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Count the Carnage: 500 Kids Die Each Year From Gunshots
Posted on Oct 27, 2013
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“Based on our research, we know that there is a clear correlation between household gun ownership (and gun safety practices) and childhood gunshot wounds in the home on a large-scale,” Madenci said in an e-mail to Discovery News.Madenci said he didn’t have enough data to determine whether guns in specific homes were responsible for these deaths or injuries, but said it is something they plan to answer in future studies. He said he decided to look at the question of gun ownership and childhood gun deaths after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. One expert says the study should not come as a big surprise.“It’s consistent with general theory which is that greater exposure leads to greater risk,” said Daniel Webster, professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.
Eight of every 10 firearm wounds were inflicted by handguns, according to hospital records reviewed by the doctors. They say the national conversation about guns should shift toward the danger posed by smaller weapons, not the recent fights over limiting the availability of military-style, semi-automatic rifles.“Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade,” said Dr. Arin L. Madenci, a surgical resident at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and one of the study’s two authors. “Furthermore, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home.”Among homes with children, rates of gun possession ranged from 10 percent in New Jersey, for instance, to 62 percent in Montana, the researchers found.