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NCJ Number: 196779 Find in a Library
Title: Children, Youth, and Gun Violence: Analysis and Recommendations
Journal: Future of Children  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:Summer/Fall 2002  Pages:5-23
Author(s): Kathleen Reich M.P.P; Patti L. Culross M.D.; Richard E. Behrman M.D.
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 19
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document analyzes the youth gun violence problem and provides recommendations to reduce the number of youth gun injuries and death.
Abstract: Although youth gun violence is only part of the larger problem of youth violence, guns merit special attention for two key reasons. First, the lethality and availability of guns have worsened youth violence in this country. Second, public debates about gun policies have not focused on the safety of children but on the meaning of the Second Amendment of the Constitution and the appropriate use of guns by adults. Guns are lethal and easily available in this country. Gun deaths among children and youth due to homicide, suicide, and unintentional shooting are far higher in the United States than in other industrialized nations. To develop and evaluate policies for reducing the incidence of youth gun violence, policymakers need more complete data on how firearms are used by and against children and youth. Financial and psychological costs can be especially high; those exposed to gun violence are at risk for significant and lasting psychological effects. Children do not have to be injured themselves to experience these negative effects. Exposure to gun violence at home, at school, in the community, or through the media all can cause harm. Some ways of reducing children’s unsupervised exposure to guns in the home are to have close parental supervision, safe storage of weapons, and initiate parent education and awareness. Engaging communities to reduce youth gun violence includes addressing economic inequality and social injustice in the United States. Another strategy is to strengthen law enforcement against youth gun violence. Changing the design of guns, limiting the flow of illegal guns to youth, and curbing illegal gun sales to youth are other possible solutions. A national campaign against youth gun violence should be strongly grounded in research, and should encompass the broad range of strategies recommended here. 93 endnotes
Main Term(s): Child victims; Firearm accidents; Firearms deaths
Index Term(s): Fatalities; Firearm-crime relationships; Firearms; Homicide; Psychological victimization effects; Weapon carrying
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