ST. LOUIS, MO. - According to a new analysis by the Associated Press and USA Today, a child dies in an accidental shooting every other day in the U.S. That suggests accidental shootings are much more common than previously thought, but a new group is hoping to do something about that.
Members of the Children's Firearm Safety Alliance can give you example after example of shootings involving teens and young kids, and they're keeping track of the statistics. As of October 14, 2016, 84 kids under age six unintentionally shot themselves or someone else nationwide this year.
Last year, out of all 50 states, Missouri had the highest number of toddlers pulling the trigger.
"So here we make nationwide headlines and yet the legislature chooses to do nothing," said Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman (D) - St. Louis County.
Newman has introduced legislation that would hold adults responsible when kids shoot themselves or others, but to no avail.
"My bill last year, HB2500, didn't even get a hearing," she said.
That's why she's teaming up with Beth Joslin Roth, policy director of Safe Tennessee Project. Together, they formed the Children's Firearm Safety Alliance. It involves doctors, law enforcement, prosecutors, and other lawmakers. The group had an official launch event at Washington University on Friday.
"The trauma goes beyond, you know, the family," Newman said. "It goes into the community, you know, the physicians, they take this home with them."
The new group plans to craft new legislation now. It's not about taking guns away.
"We don't want to lock up their parents but we want their parents to lock up their guns," said Risa Zwerling, an academic advisor at Washington University.
"I mean, you wouldn't do that with a gallon of bleach in the middle of your floor or leaving a butcher knife on your coffee table," Newman said. "We have to value firearms as dangerous as they actually are and we have to value our kids’ lives."