As we enter the dog days of summer, a quick look-back at July reveals that it was a deadly month for children in Texas when it comes to unintentional child shootings. In fact, Texas currently leads the nation in unintentional child shootings – at least 15 have occurred so far in 2016, resulting in seven deaths and eight injuries. Six of those shootings have taken place in the greater Houston area.
If you isolate the month of July in Texas – there were at least seven unintentional child shootings, nearly doubling the count from the previous six months combined. Some of those most recent shootings include:
- An 11-year-old who was playing with his father’s hunting rifle in his home when he discharged it, hitting himself in the neck. He was taken to a local hospital and died hours later.
- A seven-year-old accessed a gun safe while visiting his grandfather and removed a .38-caliber handgun. While handling it, he unintentionally discharged the gun, grazing his head. He was taken to a local hospital, and treated for his non-life threatening injury.
- A five-year-old found a handgun inside his home and discharged it while playing with it, hitting himself in the head. He was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
So far in 2016, there have been at least 156 unintentional child shootings, resulting in 76 deaths and 80 injuries around the country. Texas has experienced the most unintentional child shootings so far this year, with Georgia and Florida rounding out the top three.
Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America track each incident where a person age 17 or under unintentionally kills or injures someone with a gun via our Not An Accident Index. These incidents are heartbreaking, yet preventable tragedies that have clear solutions to help prevent them in the first place.
That’s why Everytown and Moms Demand Action launched the Be SMART educational program – to ask gun owners and non-gun owners alike to help 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.
If you’re interested in learning more about protecting children from unintentional gun deaths and injuries – or to speak with survivors of events like these, please don’t hesitate to reach out.