USA Today reports that two American children die almost every week in unintentional shootings, far more than government statistics show, according to a new study by Everytown for Gun Safety. The gun control group examined every publicly reported case of a child gun death from Dec. 15, 2012, through Dec. 14, 2013. The study found a total of 100 unintentional deaths in 35 states, 61 percent higher than the average number of unintentional gun deaths reported annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2007 through 2011. In most of the deaths, the shooter was a child playing with a gun.
“If you don’t have the right numbers, then you don’t understand the scope of the problem and how to prevent it,” said Everytown’s president, John Feinblatt says. “If fewer gun owners left their guns loaded and unlocked, fewer children would be killed.” Advocates said Congress should allocate funding for the CDC to study accidental shootings, standardize what defines them and figure out what can be done to prevent them. Pressured by the gun lobby, Congress said in 1996 that no CDC injury-prevention research could be used to promote gun control.