Guns now the leading cause of death for US youth

Guns now leading cause of death among US youth
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 11:57 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Guns became the leading cause of death among children and teens in the US in 2020. That’s according to the CDC and a report by the University of Michigan.

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Gun deaths include incidents of suicide, accidental shootings and homicides, though homicides were the most common way children died to guns in 2020.

Data collected shows record numbers of gun-related deaths in 2020; More than 10,000 were of people between the ages of one and 19. That accounts for more than 22% of all firearms deaths in the United States in that year.

Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, says that considering all people who are younger than adults as one group is the wrong way to look at the problem.

“Studies that lump together ‘children and teens’ are misleading,” Dalseide said. “A 16-year-old involved in crime is very different from a 10-year-old involved in an accidental shooting and they require vastly different solutions.”

On accidental shootings, he says education and preventative measures are key.

Dalseide said, “Gun control groups offer nothing when it comes to firearm education and prevention other than to advocate for bans and other punitive measures against law-abiding gun owners. Safe storage is also key, but there isn’t any one-size-fits-all approach. A family of five will have very different storage requirements than a single adult living alone.” 

Some researchers have pointed to a spike in handgun purchases and the availability of firearms, including so-called “ghost guns”. Two weeks ago, President Biden announced new regulations on ghost guns, requiring a serial number and a background check to purchase a ghost gun kit.


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