gun owners with families in their homes—believe themselves to be responsible in regards to gun safety, the reality is much different. One such study reported that 85% of American families with guns in the home did not practice safely securing their firearms as is advised by everyone with a braincell or two to rub together. Until better safety practices are codified more stringently, the painful stories of accidental gun deaths involving children will continue to be a normal occurrence.
According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the states with the most unintentional shootings by children in 2021 so far are:
Ohio with 25
Texas with 23
Florida with 20
Louisiana with 15
Missouri with 14
The Biden administration, along with virtually every Democratic administration, has condemned our country’s “epidemic” of “gun violence.” And even though the overwhelming majority of Americans from all walks of life would like to see some common sense gun safety regulations be put into law, Republicans and their Second Amendment donor class have been able to gum up any progress towards that goal. The great deception here is that conservative circles have been able to convince Americans that while allowing Black and brown people and women to vote was a mistake, the Second Amendment—as evolved by the right wing of our country—is totally the last bastion of true constitutionalism.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.