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Guns and Teen Violence and Death Essay

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Each year, guns end the lives of thousands of young people. Families and friends
are left to cope with the loss of a life lived and to have a future overshadowed by the
violence. Nearly 80% of all teenage deaths are the result of violence like homicides,
suicides motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injury( “Risk and
Protective”).Teenage violence has gone up almost 300% in the last thirty years (“Teenage
Violence in America”,1) and it is still rising.

In 1998, among youth ages 10 to 19 in the United States, there were 2,601
homicide deaths, and homicide was the second leading cause of death for the age group
(“ Youth Violence Statistics”). Also in 1999, 1,763 youth under 18 were arrested for
homicide in the United States ( “Youth Violence Statistics”). After reading these two
statistics there is only one conclusion you could come to. Our young people today are out
of control. Teenagers have our world in the palm of their hand and they are slowly
destroying our wonderful communities all around the world.

It is now generally believed that multiple factors combine to contribute to and
shape behavior over the course of adolescent development. Studies suggest it is the
confluence to certain “risk” factors that contribute to violent behavior and the existence
of certain “protective” factors that create resiliency. Risk factors are generally defined as
scientifically established factors or determinants for which there is strong objective
evidence of causal relationship to a problem. Protective factors are those that potentially
decrease the likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. Both of these factors can
influence the level of risk an indicial experience or can moderate the relationship between
the risk and the outcome of behavior (“Risk and Protective Factors”).
Researchers have come up with what they call The Ecological Model. In these
model there are four levels of factors that they say contributes to the behavior of an
individual (“Risk and Protective”). The first level is Environmental. This level plays an
important role in creating conditions that can contribute to a culture of violence among a
particular group of people or in given community (“Risk and Protective”). The
environmental factors are those that consider larger issue such as social values and the
impact of the media policy of...


... middle of paper ...


...re was an interview with a man whose son was just
killed. In the interview the reporter said “You know, you did everything right. Your son
went to the best school. He was an athlete and a scholar. He had a scholarship for college.

He was well liked by everyone and he did everything right yet he was killed.” The man
then looked up and he said “I forgot to do one thing. I forgot to raise the other children” (
Prothrow, 2). After I read that I just wanted to cry. Parents are taking the blame for their
children’s death when they should not be. A parent can only do so much and it is up to
that child to choose how to use what their parents gave them. Every parent in America
should realize that as long as they are doing their part it is not their fault. It is not a
parent’s responsibility to raise the whole world. It is just their responsibility to raise their
own and do a good job with that.
To prevent teen violence, there are many obstacles that must be overcome.
Children need to be brought up in a safe healthy environment. We need to emphasize
youth and community evolvement and we need to have classes to teach out children
responsibility and confidence.


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