Tens of thousands of Americans are shot and killed by gunfire every year, but clearly it took the deaths of just a very small number of them, ages 6 and 7, last Friday to finally galvanize sentiment and (who knows) maybe even federal action, against weapons proliferation in our country. But kids have been getting killed by guns in massive numbers for years without much attention from the media, or calls for action in columns or editorials.
There’s a valuable overview here on the risks of keeping firearms in the home. Kids in the United States are shot eleven times more often than in other developed countries.
It may be that it will take a fresh media focus on the carnage across the country to keep the momentum building after the funerals and initial mourning period ends in Newtown. Call it a new “childrens’ crusade.”
I’ve been tryng to do my bit by monitoring shooting incidents involving kids for the past several days. Here’s my report on just a handful of what I’ve found in the past two days—updated today (Thursday). These are all from the past week, right up to last night.
In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a 16-year-old shot and killed—with a semi-automatic shotgun—a friend after an argument over paintball.
A girl in Memphis, age 2, got struck by a stray bullet from a gunfight outside and is now in critical condition. Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, in Maryland, another two-year-old shot—was being held by man who was gunned down and killed. Wednesday afternoon: teen shot in chest by another teen in Frederick, Maryland. A 4-year-old shot in head in Jacksonville outside his home. A boy, 11, shot and killed in Puerto Rico.