Research shows guns as the leading cause of death for kids in 2020

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For the first time in recorded history, firearms are the leading cause of death for kids in the United States.

In a new letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found more than 4,300 juveniles died of gun-related injuries in 2020, a 29% increase from 2019.

“It’s a learned behavior. Again, no child is born with a pistol in their hand,” said Tyrone Terrill, president of the African-American Leadership Council.

Terrill has worked with kids and young adults in St. Paul for over 30 years and said he’s not surprised by the research.

“I can go to this school over here, or any other school in Minneapolis, and show you second- and third-graders, just as violent that are coming,” Terrill told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Terrill said the next generation is living and learning gun violence culture at home, and there needs to be an immediate investment in helping parents.

“We need to do something that’s going to bring discipline back in the home, without being abusive of course, but correction is necessary because these kids are out there,” Bishop Richard Howell, with Shiloh Temple in Minneapolis, explained.

Above all, Howell said, was keeping guns out of the hands of juveniles.

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“Recently, we had a 10-year-old child that was killed,” Howell noted. “I am not trying to judge the case of course, but where did they get the gun, for crying out loud, in the house to unload on that 10-year-old child?”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this report misspelled Tyrone Terrill’s last name and Bishop Richard Howell’s last name. The names have been corrected. Howell’s full name and title have also been added to clarify the two interviews in this report.