STUDY: Guns Violence Among Children Is A ‘Uniquely American Problem’

Each year, nearly 1,300 children die from gun-related incidents, with Blacks and young boys struck down most often, a new federal health officials report says.

Per Katherine Fowler, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of these deaths are homicides, while 38 percent are suicides and 6 percent are unintentional.

Researchers also found that almost 6,000 kids are wounded by guns annually. “Pediatric firearm injuries and deaths are an important public health problem in the United States, contributing substantially each year to premature death, illness and disability of children,” said Fowler, of the CDC’s division of violence prevention.

Based on data from the National Vital Statistics System, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and the National Violent Death Reporting System (2002-2014), gun-related violence is the third leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 17-years-old – with gun killings trailing behind car accidents in terms of injury-related deaths.

The findings are alarming:

  • The death rate from a firearm-related injury averaged nearly two per 100,000 children, with boys accounting for more than eight out of 10 gun deaths.
  • The rate for Black children was more than twice that — over four per 100,000 — that’s 10 times higher than the rate for whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
  • Children aged 13 to 17, more often died in the commission of a crime or in violence between peers.
  • Gun homicide rates were higher in a handful of southern states and parts of the Midwest than anywhere else.
  • Homicides (gun-related) are largely related to gangs and drugs, Dr. Al Sacchetti, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, said.
  • Gun suicide rates where highest among American Indian/Alaska Natives and Whites.
  • Since 2007, kids’ suicides by gun have increased by a whopping 60 percent with mental illness a common factor.