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Guns killed more preschoolers in one year than they did law-enforcement officers in the line of duty. Ask yourself if this is really what we as Americans meant by putting our children first?
What if we looked at violence in America as a public health crisis rather than a crime problem? What if we look for promising practices and expanded the ones that work to eliminate the epidemic of violence that keeps our graveyards, jails, and prisons full? That is exactly the approach recommended by a panel of the nation’s leading gun violence researchers in a report released this week by the Institute of Medicine. Convened by the federal government in the wake of the Newtown shooting, the panel provides a national road map for the research that needs to be done to prevent gun violence and improve public safety, especially for our most vulnerable.
“I’m learning that milestones are a very difficult thing to get through in this first year . . . Everything has become ‘after Noah’s death,’” said Jodi Sandoval through a stream of tears. Jodi lost her 14-year-old son Noah McGuire to gun violence in Clintonville, Ohio on July 5, 2012.
Ka’Nard Allen has been shot twice in his 10-year-old life. On May 12 he went with his mother to the annual Mother’s Day second line parade in New Orleans. When two gunmen shot into the line of participants—men, women and children—Ka’Nard’s cheek was struck by a bullet. Eighteen other people were wounded including a 10-year-old girl. Less than a year ago, at Ka’Nard’s 10th birthday party in his front yard, his five-year-old cousin Brianna Allen was fatally shot by an AK-47, and he was shot in the neck.
This teenage boy overheard talking to his father by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the hundreds of Birmingham children and youths who fifty years ago this month decided to stand up for freedom. They stood up to fire hoses and police dogs and went to jail by the hundreds and finally broke the back of Jim Crow in that city known as “Bombingham.” On this fiftieth anniversary of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade it is a time to remember, honor, and follow the example of the children who were frontline soldiers and transforming catalysts in America’s greatest moral movement of the twentieth century – the movement for civil rights and equal justice.
The 2013 National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® manual is a resource to assist faith communities in planning a Children's Sabbath celebration in their place of worship. This year's theme "Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence” will help guide participants to live up to the sacred charge to nurture and protect children and the poor, to equip members with new understanding about the huge threats facing children and democracy, and to join together as a place of worship and with other places of worship in your community and across our nation to ensure a level playing field for every child.
This Mother’s Day, Nardyne Jefferies is one of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)’s “Faces of Courage.” They are part of a club no mother ever wants to join. Most, like Nardyne, have lost children to gun violence.
Anyone despairing that Congress can’t get anything done should note last week’s swift vote to get furloughed air traffic controllers back to work. Congress can move very quickly and efficiently when it wants to and when their own comfort and that of constituents well-off enough to fly was affected. Reduced unemployment benefits, children dropped suddenly from Head Start programs, poor mothers and babies losing food supplements, teacher layoffs, and cancelled meal deliveries for seniors didn’t move them—but airport delays as members headed out of town for their April recess were apparently unacceptable.
Every day four children in America are killed by abuse or neglect. More than 750,000 children are abused or neglected each year. Even when children survive or after physical scars heal, the emotional damage left by child abuse and neglect can last a lifetime just as the post traumatic stress left by gun violence leaves deep scars in countless children.
This fact sheet counters popular misconceptions about guns, children and guns, and gun safety legislation.