Following a myriad of attempts by various groups to paint a picture of massive amounts of accidental gun deaths following the accidental shooting death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca in Arizona, The Washington Post says they “don’t actually know” how often children accidentally shoot and kill someone.
The WaPo column, dated September 4, opens with the question, “How often do children in the United States … fatally shoot people by accident?” The article then states, “The answer: We don’t actually know for sure.”
Jon S. Vernick, co-director of John Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research said, “We know how many times children die each year as a result of gun deaths, [but] we don’t know how many times children pull the trigger and someone dies.”
Still, WaPo does cite examples of young children finding “unattended” guns and accidentally killing themselves or another person. But they do not parse the stories, so perhaps even they don’t know that one of the stories they included in their report–the NBC Los Angeles story of a five-year-old who found a gun in a home and accidentally killed himself–also included a report that police found “nearly 200 marijuana plants growing in a backyard tent” at the residence.
WaPo also quotes Jon S. Vernick saying homicides may actually be over-reported and could include many accidental deaths.
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