Earlier this week, we posted a cheeky sort of article suggesting that toddlers may be America’s new most deadly demographic due to the rising rate of toddler-related gun incidents. Despite the jokes, this is an extremely serious issue as the growing numbers indicate that American parents and guardians are neglecting their children by not practicing responsible gun ownership and not keeping their loaded weapons far from the hands of children.

The ever-rising number of people being shot by toddlers is a sobering fact and in a particularly tragic week in April, four American toddlers discharged a loaded weapon which ended their own lives.

Holston, Kiyan, Za’veon and Sha’Quille, were all innocent young children who likely didn’t even know how to say the word “gun.” Despite this, they are no longer alive due to their curiosity and the negligence of their parents and guardians.

The prosecutor in the case of 2-year-old Sha’Quille, Jean Peters Baker, points out that these are not simply accidents.

“You can’t call this a tragic accident. These are really preventable, and we’re not willing to prevent them.”

Part of the blame goes to a nationwide confusion about what is the appropriate level of government involvement in how citizens handle and store their guns. Some states have laws mandating that guns be locked in storage when not in use while others mandate that trigger locks be sold with each gun. Some states have no rules about this subject at all, leaving gun owners to do with their deadly weapons as they see fit.

The father of little Sha’Quille kept his loaded gun under his pillow as he slept. Little did he know that he would awaken to see that his baby was bleeding from a self-inflicted bullet in her skull. She was buried in a pink coffin with her favorite baby doll and a tiara covering the bullet wound. Her father and the parents and guardians of all of these innocent children must spend the rest of their lives knowing that their children’s death is a direct result of their decisions.

In America, we only seem to be concerned with buying more and more weapons and ensuring that no legislation gets in the way of that. In doing so, we often fail to overlook the tragic results of irresponsible gun ownership.

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com