David Kennedy

Recent Articles

Can We Keep Guns away from Kids?

The Brady Bill was a modest beginning. But if we want to stop youth violence, we need to crack down on the black markets for firearms.

The Brady Bill and an assault weapon ban are finally law. Congress may add a few frills like fee hikes for federally licensed gun dealers and tax hikes on ammunition. But the killing in our core cities, especially the killing of young black men by other young black men, will continue almost as if nothing has happened. Yet something must surely be done. Youth gun homicide has risen sharply since the mid-1980s. It is now higher for teenagers than for the general population, and far higher for black teenage males: in 1990, roughly 100 killed for every 100,000 between the ages of 15 and 19 (versus 9.7 for every 100,000 white males in the same age group). The gun homicide rate conceals a mass of nonfatal woundings--some 5.7 for every death. And the problem is getting worse, not better. The reality on the street is even starker. A 1993 national poll by LH Research found that 30 percent of black adults know a child who was wounded or killed by another child with a gun. Drive through...