Since the Children’s Defense Fund last published our annual State of America’s Children report in February 2020, our children have experienced a year of unprecedented upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a racial reckoning years in the making. Every aspect of children’s lives has been impacted by these shifts more quickly than data can track; even the most recent available data sets do not fully encompass how this past year has shaped our lives. This, of course, includes our 2021 State of America’s Children report. Because, as one element of the report makes clear, “Our Children are Not Immune.”
The initial investment for the CDC and NIH was a crucial step toward applying a public health approach to increasing gun safety and reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths, and continued and expanded investments are essential to the success of this important work.
A society must be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable—and most valuable—members: its children. The State of America’s Children 2020 makes it abundantly clear that by this measure, America is falling shamefully short.
The Children’s Defense Fund has documented the devastating toll of gun violence on children for more than two decades. This new installment of Protect Children, Not Guns reveals our gun violence epidemic is growing larger and more deadly. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,410 children and teens were killed with guns in 2017—the greatest number since 1998.
CDF’s Parent and Child Trends Survey conducted by YouGov with data collected May 8th through May 21st, 2018.
As another school year begins, fear of a school shooting is front and center in the minds of America’s children, outranking common childhood worries like experiencing peer pressure and not fitting in with classmates.