The Gun Test - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Gun Test

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What will young children do when a gun (they believe is real) is left in front of them?  Similar to the Bully Test, Amanda gathers a group of kids (much younger this time) and use a hidden camera to document their reaction + get reaction from their parents. 

 A Look at the Numbers

The numbers speak for themselves. In 2015: 265 children under the age of 18 picked up a gun and accidentally shot themselves or someone else with it.

That means that there were five accidental shootings by children each week.

Where do these shootings happen? Usually at home when a child finds an unsecured gun.

Who are the shooters? Waterloo Police Lieutenant Aaron McClelland says the shooters tend to be toddlers or young kids firing guns on accident or teens playing with guns recklessly.

Safe Storage of Guns at Home

  • The U.S. General Accounting Office estimated that 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms might be prevented with the addition of 2 devices: a child-proof safety lock and a loading indicator.
  • Approximately one of three handguns guns is kept loaded and unlocked and most children know where their parents keep their guns.
  • 73 percent of children under age 10 know where their parents keep their firearms and 36 percent admitted handling the weapons, contradicting their parents’ reports.  
  • More than 75 percent of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
  • Gun owners in a household (predominantly men) are more likely to report that their gun is stored unlocked and loaded, compared to the non-owners (predominantly women) in those households. This argues for better education of household members regarding safe storage in homes with children.

Myths About Guns

  • Most parents with guns think their children do not know where they hide them. However, 8 in 10 first graders know where their parents’ guns are hidden.
  • Many parents think their children are not capable of firing a gun. However, children as young as 3 years are strong enough to pull the trigger of most American guns.
  • Parents believe their children know the difference between real guns and toy guns, but few children younger than 8 years can tell the difference.
  • Parents often believe their child would not touch a gun because “he knows better.” However, studies have found that most children will handle a gun if they find one, even if they have been taught not to.
  • Some parents consider non-powder guns, like BB, pellet, and paintball guns, to be toys. These guns, which can fire at the speed of traditional guns, lead to nearly 22,000 injuries each year, especially eye injuries.

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