Most accidental shooting deaths among children involve guns that are left unlocked and loaded, according to a new study that examined such deaths among children age 15 and younger. The most common circumstances for these deaths, researchers found, were children playing with a firearm or mistaking it for a toy. [CNN/Injury Epidemiology]
Context: A recent Trace analysis found that between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023, there were at least 162 incidents in which a child under 13 picked up a gun and fired it, inadvertently wounding or killing themselves or another child under 13.
From Our Team
In May 2019, after spending over a decade in prison for murder, Hassan Bennett walked out of a courtroom a free man. He’d successfully represented himself at trial, after spending years studying law behind bars, and the legal feat drew national media attention and won him supporters, mentors, and a job in the Philadelphia public defender’s office.
But Bennett knows that he’s the exception, not the rule. According to a new national survey commissioned by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, formerly incarcerated people face much greater challenges in securing adequate housing, employment, and access to mental health services than the general public. What’s more, the survey also found that more than 90 percent of people with records say that they themselves have been victims of crime. The Trace’s Mensah M. Dean has the story.
What to Know Today
Chronic exposure to gun violence can leave young people with a “war zone” mentality, and a world view in which shootings are considered normal. But few American school districts have consistent programming to help students navigate the aftereffects of community violence. [The Guardian]
The California Supreme Court dealt a blow to qualified immunity for police in the state, overturning decades of rulings that protected law enforcement from liability and broadening the right for victims to seek damages for abusive conduct. [San Francisco Chronicle]
“Hot-spot” policing can be an effective strategy to reduce violence in high-crime neighborhoods — but it can also result in police brutality and misconduct against innocent residents and bystanders. Researchers say training officers in “procedural justice,” a practice that emphasizes fairness and transparency, could help prevent abuse. [Undark]
Many community violence intervention workers have directly witnessed or survived gun violence. For some, the personal trauma of these events is what drives their work — but being on the front lines comes with an added mental toll. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, a gun violence intervention group brought on a coordinator to support these “wounded helpers.” [NowKalamazoo]
Influencers affiliated with Turning Point USA, a powerful conservative youth organization, aren’t disclosing their material relationships with brands that promote or sell firearms, effectively circumventing Instagram’s ban on weapon promotion in branded content and potentially violating Federal Trade Commission rules. [Media Matters]
Philadelphia City Council members want to ban ski masks in public places to reduce gun violence. There isn’t a body of academic research on whether ski mask bans have led to reductions in violent crime, and experts say such policies intrude on the rights of Black youth. [WHYY]
8 in 10 — the proportion of accidental shooting deaths among children in which the firearm used belonged to an older relative. [Injury Epidemiology]