A three year-old boy is dead from a bullet wound to the head. Indianapolis police believe that he accidentally shot himself after he pulled a gun off his family’s kitchen counter. The parents, according to a neighbor, would sometimes carry their guns “in public on their side” — “they’ve got permits for them and I just thought they always were a little bit more responsible than” to leave a gun where their child could find it.
Incidents such as this one are all too common in the United States. At least five children were accidentally shot by children in the week before Mother’s Day this year. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 are eleven times more likely to die from an accidental gunshot than in other developed nations.
Indeed, there is a wealth of data showing that households with guns are far more dangerous than those without firearms. One study found that “the presence of a gun in the home was associated with a nearly fivefold risk of suicide . . . and an almost threefold risk of homicide.” According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “guns kept in the home are 43 times more likely to be used to kill someone known to the family than to be used to kill in self-defense.”