(UPDATE: A 12-year-old Savannah boy named Keith Passmore was shot dead Saturday night Nov. 22. That means three children were shot in three different shootings in Savannah in less than one week.)
This week, two different shootings of Savannah children serve as horrific reminders of this city’s gun violence epidemic.
Kiaja Smalls, 2, was shot dead Tuesday night while sleeping in her Savannah Southside apartment. The shots were fired from outside the apartment.
On Thursday, a Savannah 6-year-old girl was shot during a domestic dispute. She suffered non-fatal injuries.
Imagine if these cases involved another consumer product other than guns.
Imagine if Kiaja died because of a malfunction in a crib or if she swallowed a laundry detergent pod. Then we would hear from various health and public safety advocates about how to prevent such deaths along with tips about keeping our children safe.
Even though there are about about 11,000 homicides, 19,000 suicides and more than 2,000 fatal accidents involving guns every year nationwide. That’s an average of 88 gun deaths per day.
We’d love to see Savannah physicians become more active in counseling patients and the public about firearm safety and working to reduce injuries and deaths from firearms, in the same way that they work to reduce injuries and deaths from poisonings, smoking, motor vehicle traffic accidents, incorrectly installed car seats etc.
For example, how many pediatricians regularly tell parents that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the safest home for children is one without guns?
Health experts – we would love to talk to you about Savannah’s gun violence epidemic and to get your input about what we as parents can do to prevent these shootings from becoming the new normal. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations are being accepted for the funeral expenses for Kiaja Smalls, 2, who was shot and killed Tuesday night inside a Savannah apartment. The family says donations will be accepted at any local Wells Fargo Bank. A gofundme page has also been set up for the family: http://www.gofundme.com/hid3wk