American Children Are Paying the Price For Gun Violence

A boy wearing an overall and striped shirt smiling while holding a gun next to his temple

A new study shows that an alarming number of children are admitted to U.S. hospitals due to gunshot wounds each year: 7,500. Of these 7,500 children, more than 500 die while seeking emergency hospital care for their injuries.

The study, carried out by researchers of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that states with more gun owners have more childhood gunshot incidents.

The study, "United States Gunshot Violence — Disturbing Trends," aggregates statistics from the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID). Researchers reviewed childhood gunshot wound statistics from 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009 and came up with the number 7,500, which is an average of how many children are admitted to U.S. hospitals each year due to gunshot wounds.

And these statistics are only increasing. Between 1997 and 2009 the number of children hospitalized from gunshot wounds increased from 4,270 to 7,730. In those same 12 years, the number of children who died while seeking medical care for gunshot wounds went from 317 to 503.

The study's author said, "Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade." The military-style AR rifles we hear so much about in today's gun debate are not the weapons wounding the majority of our children who sustain these horrible injuries.

In some states like California, it is more difficult to buy a handgun than a rifle for this very reason. Handguns are cheaper and easier to conceal, and therefor are easier to commit a crime with.

The study also, not surprisingly, found a significant correlation between the percentage of gunshot wounds that occur accidentally in the home and homes in which adults own firearms.