Guns are the Leading Killer of America’s Children

Guns are the Leading Killer of America’s Children

© David Burton 2023

Guns Kill Children

     “It used to be that accidents, primarily car accidents, were the leading cause of death of America’s children between the ages of 1 and 18.
     “But last year [2022] for the first time, guns were the #1 cause of death of American children. A total of 3597 children died from guns (including suicides), representing 19% of all deaths in that age group, with accidents coming in at 18%. (Cancer is third at 8% and drug overdoses are fourth at 7%.) [Emphasis mine]
     “To put that number in perspective, 2603 people perished in the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 — which means that guns now kill far more American children, each and every year, than were killed by the terrorists on that terrible day.
     “In addition, another 15,000 children annually are wounded by gunfire, often leaving them with lifelong, debilitating physical injuries as well as psychological trauma.
     “The 2022 figures represent a dramatic increase of 50% since 2019 and a doubling since 2013. The child firearm mortality rate in 2013 was 1.8 deaths per 100,000, but now is close to 4.0 deaths per 100,000.
     “The United States has by far the highest rate of children who die from firearms among wealthy nations — and it’s not even close. Deaths by firearms do not rank in the top four for causes of death for children, let alone the number one cause, anywhere else in the developed world. [Emphasis mine]
     “Moreover, there is no place in America that is safe for our children from gun violence. Even the states with the most gun safety laws, which have lower rates of child firearm deaths than states with few gun safety laws, have rates much higher than what other countries similar to ours experience.
     “Given that guns and mass shootings continue to proliferate throughout our country - and Republicans at all levels of government refuse to enact even common-sense gun safety measures - the number of deaths by firearms for our nation’s children only will continue to rise. [Emphasis mine]” (Ref. 1)

     “For millions of Americans, mass shootings are hitting as close as one mile to home.
     “Almost 42 million Americans - over one-eighth of the US population - are estimated to have lived within one mile of a mass shooting since 2014 [Emphasis mine], according to an original . . . analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA) and US Census Bureau.
     “Mass shootings are happening both more frequently and in an increasing number of cities and towns across the country. [By 4 September, 2023, the year was] a record-breaking year for gun violence. [By then, there had] been over 470 mass shootings, more . . . than at the same point in the last 10 years, according to data from the GVA, a non-profit group formed in 2013 to track gun-related violence. [The] GVA [defines] a mass shooting as an incident where a minimum of four victims are shot, not including the shooter.
     “To determine the number of people who have lived near mass shootings, . . . data from the GVA and the US Census Bureau [was examined]. Since January 2014, the GVA has provided a daily count of shootings derived from thousands of sources, such as police reports and media articles, checked by a team of researchers. The included mass shootings incorporate hate crimes, domestic violence, gang violence and other categories.
     “While some . . . will associate the term “mass shooting” with the country’s most violent and widely reported incidents of gunfire erupting in crowded places, or similarly what the FBI counts as active shooter incidents, these events make up [only] a small fraction of deadly gun violence.
     “Examining mass shootings captures the daily reality and increasing toll of violent shootings across the country. For the people living near mass shootings, the effects of gun violence can be powerful and enduring too.
     “A growing body of research has looked at the community impacts of gun violence, finding widespread health consequences. Community-wide, mass shootings lead to increases in feelings of fear and lack of safety, experts say. Among children, witnessing urban violence is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, such as substance abuse, aggression, anxiety, depression and antisocial behavior, according to a 2017 study.” (Ref. 2)

     “There [were] five mass shootings in the United States in the first four days of September [2023] . . .
     “[In 2023, through 4 September, the] U.S. . . . experienced at least 484 mass shootings . . . , according to the Gun Violence Archive. This averages out to almost two mass shootings a day. [Emphasis mine]
     “. . .
     “Though mass shootings don’t make up the majority of gun violence incidents in America, their impact on communities and victims is evident.
     “Incidents like the mass shootings in Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, continue to have cities in mourning and have sparked repeated calls for gun reform. [All of these calls for gun reform have gone unheeded!]
     “The Gun Violence Archive tracked roughly 645 mass shootings in 2022 and 690 in 2021.
     “At [the start of September 2022], the country had [already] experienced 455 mass shootings in 2022.” (Ref. 3)

     As I’ve repeatedly said in the past[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] and, will once again emphatically state: There is no way to end the gun carnage in this country except by getting rid of the guns – all guns!

     There’s no longer any room in the gun-control debate for nuance. Eliminate guns, and we’ll eliminate the carnage.

     Ban guns. All guns. Get rid of guns in homes, and on the streets. Don’t sort the population into those who might do something evil or foolish or self-destructive with a gun and those who surely will not. As if this could be known - as if it could be assessed without massively violating civil liberties and stigmatizing the mentally ill. Ban guns! Not just gun violence. Not just certain guns. Not just already-technically-illegal guns. Ban all of them.
     Some people refer to their position on this issue as being in favor of gun control. But “gun control” at its most radical still tends to refer to bans on certain weapons and closing loopholes. “Certain kinds of weapons, like slightly modified combat rifles, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership,” argue a few, making the case for “reasonable regulation,” nothing more. Even the rare ban-guns arguments involve prefacing and hedging and disclaimers. “We shouldn’t ‘take them away’ from people who currently own them, necessarily,” say some. Oh, but we should!
     Banning guns urgently needs to become a rhetorical and conceptual possibility. The national conversation needs to shift from one extreme - an acceptance, ranging from complacent to enthusiastic, of an individual right to own guns - to another, which requires people who are not politicians to speak their minds.
     It doesn’t take specialized expertise in constitutional law to understand that current U.S. gun law gets its parameters from Supreme Court interpretations of the Second Amendment. But it’s right there in the First Amendment that we don’t have to simply nod along with what follows. That the Second Amendment has been liberally interpreted doesn’t prevent any of us from saying it’s been misinterpreted, or that it should be repealed.
     What’s needed to stop all gun violence is a vocal “ban all guns” group of citizens! Getting bogged down in discussions of what’s feasible keeps what needs to happen - no more guns - from entering the realm of possibility. Public opinion needs to shift. The no-guns stance needs to be an identifiable place on the spectrum, embraced unapologetically.[15]

     When are any gun deaths too many? How many children killed by gunfire are too many? Gun lovers and the NRA be damned! Let’s stop the firearms carnage the only way that makes sense – by getting rid of the guns! LET'S ELIMINATE THE LEADING KILLER OF AMERICA'S CHILDREN!

POSTSCRIPT: On 25 October 2023, Aaron Young, aged 14, was among the 18 killed and 14 wounded in Lewiston, Maine in a mass shooting. He was just one of the most recent beneficiaries of gun fanatics' evangelical love and interpretation of the second amendment to the Constitution.[16]

  1. Guns Are Now the Leading Killer of America’s Children, Winthrop Sun Transcript; Pge 4, 7 September 2023.
  2. In the last decade, an estimated 40 million Americans lived within 1 mile of a mass shooting,
    Amy O'Kruk, Kenneth Uzquiano and Anna Brand, CNN, 30 August 2023.
  3. There have been more mass shootings than days in 2023, database shows, Kiara Alfonseca, abc NEWS,
    4 September 2023.
  4. Gun Legislation is a FRAUD !!!, David Burton, Son of Elihayu; Article 535, 7 July 2022.
  5. Gun Lovers Win Again – More Gun Deaths to Follow!, David Burton, Son of Elihayu; Article 534,
    30 June 2022.
  6. Gun Violence – 2022, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 525, 28 April 2022.
  7. Gun Violence Hits Home, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 484, 15 July2021.
  8. Gun Fanatics Using Trojan Horses to Keep Their Deadly Toys, David Burton,
    Son of Eliyahu; Article 375, 30 August 2019.
  9. America Obfuscates and New Zealand Acts, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 353, 8 April 2019.
  10. For Shame, America!, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 350, 21 February 2019.
  11. The ONLY Way to End Gun Violence in America, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 339,
    1 November 2018.
  12. When It Comes to Guns, It’s Business as Usual, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 319,
    19 March 2018.
  13. When it Comes to Mass Shootings, There are Doers and Then There are Politicians, David Burton,
    Son of Eliyahu; Article 318, 8 March 2018.
  14. The Second Amendment in 2017, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; Article 292, 1 June 2017.
  15. It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them., Phoebe Maltz Bovy, The new Republic, 10 December 2015.
  16. Maine shooting victims: Youth bowling coach and 14-year-old among those killed in massacre, Maighna Nanu ,
    The Telegraph, 27 October 2023.

  23 November 2023 {Article 601; Suggestions?_84}    
Go back to the top of the page