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CDC: One Year Equals 130 Illinois Kids Killed by Guns

June 11, 2008

Chicago, IL – There were 130 in Illinois, and more than 3,000 nationwide. That's how many babies, kids and teens were killed by firearms in one year, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Susan Gates with the Children's Defense Fund analyzed the statistics for a report released today.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that in this country, we lose eight children every day to gun violence. And that's the same as a tragedy like the Northern Illinois shooting happening every 15 hours." That incident earlier this year claimed six lives, including that of the campus gunman.

The CDF recommends stronger gun safety laws, more gun safety education and more focus on helping young people learn to resolve conflicts without violence. Gun rights groups are wary of new gun safety laws, saying they usually conflict with constitutional rights to own weapons.

Ladd Everitt with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence argues that all the gun safety education in the world won't change the love affair Hollywood has with guns, and the fact that gangs, drugs and guns are available to many children and teens 24 hours a day in their neighborhoods.

"We live in a culture that glamorizes guns. So, it is very natural for children to be fascinated by guns, and I think that's a real challenge with gun education."

The full report, "Protect Children, Not Guns," is online at
ww.childrensdefense.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IL