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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 165386 Find in a Library
Title: Kids Shooting Kids: Stories From Across the Nation of Unintentional Shootings Among Children and Youth
Corporate Author: Violence Policy Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 277
Sponsoring Agency: Public Welfare Foundation
Washington, DC 20009-4443
Violence Policy Ctr
Washington, DC 20036
Sale Source: Violence Policy Ctr
1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 1014
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study provides copies of newspaper articles that report unintentional shootings among children and youth, discusses how existing public health research helps explain them, and suggests how to prevent such accidents through effective public policy.
Abstract: The newspaper reports are presented State-by-State. The newspaper articles include a number of incidents that involve siblings, some that involve firearms belonging to parents or grandparents, a number that involve very young children shooting one another, a few where children removed the gun from a locked gun cabinet or safe, and some in which children were not aware that the firearm was loaded. The study collected newspaper articles from October 1995 to June 1996, using a national clipping service. Included in this report are firearms incidents in which both the shooter and victim were age 17 or younger. Intentional (suicide) and unintentional self-inflicted gunshot wounds are not included. Incidents were reported in 40 States and include both fatal and non-fatal shootings. The clippings report 97 incidents in which a child or teenager was unintentionally killed by another child or teen and 125 incidents in which a child or teenager was unintentionally injured by a shot fired by another child or teen. The authors note that the firearms industry is the only manufacturer of a consumer product that is virtually exempt from health and safety regulation. As a result, gun manufacturers routinely do not include simple safety devices that could prevent some unintentional shootings. In addition, the industry actively promotes gun ownership and use among women and youth, which can only increase children and teens' exposure to firearms. Comprehensive safety regulation is the only way to ensure that all manufacturers include such proven safety devices as load indicators, magazine disconnect devices, minimum trigger- pull standards, and manual safety devices. To be effective, requirements for such safety devices must be combined with an effective and vigilant enforcement authority. 20 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Firearm accidents; Firearms deaths; Gun Control; Media coverage; State-by-state analyses
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