Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

'Guns don't kill people, toddlers do': the shocking new gun-control PSA focused on children

There are numerous proposals floating around Congress for reducing America's gun violence epidemic, including:

— Shutting down online gun sales.

— Strengthening background checks.

— And banning people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms.

But in its latest PSA, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has introduced a solution for ending gun-related deaths that you've probably never considered:

Cracking down on America's toddlers.

"Americans are shot by toddlers at least once a week," the one-minute video notes. "We need to lock them up. Not the guns — that's just un-American. Round them up. Deport them. Get them out of our country. And keep them away from guns."

The idea of deporting toddlers is clearly satirical, but the organization claims that it highlights an actual problem.

"This PSA is satire," Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said. "But the public health crisis it calls attention to is anything but. Whether the trigger is pulled by a toddler, a convicted felon, domestic abuser or terrorist, we have a problem in America with guns too easily falling into the wrong hands. And that translates to hundreds of lives lost or changed forever every single day."

Last week, the Associated Press and USA Today released findings from a 2½-year analysis of minors killed by firearms. The study — which looked at accidental shootings involving children ages 17 and younger from Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30 of this year — analyzed more than 1,000 incidents in total, according to USA Today.

Researchers relied on several sources of information, including news reports, public sources and data collected by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonpartisan research group, the paper reported.

What did researchers discover?

"During the first six months of this year, minors died from accidental shootings — at their own hands, or at the hands of other children or adults — at a pace of one every other day, far more than limited federal statistics indicate."

Researchers also concluded that, in at least one year, government statistics failed to capture the full extent of accidental gun deaths involving minors. In 2014, the study reported, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that 74 minors died from accidental discharges of firearms. The AP and USA Today review, however, put that number far higher, at 113, for the same year.

"Deaths and injuries spike for children under 5, with 3-year-olds the most common shooters and victims among young children," USA Today reported. "Nearly 90 3-year-olds were killed or injured in the shootings, the vast majority of which were self-inflicted."

An analysis of shootings involving toddlers last year by the Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham found that the number of shootings don't necessarily reflect a state's population. During his study, for example, California, the most populous state in the nation, didn't have any shootings involving toddlers, but Missouri had five.

According to Ingraham:

"Roughly once a week this year, on average, a small child has found a gun, pointed it at himself or someone else, and pulled the trigger. Boys are disproportionately likely to do this: I could find only three cases where a girl under the age of 4 wounded someone with a gun. In 13 of the 43 total incidents, a child's self-inflicted injuries were fatal. In two other cases, another person died after being shot by a toddler: a father in Alabama, and a 1-year-old in Ohio.

"In one instance, a 3-year-old managed to wound both of his parents with a single gunshot at an Albuquerque motel."

The AP and USA Today analysis found that states in the Deep South — places like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia — have some of the highest per capita rates of accidental shootings involving minors.

"The extent of the problem is a little bit shocking," Lindsay Nichols, an attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco, told USA Today. "The extent of the undercount is a little bit shocking. A lot of it provides further evidence that this is such a horrible pattern that continues and that more action is needed."

Last week, a 3-year-old boy in a suburb outside Chicago was killed after shooting himself in the head with his father's gun, according to the Waukegan Police Department.

Investigators believe that Jeremiah Banks woke up just before 3 a.m. and went into his parents' bedroom, where he found his father's handgun on a dresser. The boy went into the living room, police said, and shot himself in the head.

"Detectives will meet with the Lake County State's Attorney's Office in the near future and review the case for possible charges," police said. "The mother and father are not in police custody."

Comments
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

Broward sheriff’s office launches internal investigations amid questions after Parkland massacre

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating allegations that multiple deputies failed to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the shooting rampage there, adding to the mounting internal probes examin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

Police: Registered sex offender who attacked Marriott hotel worker arrested

TAMPA — A registered sex offender was arrested early Saturday morning by Tampa Police in connection with a hotel worker who was attacked earlier this week, the department said.John Eckhard, 41, was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on charges of aggravated ba...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

Orchestra explores spirit of Florida and the U.S. with ‘Triptych’ and ‘New World’ Symphony

ST. PETERSBURG — One of the more important programs in the Florida Orchestra’s season combined Antonin Dvorak’s best known symphony with the debut of a major commission. Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, better known as the "New World," reaches to the roots o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

Parents accused of torturing their 13 children face new charges

The 13 Turpin siblings gained their freedom last month after one of them escaped through a window and called 911, ending years of imprisonment under parents accused of starving and chaining them to their beds in a putrid home not far from Los Angeles...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

Pregnant mother Paige Howard wins women’s Gasparilla 15K

TAMPA — Initially, Tampa's Paige Howard was a little reticent about joining the pre-dawn throng at the starting line of Saturday's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.On a morning when temperatures began in the mid-60s and climbed, Howard's ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

Concerned about gun posts, dad turns in son’s phones. Cops find something else.

After the Parkland school shooting that horrified the nation, a Miami father told police he was worried about his son’s disturbing posts with guns on Instagram and Snapchat.So he gave investigators his son’s smartphones — and they found child porn, c...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

Trump processes Fla. students’ grief as president, parent

WASHINGTON — Once again, it was the images of children that propelled President Donald Trump to act. Trump spent the first days after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida fixated on the grieving and anguished students and parents. While at his Flor...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

The Tampa Bay Times will be there for every step of this year's Gasparilla Distance Classic. Whether you'll be walking, skipping, jogging or sprinting across the 5K, 8K, 15K or half-marathon finish, join us by using #gasparillarun.(function(d, s, id)...
Published: 02/24/18