Bryson Mees-Hernandez was only four years old when he shot himself and later died in a Houston hospital.
While at his grandparents’ house in January, little Bryson found a loaded gun that his grandmother kept underneath her bed. Thinking it was just a toy, he pointed it at his face and squeezed the trigger.
Crystal Mees then had to bury her baby boy.
While this was a terribly tragic occurrence, it isn’t rare. Accidents like these are more common across the U.S. than many of us think.
According to The Associated Press and USA Today, children under 17 died from accidental shootings every other day in the first six months of 2016.
After studying more than 1,000 accidental shootings involving children from the beginning of 2014 to the end of June this year, the news outlets found startling information. Three-year-old children are the most common shooters and victims among young children.
They found that almost 90 three-year-olds were killed or injured in gun accidents and that most of them had shot themselves.
But very young children aren’t the only victims — kids 10 and older have discovered their parents’ loaded guns and played with them in front of their friends and siblings, only to die in horrific accidents.
Unfortunately, a third of handguns are kept unlocked and loaded, and most children know exactly where their parents keep them.
According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, 31 percent of accidental deaths caused by firearms could have been prevented if all guns were fitted with child-proof safety locks and devices that alert users when they are loaded.
Bryson’s mom and other gun control advocates are pushing for Child Access Prevention laws, which would allow prosecutors to bring charges against parents who don’t properly keep guns out of children’s reach.
Regardless of whether you are for or against gun use, I think most of us would agree that we should do everything in our power to prevent more senseless accidents from taking little ones’ lives.
(via USA TODAY)