As a vulnerable population, children are at unique risk from gun violence. Most children are not trained in responsible gun practices. Lack of cognitive development makes it harder for them to appreciate the consequences of their actions.
It is important that we better understand the causes and solutions to gun violence as it impacts children. Oregon has been the location of several tragic school shootings and is plagued by a high rate of gun suicide among teens. Since 1999, 213 Oregon teens have taken their life with a firearm. And Oregon children, like those across the country, continue to die in unintentional shootings – primarily when the firearm was not safely stored.
Government and the general public have an obligation to protect our children. Effective gun laws can reduce the number of firearm fatalities and injuries experienced by young people, making our communities safer.