"Education is better than legislation in the battle to save children from guns"

Essay by Jake20University, Bachelor's February 2003

download word file, 7 pages 3.7


Children in America are exposed to gun violence every day, whether it is on TV, computer games, or witnessing a murder while walking through the inner city streets on their way to school. Like it or not, guns are a part of life, and not just here in America. You can find some kind of gun in every country in the world. So how do we best prevent our children from using them on themselves and each other? I propose that education, not legislation, is the best way to save children from guns.

Dr. Michael J. Harkness, a children's doctor from Pennsylvania, says, "Learning about gun safety is like riding in a car with a seat belt. You're not afraid to ride, but buckling up can help keep you safe if there is an accident." He also says, "Kids need to understand that guns aren't toys and learn how to behave around them."

(Kids Health.com, 2002)

Gun accidents involving both children and adults has actually fallen dramatically in the last two decades, almost entirely because of private safety efforts. According to the most recent figures from the National Safety Council, in nineteen eighty-eight, two hundred and seventy-seven children under the age of fifteen were killed by accidental firearm discharges. That number represents a forty-eight percent drop from nineteen seventy-four, even though the number of guns per capita increased. From nineteen sixty-eight to nineteen ninety-eight, the annual rate of fatal gun accidents fell from 1.2 per 100,000 Americans to 0.6. Thanks to private educational efforts, including programs sponsored by the NRA, the Boy Scouts, 4H and other groups, the firearm accident rate has been cut in half. (Kopel, 2002)

A 1991 study by the General Accounting Office...