You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Cool July temperatures no polar vortex
    CHICAGO – Unseasonably cool temperatures will arrive next week in the Midwest and as far south as Arkansas and Oklahoma.
  • 1 woman dead in New Jersey rowhouse fire
      JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Authorities say one woman is dead in a rowhouse fire in New Jersey. Jersey City police and fire department spokesman Bob McHugh says the blaze broke out in the home’s basement at around 10 p.
  • California man who hoarded snakes is sentenced
     SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Southern California teacher who had 400 snakes in his home, many of them dead or dying, pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to provide proper care for them.
Advertisement
Who they were
A sample of deaths by gunfire this year of children age 12 and under based on an Associated Press review of media reports:
Jan. 23: Jaymee M. Steward, 7, is accidentally shot in the head while he and his brothers, ages 4 and 13, play in a bedroom of the family home in Morristown, Tenn., with a .22-caliber gun they mistake for a toy. Jaymee dies three days later.
Feb. 20: Delric Miller, 9 months, is struck by gunfire when an attacker sprays the Detroit home he is in with an AK-47. Authorities say the gunfire is gang-related.
March 10: Jenna Carlile, 7, is shot while in the family van with her 3-year-old brother, who grabbed the .38-caliber revolver left in the car by their father, a police officer off duty at the time. The children were left alone in the van in Stanwood, Wash. Jenna dies the next day.
March 18: Aliyah Shell, 6, is struck in the stomach by gunfire outside her Chicago home when a shooter opens fire from a pickup. She dies that evening.
June 2: Matthew Butwin, 7, is found with his parents and two teenage siblings in the Arizona desert in an SUV. Their bodies are burned but officials later confirm the children and mother were shot by their father, who then killed himself.
June 4: Angel Mauro Cortez Nava, 14 months, is shot by a teenager who rides by on a bicycle and opens fire on the boy’s father, who is standing on a sidewalk and cradling the infant near his Los Angeles home.
Aug. 5: Mikhese Hood, 12, is accidentally shot in the neck by his 16-year-old brother when the gun the teen was trying to uncock went off at their Birmingham, Ala., home.
Oct. 20: A 4-year-old boy is killed by a neighbor who sprays bullets at the boy’s family’s home in Inglewood, Calif. The boy’s father is also shot while shielding his son and two other young children, who survived. The neighbor then kills himself. The boy’s name is not released.
Dec. 15: Aydan Perea, 4, is shot when two men stop behind the car he is sitting in with two other men in Kansas City, Mo., and open fire. Police say Aydan is the victim of a gang dispute.
Associated Press

Every year, 100 kids die of gunfire: Study

Pace is such ‘we don’t see it’ expert says

– Before 20 first-graders were massacred at school by a gunman in Newtown, Conn., first-grader Luke Schuster, 6, was shot to death in New Town, N.D. Six-year-olds John Devine Jr. and Jayden Thompson were similarly killed in Kentucky and Texas.

Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6, died in a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., while 6-year-old Kammia Perry was slain by her father outside her Cleveland home, according to an Associated Press review of 2012 media reports.

Yet there was no gunman on the loose when Julio Segura-McIntosh died in Tacoma, Wash. The 3-year-old accidentally shot himself in the head while playing with a gun he found inside a car.

As he mourned with the families of Newtown, President Obama said the nation cannot accept such violent deaths of children as routine. But hundreds of young child deaths by gunfire – whether intentional or accidental – suggest it might already have.

Between 2006 and 2010, 561 children age 12 and younger were killed by firearms, according to the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reports. The numbers each year are consistent: 120 in 2006; 115 in 2007; 116 in 2008, 114 in 2009 and 96 in 2010. The FBI’s count does not include gun-related child deaths that authorities have ruled accidental.

“This happens on way too regular a basis and it affects families and communities – not at once, so we don’t see it and we don’t understand it as part of our national experience,” said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

The true number of small children who died by gunfire in 2012 won’t be known for a couple of years, when official reports are collected and dumped into a database and analyzed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to release its 2011 count in the spring.

In response to what happened in Newtown, the National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobby, suggested shielding children from gun violence by putting an armed police officer in every school by the time classes resume in January.

“Politicians pass laws for gun-free school zones. … They post signs advertising them and in doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk,” NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said.

Webster said children are more likely to die by gunfire at home or in the street. They tend to be safer when they are in school, he said.

None of the 61 deaths reviewed by The Associated Press happened at school.

Children die by many other methods as well: violent stabbings or throat slashings, drowning, beating and strangulation. But the gruesome recounts of gun deaths, sometimes just a few paragraphs in a newspaper or on a website, a few minutes on television or radio, bear witness that firearms too, are cutting short many youngsters’ lives.

One week before the Newtown slayings, Alyssa Celaya, 8, bled to death after being shot by her father with a .38-caliber gun at the Tule River Indian Reservation in California. Her grandmother and two brothers also were killed, a younger sister and brother were shot and wounded. The father shot and killed himself amid gunfire from officers.

Delric Miller’s life ended at 9 months and Angel Mauro Cortez Nava’s at 14 months.

Delric was in the living room of a home on Detroit’s west side Feb. 20 when someone sprayed it with gunfire from an AK-47. Other children in the home at the time were not injured.

Angel was in his father’s arms on a sidewalk near their Los Angeles home when a bicyclist rode by on June 4 and opened fire, killing the infant.

Most media reports don’t include information on the type of gun used, sometimes because police withhold it for investigation purposes.

Gun violence and the toll it is taking on children has been an issue raised for years in minority communities.

The NAACP failed in its attempt to hold gun-makers accountable through a lawsuit filed in 1999. Some in the community raised the issue during the campaign and asked Obama after he was re-elected to make reducing gun violence, particularly as a cause of death for young children, part of his agenda.

“Now that it’s clear that no community in this country is invulnerable from gun violence, from its children being stolen … we can finally have the national conversation we all need to have,” said Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP.

Many of the children who died in 2012 were shot with guns that belonged to their parents, relatives or baby sitters, or were simply in the home. Webster said children’s accidental deaths by guns have fallen since states passed laws requiring that guns be locked away from youths or have safeties to keep them from firing.

Obama has tapped Vice President Biden to shape the administration’s response to the Newtown massacre. The administration will push to tighten gun laws, many that have faced resistance in Congress for years. The solutions may include reinstating a ban on assault-style rifles, closing gun buying background check loopholes and restricting high-capacity magazines.

Those may have limited effect for children like Amari Markel-Purrel Perkins, of Clinton, Md. He shot himself in the chest on April 9 with a gun that an adult had stashed inside a Spiderman backpack.

Like most of the child victims at Newtown, Amari was 6.

Advertisement