National Index Shows At Least 28 Deaths, 97 Unintentional Shootings Involving Children This Year, One Every 36 Hours; Everytown and Moms Launch “Be SMART” Campaign to Reduce Child Shootings; BeSMARTforkids.org
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the below statement today in response to the recent reported unintentional shooting in DeKalb County in which a 9-year-old boy shot and injured himself after gaining access to a 9mm handgun that was stored in a shoe box in his mother’s bedroom.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young child who was injured this week in DeKalb County. Sadly, these tragedies happen all too often. Recent research from Everytown for Gun Safety research has found that there have been at least 97 unintentional child shootings in 2015 so far, an average of one in America every 36 hours,” said Dr. Viviana Goldenberg, a volunteer leader with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We encourage parents and adults, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to ‘Be SMART’ and take these simple steps to help prevent shootings by children: Secure all guns in your homes and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the risks of teen suicide; Tell your peers to Be SMART.”
Everytown and Moms Demand Action recently launched the #NotAnAccident Index and interactive map, a first-of-its-kind tracking of unintentional shootings by children 17 or under across the United States. The index reveals Georgia suffered at least 6 unintentional shootings involving children, resulting in three injuries and three deaths in 2015—including shootings in Augusta, Baconton, Chatsworth, DeKalb County, Jefferson and Macon
Nationally the #NotAnAccident Index indicates that since January 1, 2015, there have been at least 97 unintentional shootings involving children, resulting in 71 injuries and 28 deaths—that’s an average of one unintentional child shooting in America every 36 hours. The index is based on media coverage and police reports of instances where a child 17 years or younger unintentionally fired a gun and harmed either him or herself or another person.
The Georgia shootings on the #NotAnAccident Index are:
- January 18, 2015, Baconton, GA
Following a day of hunting, the adults in the hunting party told Jackson O’Quinn, 13, to put away the guns used in the hunt. He was in the process of doing so when he unintentionally discharged one of the guns, hitting and killing himself.
- March 10, 2015, Macon, GA
After finding a gun in his home, an eight-year-old boy unintentionally shot and injured his five-year-old brother.
- March 19, 2015, Chatsworth, GA