Two young children have been shot by their siblings in the space of 24 hours in the United States.
In Las Vegas, a two-year-old girl was in a critical condition after being shot by her four-year-old brother at their home, police said.
In South Carolina, a four-year-old boy was shot in the stomach by his three-year-old brother after the little boy found a gun.
The injured boy was expected to make a full recovery, police said.
The incident in Las Vegas happened on Thursday night after the girl's brother found a loaded 9mm handgun inside their home.
It went off while he was holding it, hitting his sister in her torso.
According to police, the father was home at the time and the gun appears to have been improperly secured.
The shooting involving the two brothers happened in Gray Court, South Carolina, also on Thursday night. They and their father were staying at the home of a family friend.
Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain said it appeared the younger boy found the gun under a bed and accidentally shot his brother.
The injured boy was flown to hospital, where he underwent surgery, he said.
No charges have been filed in relation to either case.
The two incidents come less than a week after a five-year-old boy died after shooting himself in the head.
He had found a handgun inside his father's vehicle outside a Las Vegas pharmacy.
The father in that case has been charged with child endangerment.
In the US, the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. There are thought to be more than 200 million firearms in private hands.
Advocates of gun control face tough opposition from gun owners.
Critics of the current gun laws link high levels of gun crime and gun-related injury with high levels of gun ownership.
Specified Motor Vehicle: 43,354
Exposure Fire / Smoke: 3,337
Other Land Transport accidents: 1,492
Complications of Medicine / Surgery: 3,059
Accidental Discharge of firearms: 776
Number of Cars in the US
According to the gentleman I spoke with at the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistical Records Office there are approximately 62 million registered vehicles in the U.S. at the current time and appox. 6.4 million unregistered functioning vehicles. Roughly 32% of those two numbers combined would account for Semi-Trucks, construction, heavy machinery vehicles. Stats accurate as of 02/01/05
The FBI estimates that there are over 200 million privately-owned firearms in the US. If you add those owned by the military, law enforcement agencies and museums, there is probably about 1 gun per person in the country.
[edit on 25-7-2009 by infolurker]