Last year in the United States, toddlers shot themselves or someone else at a rate of about once a week. Through the first four months of 2016, toddler-involved shootings are up nearly 28 percent; since April 20, American toddlers have shot seven people, including a Milwaukee woman who died after sustaining a gunshot wound from her 2-year-old son.
In all, 23 people have been shot by children under 4 years old in 2016, up from 18 at this time last year, the Washington Post reports. In the vast majority of these cases, children accidentally shot themselves: A toddler has fired a bullet into his or her own body 18 times this year. In nine of those cases, the wounds were fatal. Small children have fatally shot other people twice in 2016 — the mother in Milwaukee last week and a 9-year-old boy shot by his younger brother in Alabama in February. These shootings have been concentrated in a handful of states, with Georgia suffering eight since January 2015, while Texas and Mississippi have each seen seven.