In March, hundreds of thousands of students, including many from New Jersey, joined the pro-gun-control March for Our Lives across the U.S. At the same time, students in schools across New Jersey participated in a school walkout of their classrooms as part of a national show of activism to call for an end to gun violence in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

While such exuberance is to be complimented, to be honest and responsible, one must be aware of the difficulty of their task and the requirements of a winning strategy. All too often, we have seen such displays peter out as opposing forces stand in the way. For example, in 2011 an Occupy Wall Street protest movement received global attention objecting to social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and undue influence of corporations on government. However, without a specific program of objectives and a means to reach them, it had little or no impact.

To fully appreciate the task at hand, we must be aware of how each branch of the U.S. government has reacted to the scourge of gun violence and efforts to reduce the toll.

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By Alan L. Moss

In spite of the public outcry, gun violence continues to increase.

The numbers are staggering.

Between 2014 and 2017, total incidents of gun violence in the United States are up by 19 percent, from 51,848 to 61,701; deaths rose by 24 percent, from 12,558 to 15,619; and the number of children and teens injured or killed by guns skyrocketed by 35 percent, from 2,942 to 3,975. By international standards, these numbers reflect gun violence many times that experienced by other developed nations.

According to a recently released report by the Giffords Center, New Jersey averages 280 gun-related homicides, 184 gun-related suicides, 764 nonfatal interpersonal shootings and 599 unintended shootings per year.

Our vulnerability to out-of-control gun violence is reflected in last month’s chaos at Trenton’s Art All Night festival at which a gang dispute resulted in one death and 29 injuries, one critical, as gunfire exploded and patrons ran for the exits.

It is the haunting image of young students in school hiding from a deranged shooter with a weapon of war that hits home. From the 1999 Columbine massacre to the 2018 Santa Fe shooting, over 214,000 students have been directly exposed to gun violence in 216 schools. The fear implanted by such incidents knows no geographic border, seeping into the minds of millions of our youth.

Perhaps the one positive from all this carnage has been the determination of young people to take action that might effect change.

In March, hundreds of thousands of students, including many from New Jersey, joined the pro-gun-control March for Our Lives across the U.S. At the same time, students in schools across New Jersey participated in a school walkout of their classrooms as part of a national show of activism to call for an end to gun violence in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

While such exuberance is to be complimented, to be honest and responsible, one must be aware of the difficulty of their task and the requirements of a winning strategy. All too often, we have seen such displays peter out as opposing forces stand in the way. For example, in 2011 an Occupy Wall Street protest …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News

      

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