The accidental shootings send dozens to Minnesota hospitals each year. Immaturity and today's gun culture create a persistent problem.
A fascination with firearms and a false sense of security around guns has fueled more than 1,550 unintentional shooting of young Minnesotans between 1999 and 2008, a Star Tribune analysis of state Health Department data found. What's more, unintentional shootings of young people is a statewide problem, not just an urban phenomenon. Each year, accidental shootings break down in roughly equal numbers between the seven-county metro area and the state's other 80, mostly rural counties.