Gun deaths among US kids continue to rise; Southern states have worst rates

Enlarge / Students from Launch Charter School gather for a rally for National Gun Violence Awareness Day at Restoration Plaza on June 2, 2023, in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn borough in New York City. Getty | Michael M. Santiago

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020, so did another grim reality: For the first time, guns became the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers, surpassing car accidents, the long-standing leader.

In 2021, youth firearm death rates did not fall to pre-pandemic levels as hoped, but instead continued a sharp rise to hit a new

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