Statement by the President: Health and Human Services Report on Gun Deaths (7/24/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Camp David, Maryland)
For Immediate Release
July 24, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released promising new
data today showing that the number of children killed by gunfire in America
continues to decline.  The HHS report shows that 3,792 children and teens
were killed with guns in 1998 - a 10 percent decline from the year before.
The reduction is even more significant when compared to 1994: 2,000 fewer
young people were killed by gunfire in 1998 than in 1994 - a 35 percent
decrease.  Our combined efforts to reduce gun violence and save lives are
indeed having an impact.

     While these figures are encouraging, there is no question that gun
violence is still far too prevalent in our nation.  Despite our progress,
10 young people are killed with guns every day in America.  All of us must
work together toward a solution.  Parents must ensure that guns are stored
safely to prevent accidental shootings.  Schools and communities must give
children positive alternatives to steer them away from guns and violence.
Law enforcement must crack down on gun traffickers who supply young people
with firearms and armed criminals who commit violence against our children.
And the gun industry must responsibly design, distribute and market its
products to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands.

     Congress has an important role to play as well by fully funding my
$280 million National Gun Enforcement Initiative and by passing the stalled
common-sense gun safety legislation that can help keep guns out of the
hands of children and criminals.  Working together, we can keep gun
violence on the decline and the prospects for our children?s future going


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