Marian Wright-Edelman

Marian Wright-Edelman, Children's Defense Fund

*This month The Children’s Defense Fund released a new report, Protect Children, Not Guns 2012.

Dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin, and the thousands of children and teens killed by guns each year in America, this report analyzes the most recent data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state of America’s gun laws.

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How many children and teenagers must die before we all say enough is enough? If you were outraged by the senseless death of Trayvon Martin and by tragic child gun deaths in your community, go to the gun report and find out what you can do to make a difference.

      Did you know 5,740 children and teens were killed by guns in just two years, 2008 and 2009?

    • One child or teen was killed by a gun every three hours,
    • Eight every day,
    • 55 every week for two years.

If those children were alive today, they would fill 229 public school classrooms.

Did you know more children and teenagers were killed by guns in America in those two years than the total number of U.S. military personnel killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Did you know the number of preschoolers killed by guns in 2008 (88) and 2009 (85) was almost double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48)?

America is the undisputed world leader in gun violence. Analysis of the most recent data from 23 industrialized nations shows that 87 percent of the children under age 15 killed by guns lived in the United States. It is long past time for America to become a world leader in reducing gun violence for children and teenagers, take back our streets and neighborhoods from the powerful gun lobby, and make our communities safer for our children. Read Marian Wright Edelman’s most recent column, It’s Past Time to Protect Children Not Guns, and download or view our interactive gun report online. Arm yourself with the facts, then contact your representatives and let them know you support common-sense gun safety laws.

The Children’s Defense fund invites attendees for the 2012 national conference, Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence. This is not a talk conference, this is an act conference. Organize a Child Action Team in your community, come as a team to the conference July 22 – 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio and learn the most effective way you can make a difference and meet the needs of children in your community. Learn more about the program and register today. A discount for early registration is available through April 20th.

For more information on Child Action Teams contact Christopher Glaros, CDF National Field Organizing Coordinator.

Gun homicide was the leading cause of death among Black teenagers 15 to 19 years old in 2008 and 2009. For White teens the same age the leading cause was motor vehicle accidents followed by gun homicide (2008) and gun suicide (2009). In 2009, Black males 15 to 19 were eight times as likely as White males the same age to be killed in a gun homicide.

As hundreds of thousands of people protest the tragic death of Trayvon Martin online and in the streets and churches around the country—read and share Marian Wright Edelman’s deeply moving column, Walking While Black.