The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 13, 2014 Contact: Tim McHugh 202-370-8135 tmchugh [at] bradymail [dot] org
Points to the Importance of Non-Policy Solutions
Washington, D.C. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) results this week. The new numbers indicate a shocking number of high school students are carrying weapons at school, away from school and being threatened while on school grounds.
“There is nothing more important than making schools the safest places they can be for our kids. This data, along with the recent spate of high-profile shootings over the last two weeks, is sobering evidence of how short we are falling in that effort,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
The YRBSS survey finds that about 800,000 students carry a weapon to school. Additionally, about 1.1 million students did not go to school at least one day in the last 30 days because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to school. That number is up from about 670,000 students in 1993 – the year the survey began.
The results also showed that 5.5 percent of students (840,000) carried a gun at least once in the last 30 days - up from 5.1 percent in 2011. We know that when students have unsafe access to guns, it often leads to tragedy. In Troutdale and most school shooting incidents, the shooter used a gun he obtained from the home.
“This study points to the important role parents can play by thinking about the risks of having a gun in homes with kids,” continued Gross. “School shootings are only part of a much bigger problem. Each day in the U.S., nine children are shot unintentionally. Sadly, thousands more young people will take their own lives, many with guns that were brought into their home by parents who never intended these tragedies to happen.”
Jennie Lintz, director of Public Health and Safety at the Brady Campaign, underscored the important role young people can play in preventing violence by reporting weapon threats: “In four out of five school shootings, students know about the attacker’s plans in advance. All students should know that they can safely and anonymously report weapon threats through Brady’s 866-SPEAK-UP hotline.”
Brady established the SPEAK UP Campaign to empower students with an unprecedented resource for preventing violence in their schools and communities. Students can anonymously report suspected threats 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the hotline, and can visit www.speakup.com, which features a BuzzFeed-style interactive super hero quiz about speaking up and stories of students who have spoken up. Since the hotline was established in 2002, nearly 40,000 calls have been received.
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow our Facebook Page and Twitter Account.