The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) released new statistics today, Jan. 18, on gun violence in the United States for the years 2000 through 2010. The fact sheet shows Alaska with the highest rate of child and teen gun deaths, 8.7 per every 100,000, for the 10-year period. This is more than double the national rate of 3.6. Hawaii had the lowest rate at less than one death per 100,000.
The CDF analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control WONDER online database to determine gun death rates for children ages 19 and younger. Gun deaths include homicide, suicide and accidents; war and legal interventions are not included in the statistics.
During the first decade of this century, more that 32,000 children’s deaths in the United States were attributed to guns. In Alaska, 197 deaths were reported, 120 were suicides, 57 were homicides and 15 were accidental gun deaths.
Louisiana has the second highest gun death rate at 7.5 children’s deaths per 100,000, followed by New Mexico at 5.8, Mississippi at 5.4 and Montana at 5.2. The New England states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine join Hawaii to make the top five states with the lowest rate of children’s gun deaths.
The Children’s Defense fund has a history of advocating for increased regulation of guns with its "Protect Children, not Guns" campaign. The organization’s data and research center regularly updates its report “Protect Children, Not Guns,” a compilation of gun violence statistics, and other related information, from all 50 states.
The Children’s Defense Fund was founded in 1973 by attorney and civil rights leader Marian Wright Edelman. The organization promotes legislation to advance children’s access to health care, nutrition, nurturing, quality childcare and education.