In a finding that could accelerate the pace of gun crimes in the United States, a recent study has showed that mentally-retarded American teenagers have very easy accessibility to the guns at their homes.
In the study, nearly 41 percent of teens in the United States said that they have easy access to a gun or any firearm at their home. Adding to the worries, the researchers found similar statistics for the teens who have a history of mental health issues and suicidal tendencies.
Lead study author Dr. Joseph Simonetti, from Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said, “Studies have consistently shown that children living in homes with safely-stored firearms are less likely to be shot, and safe firearm storage is widely recommended by gun rights organizations and public health officials. Trigger locks and gun lockboxes can be purchased for less than $10 online, and in common stores.”
For preparing their study report, the researchers collected data from the National Comorbidity Survey–Adolescent Supplement that has surveyed 10,123 American teens nationwide. The researchers used data collected from 2001 to 2004 from teens who were between ages 13 and 18 years.
A third of the teenager was found living in a home having a firearm. Out of them, nearly 41 percent said they had an easy access to the firearm and also knows how to use it.
Teens who were 15 years old and above, white, male and hailing from high-income homes in rural areas were found enjoying easy access to firearms.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association strictly recommend the healthcare providers to converse more about firearm safe storage with the parents, especially those whose child has a mental or suicidal history.
According to the researcher group, suicide has emerged as the second leading cause of death for the teens in the US. Keeping a firearm at the home and that too without following proper safety norms up the risk of suicide.
The findings of study are detailed in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.