There Have Been 43 Shootings By Toddlers So Far This Year

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

According to statistics presented in yesterday’s Washington Post, there have been 43 instances of someone being shot by a toddler aged three or younger this year. In 31 of those 43 cases, the toddler found a gun and shot him or herself.

Let’s let that sink in for a minute.

The article is titled, “People are getting shot by toddlers on a weekly basis this year.” It uncovers these disturbing statistics:

“In 2015 so far, 13 toddlers have inadvertently killed themselves with firearms. 18 more injured themselves, 10 injured other people, and 2 killed other people.”

And these statistics are only the ones where toddlers are holding the gun. The statistics are far more disturbing when we account for all gun deaths of children.”More preschoolers are shot dead each year than police officers are in the line of duty,” claimed Nicholas Kristoff in a New York Times Op-Ed that some people were champing at the bit to refute. They couldn’t. Politifact found, “For the age range Kristof used, firearm deaths of preschoolers exceeded those of law enforcement officers in every year back to 2008.” It’s a fact. More preschoolers are shot dead each year than police officers are in the line of duty.

But back to toddlers accessing guns and killing themselves and other people: there’s something that can be done about it. Safe storage laws can prevent these accidental deaths. Presumably, holding adults liable for accidents and deaths from guns that aren’t properly secured and stored could help, too. Fewer than 20 states have enacted laws to hold adults criminally liable if they fail to store guns safely and children access them and cause harm to themselves or others. Why? compiled the stats and found that between December 2012 and December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings — almost two each week, 61% higher than federal data reflect. “We know how many times children die each year as a result of gun deaths,” Jon S. Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told The Washington Post in 2014. “We don’t know how many times children pull the trigger and someone dies.”

For two decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been prohibited by Congress from using funds to “advocate or promote gun control.” Why? Because the NRA has a lot of lobbying power, and their strongest claim is that more guns make us safer. The statistics refute this in every way — especially where children are concerned. Bloomberg notes, “In the wake of the 2012 mass murder at Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama pledged to take executive action to fund research about gun violence. Congress, which failed to pass even rudimentary background-check legislation after the killings, has refused to fund Obama’s research agenda.”

Our kids are dying because our Congress refuses to make any significant moves to regulate the sale of guns and promote gun safety. We aren’t even allowed to study statistics about deaths. “Between 1973 and 2012, the National Institutes of Health awarded 89 grants for the study of rabies and 212 for cholera — and only three for firearms injuries,” notes Kristoff’s op-ed.

Instead of making moves to understand the scope of our gun problem or enact gun safety laws to prevent accidental shootings, parents or victims are labeled as people who “obviously didn’t know how to handle or store a gun.” Tell that to relatives of the Army veteran who was shot dead by her toddler last year while she was changing her one-year-old’s diaper.

If people could really be trusted to regulate their own behavior when operating dangerous objects that could potentially take lives, there would be no need for driver’s licenses, traffic laws, or insurance. There would be no regulation of fire safety, no alcohol consumption laws or other drug laws — nothing. We regulate so many dangerous things in our society, yet when it comes to guns, hordes of people will claim any regulation is a violation of their rights. We need to do better. We owe it to our kids.

43 shootings by toddlers so far this year. If that doesn’t shock, sicken, and outrage you — I don’t even know what to say.

{Scary Mommies: It’s up to us. Together, WE CAN DO THIS. Please join us in taking a stand against gun violence and fighting for a safer country for our children. Learn ways to make a difference at}

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