At least 71 children in the U.S. were deliberately shot to death last year in addition to the 20 in Newtown, Ct., reports the Washington Post. The list, which included children 10 years and under, was compiled in a search of news databases, federal crime statistics and Web sites that track violence against children. Accidental shootings were not included.
The killings reflect some of the nation's most unyielding problems. Mental illness, central to the Newtown killings, also played a role in more than half of the other 71. Stray bullets from neighborhood gun battles or drive-by shootings killed 22 children. Drugs, typically methamphetamine, were a factor in six others. Many of the children knew their killers. Seventeen were shot by their mothers, another 17 by their fathers. Like Newtown, every one of these killings provoked a special kind of despair among the survivors — parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, police officers, teachers, pastors.