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Republicans Press Repeal of Gun-Free School Zones Act

This article is part 6 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A handful of Republicans have signed on to a bill that would repeal portions of the 1990 Gun-Free Schools Zones Act, saying the federally imposed ban on carrying firearms within a certain distance of school campuses is “ineffective” and nonsensical.

The bill, H.R. 34, called the Safe Students Act, was introduced by Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie earlier this month. It’s a near carbon copy of the bill that Ron Paul, ex-congressman from Texas, tried to pass several years ago.

“Gun-free school zones are ineffective,” Massie said. “They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments. Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.” Read more

Caught in the Crossfire: Children and Gun Violence

As Child’s World America reflects upon the events that took place at Sandy Hook four years ago, it is vital to recognize that childhood gun violence continues to occur throughout the nation. Dr. Marano exposes the varied experiences children and youths face in Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. —Cyndi Maurer, PhD (editor)


 

On a Saturday morning in August, a white carriage drawn by two white horses makes its way through the streets of Camden, its top-hatted driver bearing a solemn expression. Inside the carriage is the body of 8-year-old Gabrielle Hill-Carter, struck in the head by a stray bullet as she played across from her home several days before.

Gabby, as she was known, was but one of the recent child victims of gun violence in our area. In the poor neighborhoods of Camden and Philadelphia, adults have a great deal of experience planning funerals for children who were shot while playing outside their own homes. Often, as in Gabby’s case, the families need help from friends, neighbors, and strangers to pay for the burials. Read more

The Human Cost of Irresponsible Gun Ownership

A few months ago, I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I noticed a news report about a child finding a loaded gun left out by a grandparent. The usual emotions coursed through my body—anger, sadness, anxiety, empathy—and my heart went out to the child’s mother even though she was a stranger. Vivid images of stark hospital rooms, beeping medical equipment, doctors, and blood flashed before my eyes, and in that split second I journeyed back in time. I know all too well how an unintentional shooting can affect a family. I’ve been that mother whose child found a loaded gun at the grandparents’ house.

On April 5, 2002, my two young boys, Eli (4) and Ethan (1), traveled with their father to visit his mother in Louisville, Kentucky. Their father and I had separated, and he wanted to take the children to spend some time with his mother. When he arrived at the house, his mother and stepfather were not there, so he used his key and went inside.

eli-and-the-slideAt some point, Eli went in search of children’s books that were left on the headboard of a bed while his father changed Ethan’s diaper. Lying on top of the books was a handgun. Read more

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