New Year’s Day has officially passed, meaning the winter holiday season is now behind us. While the season is meant for fun and joy, there are also some negative trends that we see around this time of year. Let’s discuss accidental shootings occurring during and after the winter holiday season, as well as safety tips to ensure you or your loved one are not involved in this type of tragic accident.
Statistics About Accidental Shootings
- Most accidental shootings occur at home, often at the victim’s home.
- Children are most at-risk of being victims in accidental shootings.
- Most accidental shooting victims are male.
- The presence of a loaded and unlocked firearm in the home increases the chances of an accidental shooting occurring.
- Most accidental shootings among children occur when the children are playing with the firearm.
- Accidental shooting incidents increased over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In most accidental shooting cases, the shooter is a family member of the victim.
- Accidental shootings involving children occur more often during the holiday season, on weekends, or in the late afternoon.
Why Would The Holidays Lead to an Increase in Shootings?
There are a number of factors that can lead to an increased risk for accidental shooting incidents around the winter holidays.
First, children are out of school and often involved in unsupervised play. This can be problematic when one child takes out their parent’s unlocked and loaded firearm. In fact, most children know where their parents keep their firearms in the house. What children may see as a fun prop for make-believe play can be deadly if the trigger is pulled.
Second, alcohol is flowing. More adults drink alcohol around the winter holiday season. Alcohol makes people less cognizant of risks, more impulsive, and less coordinated. All of these effects can be deadly if they pick up a firearm while under the influence.
Third, guns as gifts. Many Americans give and receive firearms as presents around the holidays, or they buy them for themselves as an end-of-the-year treat. This means people are getting familiarized with new weapons and often showing them to loved ones. Again, this can lead to an accidental shooting if the handler is not extremely cautious.
Stay Safe Around Firearms
Accidental shootings are devastating for all those involved. It’s crucial that you are aware of the risks when around firearms and that you take proactive steps to avoid an accidental shooting from occurring in or out of your presence.
One of the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, especially children, is to keep your firearm hidden and locked up. Unsupervised children cannot access a loaded firearm if it is locked away or they don’t know where it is to begin with. You may choose to keep it somewhere they cannot physically reach so even if they do find it, they cannot grab it and play with it. Always be smart about your gun storage; it could save a life.
Additionally, treat every firearm as if it is loaded. Even if you are 99% sure that the firearm you are holding is unloaded, don’t take the risk. Never point a firearm at someone and pull the trigger.
Finally, never pick up a firearm while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, never stay in a place where someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol is in possession of a firearm or weapon. It’s always best to leave this situation immediately, as it can quickly go awry.
Personal Injury Attorneys for Accidental Shooting Claims
Accidental shooting injuries are often catastrophic or even fatal. If you or a loved one were injured in an accidental shooting, you know all too well how devastating this situation is. Our team at Mitchell & West, LLC wants to help fight for you to receive compensation and justice after a traumatic shooting. Contact us today to get started on your personal injury claim with the guidance and assistance of our team.