Moms Demand Action’s BE SMART Campaign Aims to Prevent Child Gun Deaths; At Least 86 Unintentional Shootings on 2015 #NotAnAccident Index; BeSMARTforKids.org
ANN ARBOR, M.I. – In response to yesterday’s reported unintentional shooting in Ann Arbor where a four-year-old child was shot and injured, the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement from volunteer Chapter Leader Kristen Moore:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young child who was injured yesterday in Ann Arbor. Sadly, these tragedies happen all too often—Everytown for Gun Safety research has found that there have been at least 86 unintentional child shootings in America in 2015, an average of one every 36 hours. These tragedies are usually preventable, which is why 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.”
Last week Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action released the #NotAnAccident Index and interactive map, a first-of-its-kind tracking of unintentional shootings by children, and 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. More information on Be SMART is available at BeSMARTforKids.org.
More than two million American children live in homes with unsecured guns—1.7 million of those guns are loaded and unlocked. An analysis of unintentional child 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 age 14 and under 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.