"How Our Nation Can Protect Children, Not Guns"

Marian Wright Edelman | 4/5/2012, 2:33 p.m.

Gun deaths are the third leading cause of fatal injuries in the U.S. for people age one and older--following only motor vehicle and poisoning deaths. Congress must subject guns to the same consumer product safety regulations that cover virtually every other consumer product. Congress also must require childproof safety features on all guns.

Every one of us should be urging our leaders to make these essential and sensible changes at the national level while simultaneously pushing state and local governments to protect children and all in America from deadly guns.

Demand the repeal of the "Stand Your Ground" laws now in effect in 21 states and made notorious in Trayvon's killing that encourage a "shoot first and ask questions later" approach to confrontations.

It's shameful that when child and teen gun deaths are compared in 23 high-income countries, 87 percent of all children under 15 killed by guns were in the United States. Our gun homicide rate for teens and young adults 15-24 years old was 42.7 times higher than the rate for the other countries combined.

There are an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands in America--almost one gun per person. Why is the United States alone in allowing this unbridled epidemic of guns and public health hazard all over America to continue? As parents and grandparents and concerned adults and voters, it is up to us to tell our leaders no more.

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