Houston, Texas— The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to the third unintentional child shooting in Houston in four days and called on all Americans to ‘Be SMART’, the Moms’ campaign to prevent these kinds of tragedies:
• Today a 5-year old boy shot and critically injured his 6-year-old brother at his home;
• On Sunday, March 1, a 4-year old shot and killed himself with a loaded handgun at his home; and
• On Friday, February 27, a 3-year old died after shooting himself in the head.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to the families of the children affected by the recent tragedies in the Houston area,” said Moms Demand Action Texas chapter volunteer and gun owner Angela Turner. “Headlines about children shooting other children or shooting themselves are written far too often in Texas—and nationwide. As our research has found, nearly two children are killed this way every week and more than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them. As a gun owner and a mom, one of the most important things I can do is to responsibly lock my guns, keep them unloaded at all times, and ask other gun owners and parents to do the same. These recent shootings in Houston are not accidents, they are preventable tragedies; we owe it our children to be smarter when it comes to responsible gun ownership.”
“Moms encourage parents and caretakers, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to ‘Be SMART’,” continued Turner. “Take these simple 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 warning signs of suicide; Tell your peers to be SMART.”
More than two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns—1.7 million of those are loaded and unlocked. An analysis of child access gun deaths by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths”, found that:
• Nearly two children are killed in unintentional shootings each week, 61 percent higher than federal data reflect.
• About two-thirds of these unintended deaths — 65 percent — took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family, most often with guns that were legally owned but not secured.
• More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.
• Toddlers age 2-4 have the highest risk of unintentionally shooting themselves.