No amount of government regulation can prevent many of the senseless deaths that have occurred since the Newtown tragedy. In Missouri, there have been 47 gun deaths between December 15 2012 and January 22 2013. Among these deaths are three children: two aged four and one age 12. Nationally, 47 teenagers and 23 children have lost their lives in gun accidents and illegal firearm possession since the Newtown shooting.
Gun ownership comes with a responsibility that is, or should be, outside government control. The accidental deaths listed here could have been avoided if the gun owners had safely stored their guns, installed trigger locks, and practiced basic firearm safety rules.
- Kansas City, Mo.: Four-year-old Trinity Ross was shot in the head by her brother, aged 6. Trinity and her brother were at home. Their stepmother left the room for a moment. The 6 year old found a revolver under a jacket on a chair, aimed it at his sister and pulled the trigger.
- Breckenridge Mo.: Steven Curtis, age 12, was home with his siblings, aged 13 and 16, and a friend while the parents ran errands. The 12 year old opened the locked gun safe and accidently shot himself. The parents told police the gun and ammunition was stored separately in the locked gun safe.
- January 19 2013: Navaeh Benson, age six, of Cleveland, discovered a gun in her parents’ home, and accidentally shot herself in the face. In response, police have arrested Navaeh’s father and pressed charges in connection with the death.
- December 25 2012: In South Carolina, two-year-old Sincere Tymere Smith found a gun lying on a table in his home. The toddler shot himself in the face. Police have arrested and charged the boy’s father in connection with the shooting death.
- December 2012: Ryder Rozier, age three, of Guthrie, Oklahoma found a gun in his uncle’s home. The toddler shot and killed himself.
- December 30 2012: A father in South Carolina, Justin Brueger, 30, was cleaning his rifle. The rifle fired and accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old son Easton Brueger. Easton’s father was charged with unlawful conduct towards a child.
- December 31 2012: A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl, Aaliyah Boyer, was shot and killed by stray bullets fired during New Year’s Eve celebration.
- January 2013: In Alabama, William Paris, 12, was shot and killed by his cousin, also 12; William’s cousin was showing off the shotgun he received for Christmas.
St. Louis (and other cities) offer solutions for gun owners to keep their weapons safe from children.
The Gun Lock Safety Program is free to all St. Louis County residents who can prove legal ownership of a concealable firearm. Persons seeking a gunlock must also have ID and may obtain the lock from any precinct station.
To help teens learn coping skills and gun safety, St Louis County police offer the Teen Police Academy. Teen Police Academies are offered to inform and educate local teenagers about law enforcement and the justice system. Course outlines are developed for each session, tailored to age or interests of the group. Teen groups receive information about dealing with issues by which they are most often confronted, resistance strategies, problem resolution, etc. Check your precinct's newsletters to determine when the next academy is scheduled.
Source: Gun deaths since Newtown