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Child Gun Deaths Up Nationally-Down In Iowa

June 11, 2008

Des Moines, IA – The latest numbers on firearms deaths for teenagers and children are in: More than 3,000 kids in the United States were killed by gun violence in the one year 2005, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the first time in more than a decade that the numbers of deaths are up.

In Iowa, 15 children were killed by firearms that year, which is actually one fewer than in the year before.

Susan Gates with the Children's Defense Fund did an analysis of the CDC numbers.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that in this country we lose eight children every day to gun violence."


The CDF recommends "common sense" gun safety laws, and they want more gun safety education for kids. Gun rights groups warn against new gun laws, saying they interfere with the constitutional right to bear arms.

But John Johnson with Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence believes the simplest way to eliminate child gun deaths doesn't take new laws; it involves just removing guns from the home.

"That is what Iowans for the Prevention Gun Violence recommends: that parents with small children, or children of any age, consider taking their guns out of the home. If they wish to own guns then they should look for an alternative place to keep their guns, away from children."

Johnson says most Iowa children killed by firearms were suicides; in Iowa, suicide is the second-leading cause of death in that age group.

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

Dick Layman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - IA