skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 169096 Find in a Library
Title: Firearm Injuries Affecting U.S. Children and Adolescents (From Children in a Violent Society, P 42-71, 1997, Joy D. Osofsky, ed. -- See NCJ-169092)
Author(s): K K Christoffel
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Guilford Publications, Inc.
New York, NY 10012
Sale Source: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Marketing Manager
72 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The scale of the firearm epidemic in the United States has helped to make this country the overwhelming leader in homicide rates for 15- to 24-year-old males among countries of the world; this constitutes a public health crisis that requires a public health strategy.
Abstract: Numerous studies in the medical literature indicate that handguns meet standard epidemiological criteria for a cause of environmental death. Taken together, these studies suggest a particular causal sequence: fear of crime leads to high and rising levels of handgun ownership and unsafe storage; these cause ready access to handguns; the access -- at times of anger, sadness, intoxication, or fear -- leads to a heightened risk of injury and death, which is highest when the accessible handguns are most lethal (for example, currently popular semiautomatic pistols). When firearm deaths and injuries are viewed as an epidemic phenomenon and the handgun as the agent of the epidemic, it makes sense to address this as one would any other epidemic; this involves efforts to reduce the spread of the agent. A public health approach to firearm injuries has a number of consequences for prevention planning. First, it defines an approach to policy that is based on science. Second, it focuses on protection of the many at risk, not just management of those who are hurt. Third, it defines measurable health outcomes to gauge success in addressing the epidemic. It focuses public attention and mobilizes support from the private sector. The public health strategy includes limiting exposure to the agent of death, i.e., the gun and its dangers. Laws must be passed to limit the accessibility and the dangerousness of handguns. 4 figures, 13 tables, and 104 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Firearm accidents; Firearm-crime relationships; Firearms deaths; Gun Control; Handguns
Note: Youth, guns and violence.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.