WASHINGTON — Last week in Milwaukee, a 2-year-old fatally shot his mom from the back seat of their car.
But where a story like this may have once been a freakish anomaly, the Washington Post notes, it’s now becoming increasingly and disturbingly commonplace.
A Post analysis of news reports finds 23 shootings by 1-, 2-, and 3-year-olds in the US since Jan. 1 (last year at this time there were 18) and seven just since April 20.
Eighteen of the toddlers ended up shooting themselves, with nine of them succumbing to their injuries. The state with the highest number of toddlers pulling the trigger since January 2015 is Georgia (eight such incidents), followed by Texas and Missouri with seven each.
Snopes even fleshed out a meme in December, sourced mainly from an October 2015 Post article, that claimed more Americans were killed by toddlers than by terrorists in 2015 (the site ultimately found this assertion to be true).
Correlating these shootings to factors such as population or gun-storage laws isn’t so simple, the Post notes.
The people-dense states of New York and California, for instance, only saw a combined three toddler shootings since January 2015, while Chicago’s high gun-violence rate didn’t translate into any reported incidents.
The paper speculates that “cultural factors” may cause some areas to have higher numbers of incidents, but it concedes that at this point, figuring out what areas are more prone is still a “guessing game,” hampered by Congress’ stymieing of gun research.
This article originally appeared on Newser: 23 People Shot in 2016 … by Toddlers