Are guns taking a toll on kids?
A new study in the Journal Pediatrics says the answer is yes.
The study found that nearly 1,300 children in the U.S. die in shootings each year, and almost 6,000 survive gunshot wounds.
These numbers make gunshot wounds the third leading cause of death for children ages 1-17.
Alex Del Carmen is a gun expert. He says, "It can actually mean a lot of different things. On one hand, it can be access to the guns. On the other hand it can also mean the individuals have not been exposed to guns, have not been educated about guns, and therefore find it as an amusement."
So how did they get these numbers?
Well, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that every day, about 19 children either die or are injured enough to need to go to the emergency room with a gunshot wound.
"The majority of these accidents involving guns is because kids are not familiar with how to use a gun. Educate the kids and remove those guns from being in the immediate access of other kids who may not be familiar with the weapon," Del Carmen said.
And while one child death is one too many, lots of people do use guns for protection.
The Violence Policy Center reports, on average, 160 people use guns to fend off violent crimes every day.
The National Rifle Association says that number is much higher, at more than 5 thousand incidents every day.
Gun expert Alex Del Carmen says, he believes in the constitutional right to have access to guns but says, "I believe in the responsibility that lies with owning a gun, not only in being able to know how to use it."