NEW YORK (NewsNation) — For the last two decades, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children, but now the tide has tragically turned and gun-related homicides have taken the top spot, researchers say.
The vast majority of children suffering gun-related deaths in America are not getting shot in a classroom — it’s happening where they live and play.
“Our kids are dying. Kids are dying. We see that in the hospital; we pray with the mother,” said Iesha Sekou, the founder of Street Corner Resources.
Sekou’s organization seeks to combat gun and gang violence in the Harlem community. Sekou is also a violence interrupter who goes into dangerous areas to deescalate confrontations before they turn deadly.
The CDC discovered the firearm death rate for Black children was more than four times that of White children.
Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles are among the cities overwhelmed with youth gun-related violence, but it can happen anywhere in the nation. Ghost guns have also become a big contributor to gun-related deaths in urban America.
“What stops violence from happening is when our young people will begin to feel better about who they are,” Sekou said.
Among the possible solutions to reduce gun-related deaths are positive engagement with young people, employment opportunities and gun violence prevention programs.
Millions have been spent on prevention already, yet the shootings keep happening.