As we look to the next President of the United States, there are many issues at the forefront of the American voter. For some the issue involving gun control is more important today than ever before when considering the impact guns have played in youth violence.
While security within cities and schools has improved, there are still a significant number of youth who have relatively easy access to firearms, with many still involved in youth gang activity.
While gun control opponents would say the surge in youth violence will not decline with stricter gun control laws, proponents, quite naturally, would disagree. In fact, opponents often cite the increase in school and youth violence can be attributed to the increase in youth population as a whole, the effect media plays upon the perception of violence within our children and the increase in access to illegal drugs within the inner city. While these may all be factors, there is still a disproportionate number of youth related violent activities.
Proponents of gun control are quick to point out the numerous studies which seem to support the increasing trend of youth violence, both in and out of school, which does not seem to be declining, even in the face of zero tolerance programs. What is even more disconcerting is the victim of these violent youth acts in which most are children themselves.
So, how do our young people acquire guns? For many, the gun used in violent crime can be linked back to a family member or acquaintance that may have given the child the gun as a gift, in exchange for something of comparable value, or may have been found. Also, in most cases, these same children had been exposed to, or were directly involved in, some sort of illegal activity.
As a nation, as we seek to reduce youth violence, there is great debate over the impact gun control laws will have on this effort. In an effort to protect our rights to bear arms, many Americans do not feel placing tighter gun control laws in place will deter youth from using a gun in a violent act. Still, we seek to restrict and contain the purchase, sale and use of guns of all makes and brands.
As this next Presidential election approaches, it is important to look at all of the major platforms and issues and find those that are most important to your family. If youth violence and gun control are an issue of concern, research the statistics with regard to youth violence in your city or town and then develop your opinions and feelings about gun control and vote accordingly.