An untouched analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) has revealed that gun-related deaths among children in the United States reached a peak in 2021, claiming 4,752 young lives.
Out of those fatalities, 64.3 per cent were slayings, 29.9 per cent were suicides and 3.5 per cent resulted from unintended injury, according to the analysis.
Dr Chethan Sathya, the lead author of the study and a paediatric trauma surgeon at Northwell Health in New York told that the most feasible reason someone’s kid was to die in the US was the use of a firearm. “This is undoubtedly one of our chief public health crises in this country. The most likely reason that your child will die in this country is at the hands of a firearm. That’s not acceptable,” said Sathya, whose study was published in the journal Paediatrics.
“This was surprising to many of us,” said Sathya, adding that the US has potentially joined an “alarming new baseline”, where gun-related death among children may continue to increase.
The report states that Black children continue to be disproportionately impacted by gun-related deaths. They accounted for nearly 68 per cent of all gun-related homicides, which was a twofold boost from 2020 numbers.
“Structural inequity, structural racism, social determinants of health, and food insecurity are all root drivers of violence. including gun violence,” said Sathya when questioned about the disparity in numbers.
Recent weeks have seen an outbreak of cases where young kids have died by the use of firearms. A three-year-old in Florida shot himself with a handgun, while in California a three-year-old killed his one-year-old sister with the firearm. Last week, a six-year-old in Florida was fatally shot by a nine-year-old.
Sathya’s research is not merely one that implies the rising trend of gun-related deaths among children. A Pew Research report released this year stated that the number of children and teens killed by gunfire boosted by 50 per cent between 2019 and 2021.
The US has long been associated with gun violence as mass shootings, primarily in schools and colleges, have become a routine phenomenon. The data by Dr Sathya and Pew research, now, corroborates the anecdotal proof.