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A Disturbing Trend: Kid Gun Violence on the Rise in PA

October 22, 2008

Philadelphia, PA – The numbers have been going up and up and up, and children's advocates are looking for ways to bring them back to earth. That's part of the message today on the "Day of International Concern About Young People and Gun Violence."

Federal statistics show the number of gun deaths of children and teens in Pennsylvania has risen three years in a row. Children's Defense Fund spokesman Ed Shelleby says the time has come to turn around our "culture of violence."

"The easiest way is to refuse to buy products for your children that glamorize guns."

Shelleby says the latest statistics show each year more preschoolers nationwide are killed by firearms than law enforcement officers are killed in the line of duty.

Shelleby says years of progress against gun violence and youth are beginning to erode and, while some gun deaths are caused by accidents, most are murders.

"The Children's Defense Fund has been looking at gun violence data for more than a decade, and the most-recently-released data is actually the first increase since 1994."

Those opposed to changing gun laws cite interference with the constitutional right to bear arms.

More information on firearm deaths of children and teens is available online at www.childrensdefense.org.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - PA