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Ephemera

 The levels of violence seen in the United States surpass those in any other developed country. According to data from the World Health Organization, the rate of death by homicide among US males aged 15 to 24 years is 10 times higher than that in Canada, 15 times higher than in Australia, and 28 times higher than in France or Germany. World Health Statistics Annual, 1994. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1995.

 According to the US Department of Justice, almost 3 million crimes occur on or near school property each year. The number of students reporting violent crime at school rose 23.5% between 1989 and 1995, according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics. Although the rise was only from 3.4% to 4.2%, the Commissioner of Education Statistics, Pascal D. Forgione, noted that this represents an increase of about 270,000 students. Sniffen MJ. Gangs, violence rising in schools (Associated Press). Record. April 13, 1998: A-5

 Firearms are second only to motor vehicles as instruments of death in the US. In 1995, approximately 100,000 people were treated in US hospital emergency rooms for firearm injuries and 36,000 people died from firearm injuries. Gun-related death in the US is eight times higher than in other developed countries around the world, (National Summary of Injury Mortality Data, 1988-1994. Atlanta, Ga: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. November 1996).  and children under 15 in this country die of gunshot wounds at a rate 12 times greater than that of children from 25 other industrialized countries. (National Summary of Injury Mortality Data, 1988-1994. Atlanta, Ga: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. November 1996).  Firearms are associated with 70% of homicides and over 50% of suicides. Each year, approximately 1400 deaths are caused by unintentional firearm-related injuries. The cost of this bloodshed has been estimated at over $20 billion. (Violence. In: Prothrow-Stith D, Spivak H. Comprehensive Adolescent Health Care. New York, NY: Harper Collins)