In a tragic new case linked to the proliferation of guns in the United States, a 3-year-old girl accidentally killed her one-year-older sister with a semi-automatic pistol in Texas, police said late Sunday.
During a family reunion, both girls were left unsupervised for a moment in a room in their Harris County apartment in Houston.
At that time the child under three years “gained access to a loaded semi-automatic handgun. A shot was heard, family members rushed into the room and found the 4-year-old on the floor, unresponsive”Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales told reporters.
The girl died on the spot. “Apparently it was not intentional,” the officer added.
“This appears to be a tragic new story where a minor accesses a gun and injures someone,” lamented the police chief.
United States has some 400 million individual weapons, more than its 330 million inhabitants. One in three adults owns at least one gun, and nearly one in two adults lives in a home where there is a gun.
The United States recorded more than 44,000 gun deaths last yearhalf of them by suicide and the other half by murder, accident or self-defense, according to the Gun Violence Archive website.
Likewise, shootings were one of the main causes of death among those under 18 years of age last year, with almost 1,700 cases, including 314 under 11 years of age, according to the same source.
And in Texas, a huge state of 30 million people in the southern part of the country, the carrying of weapons, even openly in public, is authorized with few restrictions.