THE BRADY CENTER TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE
November 17, 2014
Contact: Jennifer Fuson
jfuson [at] bradymail [dot] org
Today, at the American Public Health Association’s national conference in New Orleans, Dan Gross, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, spoke about the need to change the way we think about the guns in our communities and in our homes as part of a public health approach to reduce gun violence.
Statement from Dan Gross, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, on widespread shootings of children Nov 15-16
The dangers and risks of unsecured and illegal guns were made manifest in cities across the country this weekend. In Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a boy unintentionally shot himself in the face with his father’s revolver. A 12-year old in New Jersey unintentionally shot his 9-year old sister with a handgun that may have belonged to the victim’s mother’s boyfriend. A Minnesota teenager died days after unintentionally shooting himself in the head. A promising 13-year old soccer player was killed by a gun that had discharged in an adjacent room in a Raleigh, North Carolina hotel. That gun was owned illegally by a convicted felon who may have circumvented a federal background check by purchasing the gun at a gun-show or online.
As the nation is rightfully outraged that a teen was killed with an illegal gun, we should be equally outraged by the stories of children who are shot by guns their parents and other relatives have brought into the home. Seven children and teens die every day from guns. This is a public health crisis. These deaths are preventable. At home, it starts with parents, who need to recognize the risks of guns in the home and make safer choices about gun access and storage. At the state and national level, we need to make it harder for dangerous people to get access to guns.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence recently released “The Truth About Kids and Guns” report which showed that firearms were the second leading cause of death for youth ages 1-19. In addition, the Brady Center also launched a public awareness campaign for a future where no child is killed by a parent’s gun that includes a nationally-released PSA and digital advertisements featuring David Wheeler, whose son was killed at Sandy Hook.