Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Joe Gorton, Criminology


Firearms; Children--United States--Mortality;


Gun ownership is a topic which sparks controversy, regardless of what side a person is on. It is something that tends to elicit strong emotion from the public and is a prominent part of American society. But, with freedoms come responsibilities and that leaves room for risk. High levels of gun access and availability have resulted in a high level of gun-related incidents in the United States above other countries around the globe. Unfortunately, young children are a population included in the victims of gun mortality. This thesis analyzes all recorded gun-related deaths of children ages 0 -11 years old from January 1, 2017 through July 31, 2018 (not including mass shootings). The data is organized by manner of death (accidental, homicide, suicide) and the statistics are given to compare each manner to one another. The purpose of this study is to fill in informational gaps of prior studies which lack in this specific age group and to formulate possible ways to lower the rate of mortality of this age group based on the findings. Prior research being done on this topic tends to take into account all data from ages 0-20 and incorporating ages 12-20 skews the data because adolescents have increased exposure to external factors outside of the home. According to the references in discussion, an overwhelming number of accidental and filicidal deaths stem from mishandling and improper storage of guns as well as insufficient background checks and safety training for gun owners among children aged 0-11. In a time when gun control is a point of contention, it is important to have accurate data to present so that preventative measures may adequately address the issues

Year of Submission



Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (23 pages)



File Format


Included in

Sociology Commons