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While U.S. Senator Mike Braun battles the gun safety public health issue, parents preach gun security



Indianapolis, Indiana – Children in Marion County who have been affected by guns and gun violence had a difficult week last week.

A five-year-old was unintentionally shot, a 16-year-old presented to Riley Hospital for Children with a gunshot wound, a 17-year-old required medical attention after being shot on Bellhaven Drive, and a 15-year-old who had been shot numerous times on Sherman Drive presented to Riley in severe condition.

In addition, two 16-year-olds are among the four kids accused of killing a teenager in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in the course of an alleged marijuana heist in late May.

Mayor Joe Hogsett highlighted some of the activities the City of Indianapolis has implemented on Friday nights in Indy Parks to protect kids from gun violence during a bag giveaway sponsored by former Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings at Tarkington Park.

”And it’s not just basketball and it’s not just volleyball,” said Hogsett. “It involves boxing, it involves taekwondo, there’s a lot of different things that the Office of Public Health and Safety and parks throughout the community have been offering young people this summer to keep them safe and occupied over the course of the weekend.”

Parents in Tarkington Park realized that the threat of local violence occasionally interferes with their children’s school life as they watched their kids play on the playground and splash around in the splash pad.

“Just living in the community where we live, there’s just a lot of violence, especially last year there were a couple of police chases during the school year where the kids had to be in lockdown,” said Danielle Dean.

According to Outreach Indiana’s Kacey Rudolph, a youthlink diversion expert, parents may take action to reduce gun violence in their neighborhoods.

”The adults in this need to make sure that guns, legal guns, are locked away and kept away from the reach of these children,” said Rudolph. “It is a sad day when we wake up and a three-year-old has been shot to death by a sibling.”

In Indianapolis, two young children have already perished from self-inflicted or unintentional gunshot wounds this year.

Dr. Virginia Caine, the director of Marion County Public Health, recently disclosed to FOX59 that she would facilitate community discussions to propose establishing a child gunshot wound public health emergency in Marion County.

“It’s something we’ve been looking at very carefully quite honestly and frankly in the past couple of weeks,” said Caine. “We’re sitting down with some of our experts and even city council members in terms of looking at this. I don’t have the answer yet, but it’s something that we’re really leaning significantly close to doing. Once you put something out there like that, it really gets a lot of attention that otherwise would not happen.”

A recent amendment to the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in Washington, D.C., by Indiana’s U.S. Senator Mike Braun would prohibit the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services from designating gun violence as a public health emergency.

”Recently, the Secretary of Health and Human Services stated that gun violence is a public health emergency,” said Braun in a committee hearing. “This would give HHS the ability to restrict Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. HHS was never intended to implement gun control of any kind. My amendment … would simply prohibit HHS from declaring a public health emergency to implement gun control.”

During the event at Tarkington Park, Dean recognized that gun control at, its most basic and personal level, starts in the home.

”Don’t keep your guns where kids can grab them,” said Dean. “If you keep guns in your house, make sure they’re in a lock box and your kids don’t know where they are.”


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