In a February report from the Brady Center, they found that suicide by firearm increased among American adolescents for the third consecutive year. Before you gun nuts question the figures, it comes from the latest fatal injury data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You remember the CDC don’t you, the organization that has been compiling information on gun violence for years that the National Rifle Assn. would not allow to be released. Well it’s out there now and the numbers are appalling. In 2013, suicide by firearm claimed 876 lives among adolescents ages 10 to 19, the highest level since 2001. Most of these youth suicides occur with a gun belonging to a family member, usually a parent. And therein lays the problem: irresponsible parents leaving firearms unsecured so the kids can just fetch them up and blow theirs or their brother or sister’s brains all over the couch.
Brady says that parents who think having a gun in the house is a safeguard are missing the point entirely because the CDC data says that having a gun in the home dramatically increases the danger that a child will be shot and killed. Further, the same holds true for preventable accidents and school shootings, including the tragedy at Sandy Hook. It’s usually a gun that belonged to a parent or a relative. This might give some credence to what the NRA is constantly flashing in the face of gun control advocates, that “Guns don’t kill, people do.”
In this case guns don’t kill, feckless gun-owning parents do.
The Brady Center’s analysis of the latest CDC fatal injury data shows:
- States with the most gun deaths (Alaska, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Wyoming) had high rates of gun ownership. Conversely, states with the fewest gun deaths (Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) had low rates of gun ownership.
- In 2013, firearm-related injuries were the second most common cause of death for children and teens ages 1-19. Only motor vehicles were responsible for more deaths among this age group.
- Following a decrease in 2012, the unintentional gun death rate for children and teens rose 15% in 2013.