Violence Fact Sheet

U.S.

Firearms kill more people between the ages of 15-24 than all natural causes combined.
Guns are killing 13 children a day. Guns wound 30 more children every day. (Rep. Charles Schumer)
A new gun is produced every 20 seconds. (Bureau of alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms)
Because of a child’s smaller size, a simple gunshot can do significant damage – it doesn’t take a multiple gunshot wound to kill a child. (NY Times, 3/2/94)
The leading cause of death for both black and white teen-age boys is gunshot wounds.
There are an estimated one million semi-automatic assault weapons in private hands in the U.S. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms)
There are over 200 million privately-owned guns in the U.S. – almost enough for every man, woman, and child. 67 million of these are handguns. (Quest for Peace)
Youth 16-19 years old are the biggest victims of gun violence. (Quest for Peace)
Guns as a constitutional right?
The 2nd amendment says:
“a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed”
So, only a right to bear arms when you’re in state militia or army.
Between 1979 and 1991, 50,000 children have been killed by firearms.
(Jason Barnosky, The Peace Progress)
The cost of firearms injury is estimated at $20.4 billion per year; 85% is paid by taxpayer dollars.
Gun Lobbyist ar flown into Washington D.C. to pressure Congressmen and women to vote against ban on assault weapons. Victims of gunfire can’t fly in.
Where are all these guns coming from? Who makes them? How do people get them?
There are 1200 Federally licensed firearms manufacturers in the U.S.
Three US companies (all owned by the Jennings family) supply most of the small, cheap handguns associated with the majority of urban crime. (US department of Commerce, Fellowship of Reconciliation)
9 out of 10 world’s largest arms making companies are in the U.S. (leading American gun manufacturers: Remington arms, Colt’s Manufacturing, Smith & Wesson, Feather Industries, Taurus) 90% of the US arms sales go to unelected governments.
Sources of last gun obtained by
Family/Friends 31%
Black Market 28%
Retail Outlet 27%
Theft 9%
Other 5%

There are about 2 million illegal, unlicensed guns in NYC (Quest for Peace) look at the Brady Bill, how is the system of background check & waiting period working? is there a registration system?
Guns are virtually (?) the only unregulated consumer product in the U.S. Teddy bears are subject to strict safety regulations, guns are not. (CDF) Weapons are not being sold as if they were appliances, as if they were like any sort of trade commodity. Selling weapons requires responsibility, buying weapons requires responsibility.
Check the “restricted weapon act.” The Bush administration banned 43 tyueps of imported guns because they did not meet the “sporting purposes” test required for firearm imports under federal law. (If other countries had this same import requirement, US weapons manufacturers would be out of business. Why not same requirements on guns made in the USA?)
53% of gun owners do not keep their guns locked up. (Quest for Peace) many young children are killed each year as they play with guns they find in the home..a gun is almost twice as likely to be used to commit homicide, suicide of accidental killing than it is to used for self-defense. (CDF) gun owners need to take responsibility for their weapons, are there any restrictions made upon the owner?
Gun manufacturers have long had the ability to make handguns safer by designing them so that they will fire only in the hands of an authorized user – making them “personalized.” In addition, handguns, like the Beretta Compact L, contain no indicators to warn unintended users – like children that the guns are still loaded. (Center to Prevent Handgun Violence)
On April 10, 1995 a California judge struck a severe blow to America’s Multi-million dollar-a-year gun industry deciding that an assault weapon maker may be held accountable for the damages resulting from the criminal misuse for its product. (Center to prevent Handgun Violence)
The US, former Soviet Union, France, Britain, China, and Germany have sold 90% of the arms to the rest of the world in the past two decades. (Jason Barnosky, The Peace Process)
The US has increased its sales to the third world…The US share of the market has gone from 12% to 20% to 73% currently. Third world arms recipients include 59 authoritian governments.
“Arms Trade Code of Conduct” bill (1995 bill numbers: H.R. 772, S. 326) introduced by Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-OR) and Rep. Cynthia Mckinney (D-GA) would end US weapons sales to countries that:
1. Abuse human rights
2. Deny democratic rights
3. Attack other countries of their own people
4. Refuse to participate in the UN Arms Trade Registry.
The arms trade does not bring security, but aggression, repression and instability.

IDEAS

A gun buyback program, kids to make sculpture of melted-down guns and bullets.
Vigil at place where a person has lost his or her life to gun violence.
The Safety Pledge (from firearm Safety for children)
If I see a gun or anything that looks like a gun
I will not touch it,
I will go get an adult,
Because guns can hurt me
And I want to be safe,
It’s not cool to fool with guns.

BANNING LANDMINES

What does a landmine look like? We have seen guns, grenades, knives…one of the dangers of landmines is that we can’t see them.
Landmines are indiscriminate weapons – they can’t tell teh difference between a soldier’s boot of a child’s foot. Landmines are planted during times of war, and then left.
Landmines can’t discriminate between time of war or peace.
The US currently has a moratorium on exporting landmines. It should become a permanent ban.
Landmines make areas inhabitable, preventing refugees from returning home, inhibit postwar reconstruction and produce an on going threat. In Somalia, nomads have to change their entire lifestyle, they can no longer migrate because of the threat of the landmines so they had to move to the city. In Angola, rich farmland and natural resources that could help the livelihood of many goes unused because the land is littered with landmines. Africa does not manufacture landmines. They were imported from NATO and former Warsaw pact countries: Landmines sent to Angola from Portugal, Russia, Cambodia. Sent to Mozambique from Russia, Eastern Europe, South Africa. Also, from Czech Republic, Pakistan and Belgium. (from Gerald Powers, USSCC/NCBB) (**find recent Human Rights Report on Landmines)

Removal of Landmines

Landmine costs $3-5 to produce.
Landmine removal costs $300-1000.
Removal is very technical. Therefore experts are in charge of the removal. The experts are the producers. Landmine producers are making a double profit, first producing them, then removing them.

(**find out more about the US mission to UN, Laurie Shestak: US sponsered mission is training indigenous people to remove mines in Mozambique – what’s involved in this)

ACTION

Ban Landmines; their use, production, stockpiling and transfer. Biological and Chemical weapons have been banned.
Enforce an Export Moratorium. Senator Leehey has initiated this until Nov. 1996, 30 countries have joined the US in this.
Moratorium on landmine use. (see congressional quarterly. Senator Nunn)
Undertake and fund intensiv mine clearance efforts.
Rehabilitation of landmine victims.

CODE OF CONDUCT ON ARMS TRANSFERS OF 1995 (H.R. 772/S. 326)

Code of Conduct would prohibit arms exports that does not meet these criteria: -democratic form of government
respect for basic human rights of citizens
non-aggression (against other states)
full participation in the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms

More Topics

Making soldiers in public schools? The Army JROTC Program
JROTC is the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. US Senate Defense Authorization bill (S3114) proposes to increase the number of JROTC programs in junior and senior high schools throughout the US by 28%. (see if this passed)
The Federal Government should support quality education, not sending youth to a culture of military violence and war. Many join JROTC in exchange for college tuition help – there should be other options for those wishing to attend college.

Violent Toys

Each February is the International Toy Fair in New York City-
What about toy guns, Power Rangers – what’s the source behind this – is it what we see on TV, movies – or what we see other kids and adults do when they’re angry.
UN Arms Trade Registry Reports should become mandatory and include models of weapons. Expand the types of reportable weapons systems and require lists of domestic production and holdings. (find out how registry works right now)

Anti-Violence Programs In Schools

Need for a safe place to learn?.

Many “Quick Fixes” of installing security systems and locker searches.

Questions about current programs, Ideas from National Coaltion of Education Activists:

Are three only free-standing programs, workshops? Or are problem solving approaches integrated throughout the curricula? Workshop as a spring board.
Does the school have a mission statement about equity and violence prevention?
Are all students involved, or are certain groups/ages singled out?
Are students given an opportunity to act on what they learn?
Is there peer mediation program in the school? Is mediation voluntary or part of the discipline process?
Is training in conflict resolution and mediation available to all members of the school community?
Is there any information sent home? Are school-based programs connected to violence prevention programs in the community? From Violence Prevention for Adolescents in Parenting for Peace & Justice:
Stay on Center, stay in control. Don’t let your fear, anger or defensiveness throw you off balance, and don’t let someone else force you into fighting.
Breathe deeply, move slowly and stay calm.
Keep it Cool, keep your voice low and calm. Calling someone names, shouting or swearing will make the other person defensive. Keep the situation from escalating.
Stand in the Other Person’s s#@$%s. It’s easier to figure out te best way to handle the situation if you can relate to the other person. Try to understand what he or she wants, thinks, and feels. It will put you in a better position to wor things out and stand up for yourself.
Give a way out. Usually the other person is as interested in saving face as you are. Don’t back the person into a corner where he or she will have to fight. Provide a different way out.
Body Language: make eye-contact, legs and arms uncrossed, take deep breaths, sit or stand together.

Take a Break

Language: Helpful words: maybe, what if, I feel, it seems like, I think, sometimes, perhaps, I wonder.
Escalating/Tense words: never, always, unless, can’t, won’t , don’t, shouldn’t, mustn’t, better not.