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April 12, 2016

Too High a Price to Pay: Wisconsin Children Killed with Guns

About every two weeks in Wisconsin, a child is killed with a gun, adding up to more than 20 children a year. A new report by Wisconsin Council on Children and Families takes a look at the characteristics of those children who were killed and identifies common-sense solutions to help keep children safe.

Over the last 15 years, more than 400 children in Wisconsin have been killed with guns. Some of those deaths were homicides, some were suicides, and some were accidents. Guns are the third leading cause of injury death for Wisconsin children, and they have killed more children in Wisconsin than drowning, fires, and falls combined.

Increase_Chart

The good news is that we’ve made a great deal of progress in keeping kids safe. The number of Wisconsin children killed by guns fell to a record low a few years ago. But since then, the number has increased, erasing some of the gains we’ve made. Part of the recent increase may be due to national trends, but Wisconsin still stands out from other states in having a substantial recent increase in the number of children who are killed with guns.

Most children killed by guns in Wisconsin are teenagers, but even small children are shot and killed. On average, a child under 10 is shot and killed every 6 months in Wisconsin.

Children of all races are killed with guns in Wisconsin, but black children are almost five times as likely as other children to be killed. Only five states have higher firearm death rates for black children than Wisconsin does. In Wisconsin, black children are 42% more likely to be shot and killed than black children in other states.

BlackChildren_chart

If we can agree that no child in Wisconsin should be killed by guns, then we can start to move towards common-sense solutions, like making guns safer and harder for children to operate, and keeping guns out of the hands of people most likely to do harm. We can’t afford not to act. The stakes for children are too high.

For the full report, go here: Child Death Toll: Wisconsin Children Killed by Guns.