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Died as a Result of Accidental Gunshot

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Please add the profiles of those who died as a result of being accidentally shot.

The term accidental death is any death that occurs as a result of an accident. These types of death are only deemed accidental if it was not intended (suicide), expected or foreseeable (illness). The perpetrators and victims of accidental and negligent gun discharges may be of any age.

Over 120 children 15 years old or younger were killed in gun accidents in 1998. Accidental injuries are most common in homes where guns are kept for self-defense. The injuries are self-inflicted in half of the cases.

  • On January 16, 2013, President Obama issued 23 Executive Orders on Gun Safety, one of which was for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to research causes and possible prevention of gun violence. The five main areas of focus were gun violence, risk factors, prevention/intervention, gun safety and how media and violent video games influence the public. They also researched the area of accidental firearm deaths. According to this study not only have the number of accidental firearm deaths been on the decline over the past century but they now account for less than 1% of all unintentional deaths, half of which are self-inflicted.

From: CNN Health - Guns kill nearly 1,300 US children each year, study says. By: Jacqueline Howard, CNN. Updated 19 Jun 2017

  • From 2012 to 2014, on average, 1,297 children died annually from a gun-related injury in the US, according to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics. The study also revealed which states in the US saw most of those deaths among children and which children may be most at risk for a gun-related injury.
  • Boys accounted for 82% of all child firearm deaths and about 84% of all nonfatal firearm injuries that were medically treated in the study. African-American children had the highest rates of firearm homicide, and white and Native American children had the highest rates of firearm suicide. The new study findings show that boys are much more likely to be injured by firearms than girls.
  • While the District of Columbia and Louisiana had the highest rates of child firearm deaths, several states -- including Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and New Hampshire -- had 20 or fewer deaths, the researchers found.

From: [ NBC News - Accidental Death Rate Creeping Higher in US]

  • Accidental deaths on the rise. CHICAGO — The nation's accidental death rate has been gradually creeping higher and is up 12 percent compared to the lowest rate on record, in 1992, according to a report released Thursday by the National Safety Council.Jun 7, 2007

From: Aftermath -Examining Accidental Death Statistics

  • In 2016 there were 161,374 deaths from unintentional injuries, the overall 3rd ranking cause of death that year.
    • From 2006-2016, almost 6,885 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. In 2016 alone, there were 495 incidents of accidental firearm deaths.
    • Accidental gun deaths occur mainly in those under 25 years old. In 2014, 2,549 children (age 0-19) died by gunshot and an additional 13,576 were injured.
    • Adolescents are particularly susceptible to accidental shootings due to specific behavioral characteristics associated with adolescence, such as impulsivity, feelings of invincibility, and curiosity about firearms.
  • A statistically significant association exists between gun availability and the rates of unintentional firearm deaths, homicides, and suicides.
    • In the United States, over 1.69 million kids age 18 and under are living in households with loaded and unlocked firearms, setting the scene for possible tragedy if firearms are not locked and stored properly.
    • A study from 2014 showed that those people that died from accidental shooting were more than three times as likely to have had a firearm in their home as those in the control.
    • A 2001 study found that regardless of age, people are nine times more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns.

From: New York Against Gun Violence - Fact Sheet: Accidental Shootings

Guns in the home increase risk: Rather than being used for self-defense, guns in the home are 22 times more likely to be involved in accidental shootings, homicides, or suicide attempts. For every one time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were 4 unintentional shootings, 7 criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

  • Deaths: From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. More than a third of the victims were under 25 years of age.
  • Injuries: In 2010, unintentional firearm shootings caused the deaths of 606 people.
  • More Guns = More Accidental Shootings: People of all age groups are significantly more likely to die from unintentional firearm injuries when they live in states with more guns, relative to states with fewer guns.
    • On average, states with the highest gun ownership levels had 9 times the rate of unintentional firearms deaths compared to states with the lowest gun ownership levels.
    • A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8% of such shooting deaths resulted from shots fired by children under the age of six.
    • Youth and Accidental Shootings: Over 1,300 victims of unintentional shootings for the period 2005–2010 were under 25 years of age.
    • For kids ages 5 to 14, the mortality rate is 14 times higher in high gun ownership states than low gun ownership states. For infants and toddlers, ages 0 to 4, the mortality rate is 17 times higher in high gun ownership states than low gun ownership states.
    • The majority of people killed in firearm accidents are under age 24, and most of these young people are being shot by someone else, usually someone their own age. The shooter is typically a friend or family member, often an older brother.
  • Safe Storage of Firearms: Thirty-three percent of U.S. households contain a gun, and half of gun-owning households don't lock up their guns, including 40 percent of households with kids under age 18.
    • Both firearm prevalence and questionable storage practices (i.e. storing firearms loaded and unlocked) are associated with higher rates of unintentional firearm deaths.
  • Preventing Accidental Shootings: The U.S. General Accounting Office has estimated that 31% of unintentional deaths caused by firearms might be prevented by the addition of two devices: a child-proof safety lock (8%) and a loading indicator (23%).
    • The best way to avoid unintentional shootings, particularly those involving children, is to not keep a gun in the home.

How can proper gun safety lower the number of accidents?

  1. A gun should always be treated as though it’s loaded.
  2. Take a training course to learn how to handle a gun.
  3. Always use the right kind of ammunition.
  4. Don’t rely on the gun’s safety to protect you from harm.
  5. Keep guns locked up safely.

Died as a result of being Accidentally Shot:

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