For the past two years there has been at least a shooting a week in the United States perpetrated by a toddler.
The Washington Post has made a project of documenting shootings by young children since October 2015, when it first reported that such shootings were occurring on a weekly basis.
In 2015 there were 58 shootings committed by toddlers, more than one a week. In October 2016 toddlers had already shot 51 people, a higher rate than at the same time the year prior.
The violent trend was already well underway before summer, placed in sharp relief by a May 2016 article documenting 7 shootings by a 1, 2, or 3 year old since April 20th:
On April 20, a 2-year-old boy in Indiana found the gun his mother left in her purse on the kitchen counter and fatally shot himself.
The next day in Kansas City, Mo., a 1-year-old girl evidently shot and killed herself with her father’s gun while he was sleeping.
On April 22, a 3-year-old in Natchitoches, La., fatally shot himself after getting hold of a gun.
On April 26, a 3-year-old boy in Dallas, Ga., fatally shot himself in the chest with a gun he found at home.
On April 27, the Milwaukee toddler fatally shot his mother in the car. That same day, a 3-year-old boy in Grout Township, Mich., shot himself in the arm with a gun he found at home. He is expected to survive.
On April 29, a 3-year-old girl shot herself in the arm after grabbing a gun in a parked car in Augusta, Ga. She is also expected to survive.
In October 2016 the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence released a video titled “Guns Don’t Kill People, Toddlers Kill People.” The satirical PSA called for a toddler crackdown.
“Americans are shot by toddlers at least once a week. We need to lock them up. Not the guns — that’s just un-American. Round them up. Deport them. Get them out of our country. And keep them away from guns.”
In the majority of cases the toddlers shot themselves, and not all the incidents resulted in fatalities, but as of December, reported the Post, at least 25 children had been shot to death by a toddler sibling since January of 2015.
Although shootings by small children are shocking, they represent a tiny fraction of the casualties of US gun violence. A total of 668 children under the age of 12 were killed or injured by guns in 2016.