A two-year-old boy died in Texas after a loaded pistol was found in the backpack of a loved one, a tragedy that has become a frequent occurrence in the United States.
Waco police said in a statement that the boy was shot in the head and, at this point in the investigation, appears to have shot himself “by mistake.”
The 21-year-old gun owner fled after the shooting. But he later turned himself in to the police and was arrested and charged with “hiding evidence”.
This incident is part of a frightening series of similar incidents.
A recent report by the anti-proliferation organization Everytown for Gun Safety said, “Every year in the United States, hundreds of children run into loaded guns without any protection, in lockers, nightstands, backpacks or handbags, or are simply left unattended. They shoot unintentionally.
The organization, which campaigns for better regulation of firearms, has since 2015 been counting “unintentional shootings” of minors and their consequences. According to its statistics, these accidents have caused 765 deaths during the past six years and 111 since January 1, in addition to more than 1,500 injured.
The US Constitution provides for the right to bear arms, which the majority of Americans show adherence to, although there are different interpretations of this. 30% of adults own at least one weapon.
Each year, these weapons cause nearly 40,000 deaths, including suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive.