Every year, 500 children and teenagers are killed from gunfire and another 7,500 kids are hospitalized from gun injuries, according to a new study from doctors who reviewed a decade’s worth of hospital pediatric records.
Highlighting how gun violence takes a large but invisible toll, the doctors found eight of 10 of those gunshot wounds were caused by handguns. They found a “significant relationship” between a state’s household gun ownership rate and childhood gunshot wounds, suggesting that it has something to do with the frequency of accidental shootings in the home. Arkansas leads the country with the highest rate of unlocked and loaded guns in households with children (7 percent).
Between 1997 and 2009, child fatalities from guns have risen 60 percent:
Other studies confirm the link between the rate of gun ownership, and lax laws, to the rate of gun violence. But fewer than 20 states make adults criminally liable for allowing children access to guns, as others have moved to weaken regulations.