Toddlers Killed More Americans Than Terrorists Did This Year

Toddlers Killed More Americans Than Terrorists Did This Year June 14, 2013

Aah, gun laws. How much money is spent on combating terrorism (and I know the comparison is far more complex than that, but you get the point)? An interesting piece:

Americans hate terrorists and love our kids, right? So you might be shocked to know that preschoolers with guns have taken more lives so far this year than the single U.S. terrorist attack, which claimed four lives in Boston.

This is admittedly tongue-in-cheek, but one has to wonder if the NSA’s PRISM program would have saved more lives had it been monitoring toddlers – or gun owners – rather than suspected terrorists.article image

11 Deaths in Five Months Where Shooter Was 3 to 6 Years Old

Listed below are the 11 gun fatalities I found where a preschooler pulled the trigger (from Jan. 1 to June 9, 2013). Starting with a list of five toddler shooting deaths The Jewish Daily Forwardpublished in early May, I unearthed six additional cases. This tragic, unthinkable event has happened every month, like clock-work.

Jan. 10: 6-year-old playmate shoots and kills 4-year-old Trinity Ross, Kansas City, Kan.

Feb. 11: 4-year-old Joshua Johnson shoots and kills himself, Memphis, Tenn.

Feb. 24: 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt dies after shooting himself in the stomach while his father sleeps, Houston.

March 30: 4-year-old Rahquel Carr shot and killed either by 6-year-old brother or another young playmate, Miami.

April 6: Josephine Fanning, 48, shot and killed by 4-year-old boy at a barbecue, Wilson County, Tenn.

April 8: 4-year-old shoots and kills 6-year-old friend Brandon Holt, Toms River, N.J.

April 9: 3-year-old is killed after he finds a pink gun that he thinks is a toy, Greenville, S.C.

April 30: 2-year-old Caroline Sparks killed by her 5-year-old brother with his Cricket “My First Rifle” marketed to kids, Cumberland County, Ky.

May 1: 3-year-old Darrien Nez shoots himself in the face and dies after finding his grandmother’s gun, Yuma, Ariz.

May 7: 3-year-old Jadarrius Speights fatally shoots himself with his uncle’s gun, Tampa, Fla.

June 7: 4-year-old fatally shoots his father, Green Beret Justin Thomas, Prescott Valley, Ariz.

At least 10 more toddlers have shot but not killed themselves or someone else this year (seehereherehereherehereherehereherehere and here). In the first three cases, the shooter was only 2 years old.

I also found nine instances where children and teens 7 to 19 years old accidentally killed themselves, a family member or friend since January (see herehereherehereherehere,herehere and here).

Of course, most if not all of the above deaths and injuries can be attributed to careless adult gun owners.

While this analysis focuses on children, another equally accurate headline could read: “U.S. Gun Culture Kills More Americans Than Terrorists Worldwide.”

In 2010, 13,186 people died in terrorist attacks worldwide, while 31,672 people were killed with firearms in America alone, reports CNN’s Samuel Burke.

We Need a Return to ‘Well-Regulated’ Gun Ownership

We cannot deny that guns pose a real danger to innocent American lives and especially to children. While no one is “coming to take the guns” of responsible people, we still must reach a compromise to address gun violence. I do not have all the answers, but I know as responsible citizens we have to do something.

While some people refuse to accept any limits on gun ownership, we simply do not have the right in America to circumvent personal restrictions that protect society as a whole. We can drink and we can drive, but we cannot mix the two. We have free speech, but we cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theater. We have the Fourth Amendment, but we still submit to searches of our bodies and belongings for the sake of air safety.

People who worship the Second Amendment should recognize the “well-regulated” aspect of gun ownership that the forefathers intended. Instead, we have a gun lobby that pays off senators to vote against background checks and gun culture that welcomes a 3-year-old as a lifetime NRA member. I worry for that child’s playmates.

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  • Copyleft

    I see the problem. Clearly, we need to outlaw children. Only then will our guns be safe!

  • SmilodonsRetreat

    Wow… it’s a damn shame.

    • It is so sad when you read those lists again and again. And the 2nd Amendment seems to be more concrete and immutable than a creationist’s Bible.

  • f_galton

    You should look up what “well regulated militia” actually means.

    • Andy_Schueler

      According to federalist paper No. 29, it means:

      This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority. It is, therefore, with the most evident propriety, that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress.”

      A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.

      If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security…confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority…(and) reserving to the states…the authority of training the militia”.

      Which is, I assume, exactly what Jonathan had in mind.

      • f_galton

        That supports what I said, not what he said. You have poor reading comprehension.

        • Andy_Schueler

          That supports what I said

          Federalist paper No. 29 supports the statement “You should look up what “well regulated militia” actually means.”?

          You have poor reading comprehension.

          Coming from the guy who proposes that Federalist paper No.29 can be summarized as “You should look up what “well regulated militia” actually means.” – I take that as a compliment.

    • Chill Chick

      You should look up what it actually meant in practice, when it was enacted: Slave patrols.

      • f_galton

        The right to bear arms is a natural right that precedes enumeration in the Constitution. The ability to maintain slave patrols is only of its positive consequences.

        • What does that even mean? What do you mean a natural right? What is the ontology of this right? Rights are legal, based on the moral framework utilised. Any other such rights, in my book, are conceptual, unless you think there is some Platonic right to bear arms. In which case, there could just as well be a Platonic right to not have people bearing arms. It seems that it would be a greater right if humanity has the right not to have people living amongst us who possess killing machines unnecessarily.

          Look, in 2010 in the UK 155 people died. Int eh Us it was 31,672. If you want to defend that right in the context of those stats, then be my guest, but it appears to be a silly thing to do and would involve some large degree of cognitive dissonance.

          • f_galton

            You should do some reading on the origins of the Constitution. There is nothing “unnecessary” about owning firearms. If you don’t wish to defend yourself and your family that’s your choice, but don’t try to impose your pathetic morality on me.

          • Where would my choice be in not to be surrounded by those carrying guns?

            It seems you have little answer for my stats. Speaks volumes.

          • f_galton

            Why do you care if law abiding people have guns? Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana have lots of guns and don’t have lots of crime.

          • Idaho rates as 15th worst state for guns and their death rate exceeds the whole of the UK.

            “While Wyoming does have a low overall crime rate, residents also face a higher risk of dying by guns than people in other states. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2009 Wyoming had a firearms death rate of 18.1 per 100,000, tying with Louisiana for the highest rank among the 50 states and Washington D.C. This rate includes all gun deaths from violent crimes, accidents, and suicides.”

            “Alaska ranked first in overall gun deaths, the report found, with 20.28 deaths per 100,000 people in 2010 — more than twice the national average — followed by Louisiana and Montana, all states that prior analyses have judged to have weak gun laws. Eight of the states with the highest levels of gun violence were among the 25 with the weakest gun laws, the report found.”

          • f_galton

            What do suicides have to do with it? You dismiss a low crime rate, as if being raped and stabbed is inconsequential.

          • You are obviously now very knowledgeable about the gun debate. Perhaps you might do well to go and read a little on it. Start here:


          • f_galton

            Some people drink themselves to death, too, that doesn’t mean we should ban alcohol.

          • Andy_Schueler

            But we outlawed drunk driving, which is totally fascist since it´s obviously a “natural right” to drive drunk amirite?!

          • f_galton

            There’s no right to drive drunk, but it is true our drinking driving laws are overly restrictive.

          • Andy_Schueler

            There’s no right to drive drunk

            Totally fascist amirite?! Just because some people got killed – some people drink themselves to death, too, that doesn’t mean we should ban alcohol.

          • I think you have a confused notion of what rights are and how they ‘exist’. It seems arbitrary what is a right and what i not as if rights are things which f_galton wants! It’s a right because I want it, irrespective of how sensible it sounds!

            Do I have a right to have a rocket launcher? A nuke? What if I get drunk and nuke my country?

            And drink driving laws are too restrictive? Man, what is your criteria for justifying this or anything you claim? Either you have them, or not. And if you have them, surely you make them as effective as possible. If drink driving is bad, then we should minimise it. This is simple pragmatic approach to morality. If murder and rape are wrong, we should act to minimise them.

            Back to the OP. Owning a gun is not, intrinsically, bad. It becomes bad when that ownership contributes, on a massive scale, to the degradation of society. Which it does in the most clear statistical terms possible.

            Look, if I grew raspberries in my garden, this is harmless. But if I am shown statistical and causal evidence that raspberry flowers give off pollen which is killing 1 in 10 of my neighbourhood, then I would find it hard to justify my right to grow them over and above my community’s right to safety.

            The gun lobby is burying its head in the intellectual sand. The only reason to deny the evidence is out of some kind of cognitive dissonance.

          • f_galton

            You are obviously grossly ignorant of Second Amendment jurisprudence. Guns don’t make your community unsafe. Since you believe rights are arbitrary, you should be advocating enhanced powers for police to target criminals.

          • You misunderstand me. I was saying that it appears YOU have an arbitrary approach to rights.

            The problem with rights is the problem with morality – in a pluralistic sense, you need a non-derivative value currency. Otherwise you pit one right against another and have no way of valuing which one trumps the other.

            i think that, often, with the general public rights appear to be arbitrary in that they are based on little more than intuition.


            Of course, it depends what notion of existence one is using for abstract ideas. As a conceptualist, the only existence they have, I would argue, is in the mind of the conceiver. I would also derive rights back to morality, since that is clearly what drives them. And without you knowing what my moral value system is, claiming what I “should” be advocating is a little presumptuous.

            “Guns don’t make your community unsafe.”

            OK, given that pretty much every stat on guns refutes this point, can you please expand on why this is supposedly the case. Every country with stricter rules have less gun deaths, and states in the US with stricter controls also have less. Guns and loose gun laws DO appear to be heavily causally involved with higher death rates.

            Let me remind you of the UK vs the US:

            UK: 31,000

            Or in comparable terms per 100,000

            UK: 0.25


            Not just twice as much. 40 times as much. FORTY. four zero. That is statistically insane. Woo hoo. What a great 2nd amendment you have. Free rein for gun ownership, higher mortality. The freedom to bear arms is not worth the death toll it leads to. It’s that simple. Would you eat a chocolate bar if you knew it would contribute to the death of 40 people? Eating a chocolate bar may not be intrinsically bad (can anything be??). But give it that context and the moral dimension changes. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

          • f_galton

            Road fatalities are 12.3 per 100,000. Where are the demands to ban automobiles?

          • 1) Good to see you have answered my points….

            2) LOADS of effort and money IS poured into mitigating the danger of driving eg direct funding for child road safety campaigns, police, road design, car design, car safety (ENCAP), MOT (my van was scrapped due to new regulations that mean it fails on sharp edges / rust due to causing injury), council spending (Think!), Schools (I teach stuff), cycling proficiency, road markings, drink driving campaigns, etc etc – you will find it is a multi-level, multi-dimensional approach. A similar approach would be welcome for guns.

            3) You forget frequency of usage etc. ie per usage of guns there is far more incident than per usage of car. The average trip rates per person, in the Uk, of about 3 per day, and length of 7 miles per trip. For commuters, that is far more and longer. And yet per usage, however you could calculate (time in car / trips etc) the death rates are very low compared to gun usage. Ie the average gun use does not fire guns three times a day, or use them for that length of time. So where overall deaths are about the same (in the US), rates per unit of usage is extortionate for guns and much lower for cars. That is what I mean. In the UK, due to gun control, we do not have this problem. Ergo, the US needs gun control. I would say the same about aliens if the stats were that clear.

            4)There is also intent and the fact that guns are designed to kill, cars aren’t. There are all sorts of other issues here. And we can compare the US and other lax gun control nations to controlled nations and see that it really is a rather bleak causal connection between poor control and high mortality. I think you are defending the indefensible.

            5) Cars are a red herring. They could just as easily not exist and the problem would remain for guns. Bait and switch.

          • f_galton

            Gun safety education is available. One of the problems of your argument is that you ignore all the benefits of owning guns, so in your calculations instances of idiots accidentally shooting themselves outweigh normal people using guns to defend themselves from theft or violence.

          • Do the benefits outweigh 31,000 deaths? Yes or no? Is your society that much better, taking into account those deaths (and also the HUGE number of injuries and disfigurements) for having guns than most European nations? Than the UK?

          • f_galton


          • Well, then you are nothing short of insane.

            You have to say that, because that is the corner you are in. But in reality, that is fairly indefensible. As Andy_Schueler mentioned, you appear to support all manner of strange things.

            That you think the right to own a weapon is worth 31,000 deaths and injury rates of around 2.5 times that is astounding. That appears entirely selfish. Are you a selfish person by character?

          • f_galton

            You have to balance those deaths with the benefits of legitimate firearms ownership. Many, if not most, of the firearm suicide deaths would have happened anyway if guns were not available. And to put that number in context, last year there were 41,592 poisoning deaths in the US.

          • f_galton

            That’s not a big difference. There are better ways to reduce suicide than infringing on fundamental rights.

          • Ways which also lower murders, maiming and injury and other gun related violence? I think not.

            I think that you have done a superb effort in ignoring the stats and most of my substantive points.

            I also don’t think that you have provided any evidence of the benefits of loose gun laws. People in states and countries with stricter laws don’t appear happier or better off in any perceivable or connected way. In fact, there is no measurable benefit as you assert, other than an abstract idea that the right somehow makes life better. I would simply counter that by the idea that the right of others for their neighbours not to unnecessarily carry instruments of death negates or trumps that right.

            Some opponents of gun control, including NRAExecutive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, say, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” [source: Lichtblau and Rich]. But at least one study has shown that defensive gun use succeeds only rarely, and that gun owners are 4.5 times more likely to be shot during an assault [source: Branas, et al.].

          • f_galton

            It’s funny how you say we need to control for demographics then you cite a study based on Philadelphia.

          • Andy_Schueler

            It´s funny how all you have is racist one-liners without even a trace of an argument.

          • Er, read the context of that statement – it was in reply to the NRA exec. And then the phrase ‘at least one report’ shows that that is not the case. It is not particularly demographic prevalent in comparison to your claims. In fact, your claims have been pitiful insofar as they have been UTTERLY undefended by any kind of argument of statistical defence. You essentially argue that the right not to be killed unnecessarily is not as important as the right to bear arms. The most insanely selfish and insensitive argument this side of Nagasaki.

          • f_galton

            The demographics of Philadelphia are entirely relevant.

          • Sorry, f_galton, was that a response to the dozens of points I have made, and the array of stats produced to defend my position?

          • Guest

            The demographics of Philadelphia are entirely relevant.

          • f_galton

            “states in the US with stricter controls also have less.”

            Washington state doesn’t have strict gun controls. Vermont has the least gun control of any state.

          • “Vermont is anomalous and likely the most civil state in the US. It’s the only place I’ve been where virtually everyone drives at the speed limit and treats other drivers with utmost courtesy. Traffic even stops to let drivers back out from nose-in parking spaces and I was amazed when dump truck drivers waited for bicyclists to crest hills before going up.” as one commenter has stated.

            This, though, is pertinent and closer to a like for like comparison: Vermont’s gun death rate is two to three times higher than its three neighboring states, all of which have stricter controls.

            And that’s pretty much all you need to know. Either increase the socio economic demographics of all the states to Vermont levels, or change gun laws, or both. Gun laws is somewhat easier to change, though.

            Oh, and Vermont’s rate is still some 36 times higher than the whole of the UK.

            So, er, nice one.

          • f_galton

            Vermont rape and murder rate is lower than the UK, but obliviously that doesn’t count for anything.

          • First of all, you need to understand your stats. US definition of rape is narrower. It is known as forcible rape. You also need to know whether the rape stats were compiled per 100,000 inhabitants or females, and whether other types of rape were included. You would also need to know what the rape reporting culture was like. Comparing rape stats is notoriously difficult. (fyi I have researched and helped write 2 papers on rape). is a simple place to start.

            Second of all you are comparing an affluent high socio-economic demography with an entire country! The UK has 1.49 for murder and vermont 1.3, so I would say that is pretty good, given the much wider prevalence of lower socio-economic status in the uk!

          • f_galton

            If we are adjusting for demographics then we should adjust the figures for the fact that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of gun crime.

          • Er, that would NOT be adjusting for demographics! Wow.

          • f_galton
          • You are being silly now. Answer the points, don’t just rampage on about anything just to disguise the lack of rational argument in your repertoire.

          • f_galton

            My approach to rights is consistent with my country’s legal framework.

          • Moreover, I fail to see how a morality based on looking at other countries and their gun controls and seeing far better gun crime and accident rates and trying to apply the reasons for that to the original country to improve a state of affairs qualifies as pathetic.

            In fact, that appears to be a better description for your argument. Would you not like there to be 30,000 less gratuitous deaths?

          • f_galton

            Is English your second language?

          • Are you fucking serious – you appear unable to research anything of credibility. You are making crappy claims with no backing. Terrible.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Would you not like there to be 30,000 less gratuitous deaths?

            This guy is pro-slavery, so I guess an appeal to decency is useless here.

          • He also gave 3 states which actually went against his case. Poor form.

          • Tbh he is going to lose any argument because the stats speak for themselves. The only credible argument pro-gunners have is the pragmatic one – how do you control something which is already out there…. But on the moral / political / statistical one he is on a losing wicket.

        • Chill Chick

          I will be charitable and assume this guy meant negative consequences, and leave it at that… since Jonathan is doing such a good job of kicking his ass.

  • f_galton

    Drownings and poisonings kill far more children than guns do. Where are the calls to ban backyard pools and require locks on medicine and sink cabinets?

    • Andy_Schueler

      Drownings and poisonings kill far more children than guns do. Where are the calls to ban backyard pools and require locks on medicine and sink cabinets?

      I was about to say “citation needed” but then I thought I might as well spend the five seconds on Google that you are too lazy for. According to the Centre for Disease Control:
      – From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
      – About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

      One in five means roughly 707 children under 14 a year, which amounts to roughly 2.2% of the deaths caused by firearms. If we count all people that died by accidental drowing, it would be ~11% of the deaths caused by firearms.
      So much for the facts that you pulled out of your nether regions (not that you would have had a valid argument if those “facts” were accurate).

      • f_galton

        The CDC data supports what I said.

      • f_galton

        “Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except congenital anomalies (birth defects).1 Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.”

        You need to learn how to read.

        • Andy_Schueler

          “Among those 1-14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.”

          You need to learn how to read.

  • If we lower the legal age required to own a gun to 7 it would end bullying. Think about it, no one’s gonna pick on a kid if he’s got a loaded gun.