At least seven times since April 20 — 23 times this year so far, according to The Washington Post — a child age 3 or younger has found and fired a gun. In 11 of these shootings, somebody — usually the child — was killed. Incidents like this are shocking, tragic and largely preventable. But that means fully, and finally, committing ourselves to policies and technology that help keep firearms out of kids’ hands.

The figures presented by the Post on May 1 show an acceleration in the pace of toddler shootings. However, they’re just a small part of the gun violence involving children in our country. In 2015, at least 265 people in the U.S. were unintentionally shot by children under 18, the Post reported at the end of last year. The shootings resulted in 83 deaths: 41 to the children themselves and 42 to other people, most often friends or relatives.

There are proven ways to stanch this epidemic. For example: Twenty-eight states have child access prevention laws, which, to varying degrees, hold gun owners liable if a child accesses their firearms. In 2001, 829 injuries were prevented and $37 million in medical costs was saved in 10 of the states that have these laws, according to a 2005 study for the National Bureau for Economic Research.

On the technical side, guns are now being designed with features that prevent the wrong person from pulling the trigger, such as biometric sensors (like fingerprint readers) and “James Bond”-style grip recognition. One such “smart gun,” the iP1, requires the single authorized user to enter a five-digit PIN into a special watch before firing. (The code is good for eight hours at a time.)

But the company that makes the iP1 hasn’t been able to sell it because of boycott pressure from the National Rifle Association and its allies. Invoking fears that mandating gun-safety technology will pave the way for greater gun control, gun-rights advocates have also come out against a recently announced White House plan to use federal funds to help develop smart guns and to subsidize their purchase by police agencies.

President Obama should focus on fighting terrorism, an NRA spokeswoman declared after the president’s announcement last week. But the threat that militants present to Americans must be put into context. Twenty Americans died at the hands of potential or suspected terrorists in Paris, San Bernardino, California, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015. Accidental shootings by children, on the other hand, took over four times as many American lives last year.

When it comes to protecting children versus protecting rapid access to guns, our priorities should be clear. Most Americans want safer firearms — just as they support policies to require that guns be stored out of children’s reach. It’s time for this silent majority to speak up and demand action.

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