Firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teenagers in the United States.
The University of Michigan analyzed data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found firearm-related deaths for young people increased by 29% from 2019 to 2020. Researchers say homicides fueled the increase.
More than 4,300 adolescents died in 2020 from guns. That number includes unintentional deaths and suicides, which were up 1%.
Detroit police Chief James White calls the nationwide uptick in gun violence troubling.
“We’ve had 13 children (who have) been shot with weapons under the age of 17 (in Detroit this year),” White said.
Two of those children were killed in shootings. Many others were injured when unsecured guns were picked up by children.
“Our babies are being victimized, and we have to care,” White said.
Gun owners can get free gunlocks from police, no questions asked.
Pastor Barry Randolph, of Church of the Messiah, calls the statistics sobering.
“I can’t believe that we can’t get this right,” Randolph said. “We can, we just have to make up our mind to get it right.”
Randolph was recently in Lansing advocating lawmakers for more changes. He is bringing back his Silence the Violence walk on June 4.