Specialisation: Gun Violence On Children And Teenagers

Reducing Gun Violence on Teens and Children in Delaware State Research Problem

Introduction

Gun violence is the criminal ad uncriminal use of firearms on self and against other members of society. In Delaware, the problem of gun violence continues to be a thorn in the flesh as it was considered to have the highest spike in gun deaths between 2019 and 2020 across the entire United States. Additionally, Delaware has a saddening annual average of 107 deaths caused by guns and an average of 279 gun-associated injuries (Everytown, 2022). Additionally, the impact of gun violence is detrimental to the societal context and the economic sector of Delaware state. It is well estimated that Delaware loses at least US$1.4B each year to the societal issue of gun violence (Every stat, 2022). However, the prevalence of gun violence threatens even the future generation of Delaware as it has a detrimental toll on the teenagers and children of Delaware. Annually, an average of 12 minors are killed in Delaware through guns. At this rate, guns remain the leading cause of death in Delaware. Additionally, considering that suicides account for less than 20% of these cases of minor deaths as homicides account for almost 84% of teenagers and children’s gun deaths (Everystat, 2022), there arises a dire need to address this issue that faces the very generation of tomorrow in America. Several contributory factors have led to the escalation of gun violence cases among minors and teenagers.

Causes of Gun Violence on Teenagers and Children in Delaware

Several factors have led to instances of teenagers turning aggressive toward the use of firearms against their fellow teenagers. With the typical ease of accessing firearms in the US, several more significant social problems have been the catalyst of gun violence among teens and children. Qualitative studies that have sought to find the basis of gun violence among teens have found that teens’ relationships with the police are severed and prejudiced by racism (Beck et al.). As a result, the racial perception, as well as lack of cohesion between the teenagers and the police force, can be well attributed to gun violence as police commit gun violence in the assy for legal intervention that is quite racially biased. Sadly, further research findings indicate that black children are six times more likely to be shot by police officers than their white peers (Urell). Therefore, it is crystal clear that racial bias, as well as poor relationships between the police, teenagers, and children, acts as a catalyst to children being impacted by gun violence. Additionally, racial bias and prejudice in the social context of Delaware and the prevalence of gun ownership within the civilian population lead to increased gun violence among teenagers.

As more teenagers and children of Delaware state continue to die or instead get life-changing injuries, poverty in some regions is quite another key to the prevalence of gun violence among teenagers and children. For instance, gun violence in Wilmington, Delaware, leads the entire country compared to other states (Linderman et al.). This prevalence can be well attributed to the poverty rates in Wilmington despite this area’s low population.

Additionally, given that almost a quarter of the population in Wilmington lives below the poverty line, it creates a conducive environment for establishing street gangs. Several instances that have led to the death of minors in Wilmington are associated with gangs, which are approximately 30 of them. Retaliatory gun violence among these gangs in Delaware has been the primary cause of death and gun-related injuries of minors (Linderman et al.). Additionally, the poverty prevalence is well associated with the capability of radicalizing minors’ mentality to embrace aggressiveness with less disregard for the consequences of using gun violence. Thus, minor disagreements, even on social media platforms, can become consequential gun violence among minors. Therefore, poverty within Delaware states contributes to other factors, such as the establishment of gangs that have been the causes of gun violence among teenagers and children in Delaware.

Solution to Gun Violence on Children and Teenagers

As the problem of gun violence on teenagers and children continues to haunt Delaware society, there arises a dire need to implement essential mitigative measures that seek to tame and reduce this social menace. Considering that Delaware is quite lenient as it lacks necessary regulations that criminalize open firearm carrying, it is time to enact such a regulatory measure as a mitigative approach to the prevalence of the civilian armed population. Though this could be a minimal barrier to the perpetuation of gun violence crimes between teenage gangs, a more stringent gun regulation law must be considered. As research indicates, legislation-based intervention through the enaction of safe gun storage practices as well as restricted firearm accessibility to minors is an effective way of addressing pediatric gun violence (Tseng et al. 5). The implementation of gun regulatory measures bears the potential of reducing firearm carrying among teenagers which will be an essential measure against the prevalence of gangs in Delaware. Additionally, reducing pediatric firearm accessibility minimizes instances of over-aggressiveness that culminates in homicides of teens as well as gun-based suicide cases. However, the essential implementation of regulatory gun laws may face several stumbling blocks as gun ownership is considered a fundamental right in the US. Furthermore, such regulations may unduly affect responsible citizens who practice safe gun practices.

Reducing pediatric gun violence against minors also necessitates developing and improving relationships between teenagers and the police. As evident, gun violence in minors can be reduced by fostering more positive interactions with law enforcement and lasting, meaningful connections with adults to prevent or reduce gun violence (Beck et al.). This could serve as a preliminary intervention before the discussion concerning racism that is the basis for using lethal force by police officers on black minors. Understanding the impact of the establishment of gangs in Wilmington, Delaware, raises the need for an effective intervention to tame these gangs that continue to perpetuate gun violence on fellow minors. As gangs change and become more complex, there is a need for new comprehensive approaches, such as using Artificial Intelligence to identify potential indicators of oncoming gun violence among teenagers on social media platforms. A reflection on the case of Gakirah Barnes in Chicago indicates that social media has escalated gang gun violence among minors (McCullom). However, essential developments of internet tools that can identify the telltale signs on social media and discover potential threats can be an effective proactive measure to reduce gang-driven gun violence. However, this method could face hurdles, such as a load of socio-media traffic that the analysts must comb through. Additionally, though high data science applicable to identifying the signs on social media may be quite effective, they may fail to differentiate between showmanship and actual gangs. However, applying proactive AI interventions could help solve the menace that continues to haunt the teenagers and children of Delaware.

Conclusion

As gun violence continues to be the leading cause of death among Delaware minors, it becomes essential to identify the root cause of who is at fault. The government’s laxity on gun regulation takes a toll on the perpetuation of gun violence among minors. The lack of essential gun regulation has been the catalyst for racial-based gun violence, as gang confrontations have detrimental effects on minors’ lives. Though more significant social issues exist that need to be addressed, such as racial prejudice against blacks, there is a dire need to reduce gun accessibility in Delaware by enacting the necessary gun regulations. Additionally, this measure should be applied cautionary and rationally so that it does not infringe on gun ownership rights and affects noble citizens. Additionally, proactive artificial intelligence can be an effective measure to identify potential threats among minor gangs priorly. Such measures can be effective if applied within the Delaware context. Thus, pediatric gun violence can be reduced if the state and federal governments collaborate to tame gun access in minors and implement proactive social media outlooks.

Works Cited

Beck, B., et al. “Why Urban Teens Turn to Guns: Urban Teens’ Own Words on Gun Violence.” Public Health (London), vol. 177, 2019, pp. 66–70,

EveryStat. “Gun Violence in Delaware”. EveryStat, 2022, everystat.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/10/Gun-Violence-in-Delaware-1.pdf.

Everytown. “As gun violence in Delaware reaches new levels, state lawmakers have the chance to tackle gun violence during the 2022 legislative session.” Everytown, 11 Jan. 2022, www.everytown.org/press/as-gun-violence-in-Delaware-reaches-new-levels-state-lawmakers-have-the-chance-to-tackle-gun-violence-during-the-2022-legislative-session/. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2019.06.020.

Linderman, J., Horn, B., Parra, E., & Fenn, L. (2017, September 8). Growing up under fire: Wilmington, Delaware, leads the US in teen shootings. USATODAY. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/09/08/wilmington-delaware-leads-u-s-teen-shootings/619458001/

McCullom, Rod. “A Murdered Teen, Two Million Tweets and an Experiment to Fight Gun Violence.” Nature (London), vol. 561, no. 7721, 2018, pp. 20–22, https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-06169-8.

Tseng, Joshua, et al. “Firearm legislation, gun violence, and mortality in children and young adults: a retrospective cohort study of 27,566 children in the USA.” International Journal of Surgery 57 (2018): 30–34.

Urell, A. “Black and Hispanic children are significantly more likely to be killed by police.” Equal Justice Initiative, 3 June 2022, eji.org/news/black-children-are-six-times-more-likely-to-be-shot-to-death-by-police/.