The gun debate continues, as we have heard President Obama's plan to reduce gun violence.
As we continue to hear from both sides, it is important to remember that there are everyday child and teen victims of gun violence in our country. In fact, about 20,000 children and teens are shot each year and almost 3,000 die from gun violence, including murders, suicides, and accidents.
Here is just some of the gun violence from the past week that you should be aware of and which will hopefully motivate you to join the American Academy of Pediatrics and others who are advocating for ways to keep our kids safe:
- a 6-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio who died after she likely shot herself in the face.
- a 15-year-old in Anchorage, Alaska who was shot in the leg as guns were fired at her home.
- a 12-year-old in Bainbridge, Georgia who was seriously injured, already requiring two surgeries, after shooting himself in his leg while hunting.
- a 4-year-old in Richmond, Virginia who unintentionally shot and killed a relative in his home using a gun he found on a table.
- a 2-year-old in Savannah, Georgia who unintentionally shot himself with a gun he found in a drawer.
- a 17-year-old in Cleveland, Ohio who was unintentionally shot in the chest while he and a friend were handling a gun.
- a 16-year-old in Kearny, New Jersey who was shot and killed in her home while babysitting her younger brother.
- a 15-year-old in Chicago, Illinois who was shot in the shoulder near LaFollete Park.
- a 17-year-old in Chicago, Illinois who was shot and killed just outside the Chicago State University gymnasium after a high school basketball game.
- an 18-year-old in Watsonville, California who was shot and killed.
- a 16-year-old in St. Louis County, Missouri who was shot in the leg after leaving a high school basketball game.
- a 15-year-old in Columbus, Ohio who was shot and killed during an after-school fight.
- a 17-year-old in Baltimore, Maryland who was shot and killed.
- a 15-year-old in Wilmington, Delaware who was shot in the leg.
- a 12-year-old in Hazard, Kentucky who was shot and killed in a parking lot at Hazard Community and Technical College, along with her father and 20-year-old cousin.
- a 15-year-old in Yakima, Washington who is in critical condition after he was shot in the head. A 17-year-old companion was shot in the back.
- a 16-year-old in Lexington County, South Carolina who was shot in the back while sitting in a pickup truck.
- two young children in Kansas City, Missouri who were shot as gunfire from the street entered their house.
- a 14-year-old in Las Vegas, Nevada who was shot and killed outside a party at an apartment complex.
Gun violence isn't going away and our focus on preventing gun violence shouldn't go away in the days and weeks following a big tragedy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is advocating for improved gun safety legislation, increasing comprehensive access to mental health care, and lifting restrictions on federal gun violence research and prevention efforts to assure that all children are safe and feel safe in their homes, in schools and within their communities. Will you join them?