In his remarks today, the President noted that our first task as a society is to keep our children safe. Ineffective gun safety measures have hampered us greatly in our fulfillment of that first task. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, 5,740 children and teens died from guns in the United States in 2008 and 2009—“one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 55 every week for two years.” An additional 34,387 children during that same time period were injured by guns. As one of the top 23 industrialized nations, the U.S. lays claim to “87 percent of the children under age 15 killed by guns in these nations…”.
With the President’s plan of background checks of every gun purchaser, a ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines, an uptick in school safety measures including better emergency response plans, and more comprehensive mental health treatment, among others, we should be on our way to doing a better job of protecting our children.
Every Child Matters President Michael Petit says, “The life chances of children are vastly improved when they are the top priority of families, communities, and governments. We cannot let their interests be pushed aside by those of weapons manufacturers and other powerful lobbies. Common sense reform will be no threat to those who own their guns legally and have no need to fire thirty rounds in even fewer seconds. Congress must act. We have urged our supporters to contact their Members of Congress and ask them to pass the measures proposed by the President. These proposals represent a good first step to saving children’s lives. “