Guns and Youth - Deadly Assaults, Young, Armed, And Dangerous, Reductions In Youth Firearm Violence, Students And Guns
children death age people
There was a time when feuds among teenage boys might end in nothing more dangerous than a fistfight. Unfortunately, during the 1980s and 1990s young people more often turned to guns to resolve disputes. Youth gangs and school shootings dominated news headlines. The peak decade was 1983–1993, when arrests of youths for serious
violent offenses surged by 70%; the number of young people who murdered nearly tripled over the course of that decade. (See Figure 7.1.)
Rates of violence then declined, as is evident in downward trends in arrest records, victimization reports, and hospital emergency room records. Still, gunfire has been the second leading cause of death among young Americans since at least 1980, second only to motor vehicle accidents. Rates are especially high for adolescents.
The nation marked an all-time high for gun deaths among people under age twenty in 1994, when 5,833 died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
American children are twelve times more likely to fall victim to gun-related deaths than are children in the rest of the industrialized world. Even Israel and Northern Ireland, two nations noted for internal strife, have lower rates of child deaths due to gunfire, according to a 1997 report from the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. Table 7.1 shows that the death rate involving firearms among children up to age fourteen was 1.66 per one hundred thousand children in the United States, compared with 0.14 per one hundred thousand in twenty-five industrialized countries. The CDC report noted that homicide is the fourth leading cause of death among American children under age four and the third leading cause of
death among five-to fourteen-year-olds. (Not all homicides involve firearms.) Statistics show that one child aged between zero and fourteen is murdered with a gun on an average day in the United States.
Figure 7.2 shows homicide and gun-related homicide trends according to the age of the perpetrator. In the 1980s, a decline began in the number of adults aged twenty-five and over who were committing murder, while the number of young people committing murder showed a dramatic rise that continued into the mid-1990s. Suddenly,
there were more young killers, and they were using guns. (See Figure 7.1.)…
Much of the violent activity among young people can be attributed to youth gangs, which tend to be concentrated in poor, inner-city neighborhoods. Do youth gangs supply their members with guns and teach them how to use them? According to a U.S. Department of Justice FIGURE 7.6 (DOJ) study, that is how the media depicts youth
gangs. But the DOJ theorized that "it is equally plausible th…
The end of the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s saw a booming economy that provided legitimate jobs to some urban youth who had worked in the drug trade. In addition, there was a change in attitude toward the use of crack and a resulting decline in the demand for it. Aggressive police programs took guns away from juveniles.
Violent crimes decreased. As a result, there has been a reduction in gun v…
Estimates vary as to how many young people have had experience with firearms. Information about their firearms experience comes from various surveys and reports. This section looks at the results of some of the major surveys. In a 1995 survey, School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (U.S. Department
of Justice, 1995), 12.7% of students reported knowing a student who brou…
Between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1999, there were 358 school-associated violent deaths in the United States, including 255 deaths of school-aged children, or about 51 such violent deaths each year. For the single year July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999, there were forty-seven school-associated violent deaths in the United
States. Thirty-eight were homicides, six were suicides, two involved susp…
The number of children whose lives have been lost to gun violence is calculated annually by The Children's Defense Fund. The fund is a charitable organization whose particular focus is the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. Each year the fund ranks the states according to how they measure up in
terms of children's health. In addition to death by gun viol…
School shootings have prompted gun control debates in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Much of the FIGURE 7.11 proposed legislation has been aimed at closing the gun show loophole in the Brady Law, which allows the sale of firearms at gun shows without background checks. According to James Jacobs, the Director of the
Center for Research in Crime and Justice at New York University, …
The nation was appalled and fascinated by the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado. For a time the shootings were the most popular essay topic among college applicants, according to the Denver Post (November 5, 2000). The college deans surveyed reported that before Littleton, most students wrote about such
topics as favorite teachers, influential relatives, or sports achievements…
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