National Index Shows At Least 48 Deaths, 163 Unintentional Shootings Involving Children This Year, One Every 32 Hours; Everytown and Moms Launch “Be SMART” Campaign to Reduce Child Shootings; BeSMARTforkids.org
WASHINGTON – The Washington, D.C. chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement in response to Thursday’s reported unintentional shooting in Southeast D.C. when three-year-old Dalis Cox was shot and killed with an unsecured gun found in the home by her seven-year-old brother.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the three-year-old girl who was shot and killed by her seven-year-old brother when he found an unsecured gun in the home. Sadly, these tragedies happen all too often and are called accidents when in fact they are often preventable. Recent research from Everytown for Gun Safety reveals there have been at least 163 unintentional child shootings in 2015 so far—an average of one in America every 32 hours,” said Elizabeth Haile, a volunteer leader with the Washington, D.C. chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We encourage parents and adults—gun owners and non-gun owners alike—to ‘Be SMART’ and take these simple steps to help prevent shootings by children: Secure all guns in your homes 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.”
Everytown and Moms Demand 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 Index indicates that since January 1, 2015, there have been at least 163 unintentional shootings involving children, resulting in 118 injuries and 48 deaths—that’s an average of one unintentional child shooting in America every 32 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.
In efforts to reduce the number of shootings by children, Everytown and Moms Demand Action recently launched the Be SMART campaign, 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.
As part of the Be SMART campaign to promote gun safety in communities nationwide, Everytown and Moms Demand Action will provide one gunlock for every supporter who completes the online gun safety quiz on BeSMARTforKids.org to Moms Demand Action chapters to distribute at local gun safety awareness events.