RAAPS Question #8 Weapon Carrying
When teens are in possession of a weapon like a gun or a knife, they not only pose a serious threat to their own health, but to other people around them. It is not uncommon for teens to have access to weapons and carry them when they feel threatened, neglected, or pressured. New research is shedding light on a link between being bullied and reports of carrying a weapon for protection. Nearly 7% of high school students in 2005 reported taking a gun, knife, or club to school in the past 30 days of being surveyed. RAAPS data show 11.8% of teens reported carrying a weapon for protection, increasing with age to 14.4% of 15-18 year olds. Weapon carrying among adolescents is associated with an increased risk of injuries and hospitalization. As a result of weapon carrying and use, approximately 5,686 young people between ages 10-24 were murdered in 2005, an average of 16 deaths per day. Additionally, over 720,000 violence related injuries to young people ages 10-24 were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2006 with costs of youth violence exceeding $158 billion each year.