Day 32 – Ending Gun Violence Against Kids

Here’s a staggering statistic: Guns kill twice as many children as cancer does!

Nearly twice as many kids died from gun injuries in 2016 as died from cancer, the study by a team at the University of Michigan found. The gun fatality rate for U.S. children is 36 times higher than the rate in other developed nations, according to the analysis. This is tragic and unconscionable.

The report published by the New England Journal of Medicine noted that motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children and adolescents, representing 20% of all deaths; firearm-related injuries were the second leading cause of death, responsible for 15% of deaths. Among firearm deaths, 59% were homicides, 35% were suicides, and 4% were unintentional injuries (e.g., accidental discharge). In 2017, 3,410 children and teens died from guns—enough to fill 170 classrooms of 20 children. A child or teen was killed with a gun every 2 hours and 34 minutes. More children under five were killed by guns than law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

In America, we live in a gun culture. There are more guns than people. American civilians own more than 393 million guns. And it’s escalating. There were over 12 million guns bought in the first seven months of 2020 — up more than 70 percent over the same time span in 2019. This number includes nearly 5 million first-time gun owners so far this year. That is the biggest surge in gun ownership in American history.

There seems to be no political will to implement any substantial change. And, if nothing changes, nothing will change.  Whats the answer? The Children’s Defense Fund have proposed the following:

  • Implement Universal Background Checks
  • Prohibit Firearm Access for High-Risk Groups
  • Enact Child Access Prevention Laws
  • Require Child Safety Features for Every Gun
  • Ban Military-Style Weapons
  • Fund Gun Violence Prevention Research

To do nothing, to say nothing, is to support this abhorrent status quo.  As a quote form Edmund Burke declares, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (or women) to do nothing”.  Here are some opportunities and invitations to action: