Child Gun Deaths Nationwide Number Nearly 6 Newtown Massacres
Cruz, Perea and Williams are just another string of child shooting victims whose deaths somehow seem not uncommon because they happened one at a time. Together though, child shooting fatalities in the U.S. last year alone amounted to more than two dozen Sandy Hook massacres — and the country has scarcely reacted.
In 2011, guns were used to murder 8,583 people living in the U.S., according to the most recent FBI data available. Among those murdered by guns, there were 565 young people under the age of 18, and 119 children ages 12 or younger — the latter number nearly equivalent to six Newtown mass shootings. And these figures include only homicides.
“It’s staggering,” said Lindsay Nichols, an attorney with the California-based pubic interest law firm and gun-control advocacy organization the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “We are all shocked by the news in Newtown, Conn., but when you think about it, it is equally tragic and equally horrific every day so many families suffer this loss and that every year there are so many funerals of children that family members have to attend.”
Just Tuesday, Paul Samplteton Sr. found the body of his 14-year-old son, Paul Sampleton Jr., bound and shot dead in the family’s Grayson, Ga. home. Police suspect the boy may have interrupted a robbery. The Sampleton family will mark a very different kind of Christmas this year, then bury their son next Friday.
Then there are the stories of children killed in gun accidents and suicides. In 2010, the most recent year for which detailed Centers for Disease Control data is available, 129 people between the ages of 1 and 19 died in gun accidents. Another 749 took their own lives using a firearm, most of which were owned by a parent.