Recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows firearms are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.
At least 5 deaths per 100,000 people in the US between the ages of 1 and 19 were due to guns in 2020, the most recent year for which the CDC has data, New York Post reported on Thursday.
This is an about 30 percent increase in firearms deaths among children over 2019, according to an analysis of the data published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The analysis showed that gun-related deaths now overtake motor vehicle killings as the leading cause of childhood mortality in the country.
“Although the new data are consistent with other evidence that firearm violence has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, the reasons for the increase are unclear, and it cannot be assumed that firearm-related mortality will later revert to pre-pandemic levels,” researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor wrote.
“Regardless, the increasing firearm-related mortality reflects a longer-term trend and shows that we continue to fail to protect our youth from a preventable cause of death.”
Some 4,368 kids died from gunshot wounds in the US in 2020, according to the CDC data.
The data comes after a gunman shot dead 19 young children and two teachers at an elementary school in the US state of Texas, in the deadliest US school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff were killed. Seventeen people were also injured in the shooting.
More than 3,000 children and teens have been shot and killed and 15,000 more have been shot and injured since Sandy Hook, according to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, which tracks gun violence and other shootings on school grounds.
The Sandy Hook school shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members, before killing himself. Prior to driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their home.
Although the Sandy Hook massacre was the third-deadliest mass shooting in US history, Congress has consistently failed to pass federal gun control legislation due to the influence of the powerful gun lobby.
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