April 9, 2001
Kids in other countries are not shooting each other
Thanks for a well balanced and solution- oriented article on kids and school violence, There's no Band-Aid big enough for these problems (March 26).
Of special note was the discussion on the role of guns in the youth violence and suicide problem. Many people want to deny that guns and easy access have a role in this problem, but this issue is unique to America. Kids in other countries are not shooting each other.
According to the state superintendent of schools, 135 kids brought guns to school last year. We could have had a school shooting tragedy once every 3 days in Washington state.
Also, the Washington Department of Health reports that firearms are the most common method of youth suicide and account for more suicide-related deaths among youths than all other methods.
Our kids are finding easy access to firearms. People that choose to own firearms must securely lock their firearms to prevent these tragedies.
As your article points out, there are many factors that are contributing to the violence problem.
We must acknowledge the role that guns play in this problem and recognize that there are viable solutions that don't prevent home owners from protecting themselves and don't compromise our public safety.
Barry Shaw, Woodinville, president - Ceasefire Foundation of Washington