Violence with guns is a big problem in the United States. Many people say they want a gun for self-defense, but they don’t understand that self-defense with a gun can be just as dangerous to them as to others. In fact, guns kept in the house for self-protection are 43 times more likely to kill a friend or family member than to kill in self-defense.
Steps to stay safe from gun violence
- Always assume a gun is loaded and could accidentally go off.
- Never point a gun at anyone.
- Don’t put yourself in danger as a bystander. If people you know have guns and are threatening to use them, get out of the area and get help.
- Avoid neighborhoods that you know are dangerous.
- Don’t hang around people you know are violent, or who have threatened violence toward someone else.
- Learn to settle arguments with words, not weapons.
Some facts about children and guns:
- Over 75% of teen killings are gun-related.
- An American child or teen is 12 times more likely to die of a gun injury than a teenager in another developed country.
- About 5000 children and teenagers die of gun-related homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries every year.
- For teens ages 15 to 19, gun-related killings are the second leading cause of death.