Gun Violence and Children

JUNE IS NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH. Every day, more than 300 people are directly impacted by gun violence in the United States. Gun Violence Awareness Month was created to draw attention to this tragic reality and demand life-saving change. The St. Louis Archdiocese honors this month with a weekly series of bulletin articles.

From the St. Louis Archdiocesan Task Force On Gun Violence Prevention:

“Violence is a crime against humanity, for it destroys the very fabric of society.”  ~ Pope John Paul II

Gun violence is destroying the lives of our children. In 2020, guns surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children. In addition to 2500 homicides, 1300 deaths by suicide by gun, and 150 unintentional shooting deaths, 15,000 children were shot and wounded. In addition, more than three million children witness gun violence each year.

As we hear in the Gospel today how the Kingdom of God can grow abundantly from the smallest of seeds, may we seek ways to prevent our children from witnessing or dying by guns so they can grow and flourish to become creative and beautiful members of our communities.

One way we can address unintentional shootings involving children and many child firearm suicides is when firearms in our homes are locked and stored separately from ammunition. Free gun locks are available at many police departments, St. Louis city and county libraries, and hospital emergency rooms and clinics.

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