Kids and Gun Violence

FACT: In 2013, incidents of gun murders, gun suicides, and unintentional shootings in Illinois killed 151 children and adolescents ages 19 and younger, which represents a decrease from 2012 when there were a total of 165 in this age group.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013)

FACT: Nationwide for 2013, youth gun violence killed 2,465 American children and teens ages 19 and under, a decrease of over 8% from the nationwide 2012 total of 2,694. The total number of children killed in 2013 included 1,410 homicides, 877 suicides, 124 unintentional, 20 legal intervention, and 34 undetermined intent. This means that an average of almost 8 young people are killed each day by guns in the U.S.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013)

FACT: In 2013, a total of 877 young Americans ages 19 and younger committed suicide with firearms, increase of 2% from the 2012 total of 861 youth gun suicides. Unlike suicide attempts using other methods, 92% of suicide attempts with guns are fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed teenager will never get a second chance at life.

(CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013; Wintemute, et. al., œThe Choice of Weapons in Firearm Suicides, American Journal of Public Health, Vol 78, No. 7, July 1988, p. 824)

FACT: The firearms used by American youth ages 19 and younger in 90% of firearm suicide attempts and completions, and in 72% unintentional firearm deaths and injuries, were stored in the residence of the victim, their relative, or their friend. On average, 68% of suicides for youth ages 15-24 are committed with guns.

(Grossman, DC, Reay DR, Baker SA. œSelf-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children and adolescents: the source of the firearm. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, August 1999;153:875-8; American Association of Suicidology, Washington, DC, 1998)

FACT: In 2009, the national gun death rate for African-American males ages 15 to 19 was 55.3 per 100,000, a large disparity compared to white males of the same age (13.2 per 100,000). For black males ages 20-24, the gun death rate was even higher at 93 per 100,000, an even greater disparity compared to white males of the same age group (20 per 100,000).

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2012)

FACT: 48% of gun-owning households with children do NOT regularly make sure that their guns are equipped with child safety locks or other trigger locks.

(Peter Hart Research Associates Poll, July 1999)

FACT: Contrary to popular belief, young children do possess the physical strength to fire a gun: 25% of 3 to 4 year olds, 70% of 5 to 6 year olds, and 90% of 7 to 8 year olds can fire most handguns.

(Naureckas, SM, Christoffel, KK, et al. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 1995)

FACT: More than 1,400 students were expelled in 2006-07 for bringing guns to school. Of these, 31% were in elementary or junior high school. This means that, in a 40-week school year, an average of 35 children per week nationwide are expelled for bringing a gun in school. These figures include only the children who get caught.

(U.S. Department of Education. Report on State Implementation of the Gun-Free Schools Act: School Year 2006-07)

FACT: Results from the 2009 Centers for Disease Control National Youth Risk Behavior Study (YRBS) indicated that over 17% of high school students had reported carrying a weapon within 30 days prior to the survey, of which 5.9% reported carrying a gun. In addition, approximately 5.6% of all high school students reported carrying a weapon on school property within 30 days prior to the survey, and 7.7% reported that they had been threatened with a weapon on school property.

(Numbers obtained from the Centers for Disease Control mortality report online, June 4, 2010.)

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Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 40 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.

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