Juvenile Gun Violence
Juvenile gun violence is an ever-increasing problem in our country. With a wave of school shooting behind us it is time to get this under control. Many studies have been done on how to effectively diminish juvenile gun violence. It is clear that this must be handled on a state and local level with the federal government backing the states. Prevention and law enforcement is the key to successfully eradicate our nation of the ugly stain caused by youth gun violence.
Prevention should begin in the home. Studies show that "gun ownership by adults and the introduction of their children into recreational gun culture appears to reduce problems associated with teenage violence" (Bilchik 11). If a child has grown up around guns and is taught from an early age the proper usage and safety, they are less likely to use it in an inappropriate manner. Legal gun owners usually learn about guns at home, while the illegal owners learn on the street.
Many juveniles claim that they carry a gun for protection. They feel that they need protection on the way to and from school, which makes schools a prime setting for violence. According to Welsh, "Thirty-seven percent of all violent crimes experienced by youths aged twelve to fifteen occurred on school grounds" (Welsh 185). An astonishing thirty percent of students surveyed said they had been victims of assault while en route to or in school.
Juveniles resort to violence, usually involving guns, instead of communicating with each other. "Although guns are more available today, youth also now show an increasing tendency to use them to settle disputes. When youth who are already predisposed to violence have easy access to guns, they may be more likely to become violent" (Bilchik 9). "In 1987, 75% of U.S. homicides committed by 15-24-year-olds involved firearms (Giller 249). Conflict management and anger management should be taught in the schools. Give juveniles other options besides resorting to violence. Welsh states that with these programs "youths involved in disputes learn how to identify their interests in a specific interaction, express their views, listen attentively, and seek mutually acceptable solutions (Welsh 192). Programs that teach students about gun safety and gun misuse including accidental shootings should be implemented into schools, especially in areas of high gun violence. Begin teaching children at an early age that guns are not toys and should never be handled without adult supervision. Explain to children that a gunshot wound is a very serious injury and is not like they see on TV. Children should be talked to about guns and why they are only to be used by adults.
Households with children and guns can be an extremely dangerous situation. If the child is told simply to not touch the gun then his/her first reaction will be curiosity about it. Teach children about firearms and always practice gun safety rules. The National Rifle...