Stupid, tragic things keep happening when careless people and guns mix.
Missouri appears to be one of the worst places in the nation for stupid tragedies involving guns. Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America have targeted the Show-Me State as having at least five unintentional shootings involving children. Four resulted in injuries and one in death in 2015.
The groups recently launched #NotAnAccident Index the first-of-its-kind interactive map to track unintentional shootings by children. At least 88 child shootings have occurred in the U.S. since the start of 2015, and the year isn’t half over yet.
The shootings have resulting in 65 injuries and 25 deaths, the groups reports. That’s an average of one unintentional child shooting in America every 36 hours. “The index is based on media coverage and police reports of instances where a child 17 years or younger unintentionally fired a gun and harmed either him or herself or another person,” the groups said in a prepared statement.
In Missouri the shootings involving children were in Elmo, Florissant, Kansas City, Platte City and Willwood.
“The U.S. has one of the highest reported rates of unintentional child gun deaths in the world,” the website reports. “And Everytown research indicates that the number of incidents involving death and injury are significantly underreported.
“These aren’t accidents. They’re preventable. More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.”
But as guns laws such as those in Missouri and Kansas become more liberal, more avoidable shootings will occur.
To try to end the tragedies the irresponsible legislation and careless gun owners create, Everytown and Moms Demand Action started the Be SMART campaign. The public education effort is to get people to store guns properly to remove the risk that they will fall into the hands of children, teens or others and be used in unintentional shootings, homicides or suicides.
The campaign asks people to take five steps:
▪ Secure all guns in your home and vehicles.
▪ Model responsible behavior around guns.
▪ Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes.
▪ Recognize the risks of teen suicide.
▪ Tell your peers to be SMART.
For more information go to BeSMARTforKids.org.