As Parkland’s sentencing phase continues, new study shows it’s not uncommon for young people to carry guns

A new federal report, based on surveys of young people across the country, including Florida, found that one in 15 boys and one in 50 girls said they had carried a gun in the past 12 months. for non-recreational purposes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Thursday published the results of investigations where teens were asked if they had carried a gun in the past year for reasons other than hunting or sport.

The researchers also found that gun carrying was more common among people who had experienced violence, suicidal thoughts or attempts, or substance use.

“The prevalence of carrying weapons was much higher among certain subgroups of young people, particularly those who missed school for safety reasons and those who experienced violence,” the report said.

“For example, among those who were threatened or injured with a weapon on school grounds, more than one in four boys and one in nine women were carrying a gun. Youth who carried a gun more often were more likely to have used substances and been victims of violence. Young people who carry guns often cite self-protection as the reason.

The report also found that among men, gun carrying was most common among black non-Hispanic students (10.6%), followed by Hispanic students (7.2%) and white non-Hispanic students (6 ,1%).

For women, gun carrying was most common among Hispanic students (3.5%), followed by non-Hispanic black students (2.0%) and non-Hispanic white students (1.1%).

The CDC report notes that suicide and homicide are the second and third leading causes of death among teens ages 14 to 17, and that nearly half of youth suicides and more than 90 percent of youth homicides result from gunshot wounds.

The investigation comes amid an increasingly polarized debate over guns and gun violence in the country following a series of recent shootings, including the killing of 19 students and two teachers at Uvalde in Texas. An 18-year-old former student who was shot dead by law enforcement was the perpetrator.

Currently, a South Florida jury is in the midst of a penalty phase trial to determine whether to recommend the death penalty for Nicholas Cruz. Cruz was 18 when he shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Data was extracted from the 2017 and 2019 versions of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The The final sample included responses from more than 21,800 public and private school students nationwide.

The YRBS is a school-administered survey that asks about behaviors that contribute to unintentional injury and violence, tobacco product use, and alcohol and other drug use. YRBS also includes questions on sex, diet and physical activity.

Florida had been on the national inquiry since 1991. But the governor. Ron DeSantis The administration told the CDC that Florida will not participate in the nationwide surveys and will instead conduct its own assessments. Following the announcement, 38 organizations and 40 individuals signed a letter ask the The DeSantis administration reconsiders its decision.

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Denise W. Whigham