You can see in the comments for all these articles on the Westfield gun accident, that people are in hysterics over the incident.Â Before people get out the torches and pitchforks, in an attempt to tar and feather anyone involved with this machine gun shoot, let’s just look at some comparable facts:
- Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for children.Â Children ages 14 and under account for one-third of all fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms.
- In 2003, nearly 285,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in the US for bicycle-related injuries. Nearly half (47 percent) of children ages 14 and under hospitalized for bicycle-related injuries are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children agesÂ one to 14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites.Â However, children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
So before jumping to the conclusion that the father and organizers here was insane, or deserves to be in jail, people should be asking themselves whether they let their eight year old kids swim in pools, whether they have stairs in the house, and whether their kids are allowed to ride a bicycle.Â Statistically, these are all much more dangerous activities than shooting.
I do think there were lapses of judgement here, but not one that amounts to ruining anyone’s life over.Â A child is dead, and that’s tragic, but the fact is that bicycles and pools kill many more times the number of children each year.Â When a parent loses a kid to a bicycle accident or a drowning, they get sympathy, because people recognize it for what it is: an accident.Â This was also an accident.Â In the coming days, the focus should be on improving safety protocols for shooting events so that things like this do not happen again.Â The focus should not be on ruining people’s lives who are already having to deal with sad consequences of this accident.