Sadly, firearms are second only to motor vehicle accidents in their claim on young lives.
Research indicates that educational efforts aimed at persuading young people to behave responsibly around guns are limited in their effectiveness.
Parents must monitor children’s exposure to guns and protect them from unsupervised use. Any stored guns in a home should be locked, unloaded, and separated from ammunition.
Community leaders can also help. They can promote young people’s safety by sending unequivocal messages that gun violence is not an acceptable way to resolve conflict.
It’s also been shown that requiring safety features on guns can reduce unintentional shootings among young children and adults.
In addition, emerging technologies will enable manufacturers to personalize guns and prevent unauthorized users from operating them.
Most important, as a society we must limit the flow of illegal guns to youth. Federal and state laws regarding gun sales should be tightened so that fewer weapons are accessible to young people.
The physical, economic, and emotional toll of gun violence against young people is unacceptable, regardless of one’s position on adult ownership and use of guns.