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Texas CHL - Child Fatality Statistics

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A Few Numbers You Should Know:

Many times I have heard from others that firearms in the home are the most dangerous items and are the greatest risk to children.

I have also seen in print from sources that would seem reliable, that firearms should not be kept in the home where children reside.

Be sure you have done some research and know the numbers yourself and then you will be more prepared to state the actual numbers related to child fatalities from accidental shootings vs. other causes of death.

According to the National MCH Center for Child Death Reviews, the following numbers represent fatalities of children between the ages of 0-18 in 2000.

  • Accidental Firearm Discharge - 174
  • Accidental Suffocation - 842
  • Accidental Drowning - 1,236
  • Intentional Homicides - 1,242
  • Suicide (ages 15-19) - 1,621
  • Fire - 1,946
  • Neglect & Abuse - > 2,000
  • Automobile Accidents - 6,466

Myth Dispelled

Myth: Handguns are 43 times more likely to kill a family member than a criminal

  • Fact: Of the 43 deaths reported in this flawed study, 37 (86%) were suicides. Other deaths involved criminal activity between the family members (drug deals gone bad). {148}
  • Fact: Of the remaining deaths, the deceased family members include felons, drug dealers, violent spouses committing assault, and other criminals. {149}
  • Fact: Only 0.1% (1 in a thousand) of the defensive uses of guns results in the death of the predator.{150} This means you are much more likely to prevent a crime without bloodshed than hurt a family member.
148, Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home, Arthur L. Kellerman, D.T. Reay, 314 New Eng. J. Med. 1557-60, June 12, 1986. (Kellerman admits that his study "DID NOT include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm." He also admitted his study did not look at situations in which intruders "purposely avoided a home known to be armed." This is a classic case of a “study” conducted to achieve a desired result. In his critique of this “study”, Gary Kleck notes that the estimation of gun ownership rates was “inaccurate”, and that the total population came from a non-random selection of only two cities.)
149 Ibid.

150 Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, Gary Kleck, New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991

Gun Facts Version 5.1 Page 26
Copyright 2009, Guy Smith


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