Nearly One Third of Kids
Murdered With Handguns Are Shot And Killed by Other Kids, VPC Study Reveals
and youth are murdered with handguns more often than with all other weapons
combined, according to a new 27-page study released today by the Violence
Policy Center (VPC). Kids in the
Line of Fire: Children, Handguns, and Homicide is a first-time
analysis of handgun murders of children up to age 17. The study analyzes
unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) homicide data for the
five-year period 1995 through 1999�the most recent data available. During
this period, nearly a third (32.1 percent) of child handgun homicide victims
were murdered by another child. Other findings include: an average of
two children per day were murdered with handguns in the U.S. from 1995
to 1999; and, that black children had the highest rate of handgun homicide
victimization�seven times higher than that of white children.
"Although a tragedy
in New Bedford, Massachusetts, was apparently averted this week, two kids
are murdered with handguns every day in our country," states Karen Brock,
VPC health policy analyst and study author. "Children can't legally buy
handguns, children can't legally possess handguns�yet they are killing
each other with handguns. The reason: children still have easy access
to handguns because of the lax practices of an unregulated gun industry
and the mistaken idea that a handgun in the home offers protection, when
in reality it is far more likely to result in horrific consequences."
in the Line of Fire contains both national and state statistics.
It ranks states by both rate of child victims murdered by a handgun, as
well as rate of child shooters who murdered with a handgun. The report
also ranks states by the percentage of child homicides in which a handgun
was used. Additional data for the top 15 states include: race of victim;
type of firearm used; relationship of victim to offender; and, the circumstances
of the homicide.
For the years 1995
through 1999, the overall national rate of child handgun homicide victims
in the U.S. was 1.20 per 100,000. For that period, 11 states had child
handgun homicide victim rates higher than the national average: Maryland
(2.86 per 100,000); Louisiana (2.4 per 100,000); Illinois (2.24 per 100,000);
California (2.19 per 100,000); Nevada (1.85 per 100,000); Arizona (1.69
per 100,000); Missouri (1.39 per 100,000); Tennessee (1.37 per 100,000);
Alabama (1.28 per 100,000); Georgia (1.27 per 100,000); and, Oklahoma
(1.23 per 100,000).
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x105