Hornsby Elementary Shooting is 133rd School Shooting Since Sandy Hook 11 Unintentional Child Shootings in Georgia in 2015 Have Resulted in Five Deaths and Six Injuries; Everytown and Moms “Be SMART” Campaign to Reduce Child Shootings: BeSMARTforkids.org
AUGUSTA, Ga. – In response to reports of today’s shooting at Hornsby Elementary School in Augusta in which a third grader unintentionally shot a female classmate while playing with a gun he had in his desk, the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement. This is the 133rd school shooting since the tragedy at Sandy Hook and at least the 191st unintentional child shooting in 2015. Georgia has had at least 11 unintentional child shootings this year resulting in five deaths and six injuries.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, faculty and families affected by the shooting today at Hornsby Elementary School. While details are still unfolding about what happened today, as an army veteran and gun owner with two elementary school-aged children, I feel strongly there is more we can do to prevent the tragedies that happen when kids get ahold of guns, especially if they bring those guns to school,” said Lindsey Donovan, volunteer chapter leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This is at least the 11th unintentional child shooting in Georgia in 2015 alone – and five deaths and six injuries are the tragic consequences. In the United States, 1.7 million American children live in homes with guns that are both loaded and unlocked. Every year about 100 children 17 and under die in unintentional shootings, and many more are injured. And the majority of school shootings in this country involve guns that were stored carelessly at home. In a state that recently passed a ‘guns everywhere’ law, it is even more important for us to prevent the tragedies that can happen when kids get their hands on an unsecured gun – we can do that by practicing responsible gun ownership and responsible storage.”
Everytown and Moms Demand Action recently launched the #NotAnAccident Index and interactive map, a first-of-its-kind tracking of unintentional shootings by children 17 or under across the United States.
Nationally, the #NotAnAccident indicates that since January 1, 2015, there have been at least 191 unintentional shootings involving children. 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.
In efforts to reduce the number of shootings by children, Everytown and Moms Demand Action recently launched Be SMART, a new public education campaign asking gun owners and non-gun owners alike to come together to reduce the number of unintentional shootings, suicides, and homicides that occur when firearms are not stored responsibly and children or teens get ahold of a gun. The campaign asks parents and caretakers to take five steps to help prevent shootings by children: 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. More information on Be SMART is available at BeSMARTforKids.org.