Teaching gun violence in the US.

‘I accidentally shot dead my little sister’

Sean was 10 years old when he found a gun in the house and thought it was a toy. The weapon accidentally went off and a stray bullet pierced the heart of his younger sister, Erin.

Thirty years on, Sean and his mother reflect on how those few tragic seconds changed the course of their lives. Video by Hannah Long-Higgins and Angélica M Casas

More people died from firearm injuries in the United States last year than in any other year since at least 1968, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were 39,773 gun deaths in 2017, up by more than 1,000 from the year before. Nearly two-thirds were suicides. It was the largest yearly total on record in the C.D.C.’s electronic database, which goes back 50 years, and reflects the sheer number of lives lost.

Lesson plan

  1. Watch the video below
  2. Read this article from the New York Times and this article from CNN, concerning shootings at home
  3. Read this article from the BBC about America’s gun culture in 10 charts
  4. PTSD is known as a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event. How does this factor in here do you think? Read this article about a survivor from the Parkland shooting.
  5. Read this article “Why can’t the Us treat guns as a public health problem? “
  6. Compare the information above and write an article where you discuss gun control in the USA. Use the statistics provided in your blog post.


  1. I hope you teach your students about the American Revolution, where normal citizens had similar firearms as the British military they were fighting against.

    I hope you teach your students about all of the times throughout history where tyranny began with gun confiscation.

    I hope you teach your students why the Second Amendment was created and why so many Americans strong believe in it.

    Please teach both sides of the gun control argument.

    1. Yes, the second amendment and the American Revolution is on the syllabus. History is an important part of this. I have used reliable sources in the article, and it was BBC world news that shared the story about the boy who shot his sister.

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