US Child Gun Deaths Rose 60% in 10 Years
And most came from handguns, finds new study
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2013 3:10 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The number of US kids and teens who die from gunshot wounds in hospital has risen almost 60% in a decade, according to a new report. The study by two doctors looked at data from 1997 to 2009, and found the number of those hospitalized with gunshot wounds rose from 4,270 to 7,730, while the number of those that then died from them climbed from 317 to 503, NBC News reports. Eight out of 10 of the wounds came from handguns, says study author Arin L. Madenci. "Furthermore, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home," he says.

As a result of the findings, the authors say, perhaps the national conversation about gun control should move from larger semi-automatic weapons to limiting the number of smaller firearms in homes. "While public health resources and policies have largely focused on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, it may be more crucial to intervene on handguns," says Madenci, per Medical Daily. The director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research tells Discovery that research and data like this has been sorely lacking in the field since Congress stopped funding it in the 1990s. "I see this as a huge step forward," he says.

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Bob Curtis
Apr 10, 2014 4:13 AM CDT
LOL, statistics are great, aren't they? 60% means the number jumped from 317 to 503. Out of roughly 75 MILLION children in the US. Statistically speaking, that's not really a change at all. If you want to view it as a percentage, that's the difference of going from 4.2266666666666666666666666666667e-6 children being killed to 6.7066666666666666666666666666667e-6. Infinitesimal, statistically speaking. I understand that each one of those kids is a tragedy, and we need to do everything we can to reduce these numbers to as close to zero as possible. But this "jump" isn't a jump at all, and is not indicative of a "epidemic."
Ikari
Mar 13, 2014 9:51 PM CDT
The population has also increased in the last 10 years. No adjustment was made per-capita. You can't compare raw totals between two populations of different sizes. It's deliberately flawed data. They also consider "childs" to be anyone under the age of 20, which includes all gang and gun crime. There are more kids with iPhones than 10 years ago, too. Guess what the #1 killer of teens is right now? Texting and driving. Apple kills more kids every year than accidents with guns.
Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 9, 2013 1:18 PM CST
I've never heard of a kid being killed by a firearm in the Ozark or Little Dixie region of the USA. I'm talking a region with 100-percent firearms ownership in all homes. Take a typical Poteau, Ok home. A firearm safe is your #1 appliance. Kid is born, your best buds by that bugger its first .22 regardless of boy or girl. First birthday, a .410 and every birthday that follows another firearm. Most kids by age 10 have more firearms than I have now. My new nephew is 4 and he's fast approaching that point way early. What is the reason these kids have so many firearms and nobody ever gets killed in this region. Its very easy to explain, these kids never learn that firearms are toys. They never get a toy "gun" their entire life. If for some reason a distant relative sends one as a gift, it gets broken into tiny pieces and tossed out. Sorry that so many people give their kids the toys that look like firearms.