“There’s an alarming and growing fear that young people are not safe in our cities.
In my view, the real threat is not gun violence,” says Dr Andrew Copeland, a senior research scientist at the Australian National University.
“The real danger is a huge increase in gun violence.”
That’s where we are right now.
People are shooting up their streets.
The reality is we are losing young people, and young people at the same time.
“It is a real threat.
If we continue down this path, we are going to end up with young people in the street.”
In the latest national survey of youth, Dr Copeland found that of the nearly 3,000 people aged between 16 and 24 who responded to the survey, around 40 per cent had been the victim of violence.
The national survey also found that gun ownership among young people is increasing in the United States, but in Australia it is dropping.
“We are seeing a drop in the rate of gun ownership,” Dr Copel says.
He says there are three ways that violence can be reduced: by reducing gun ownership, improving mental health, and working together.””
I think we’re seeing a lot of things that are not necessarily gun control but can be contributing to the increase in violence in the city, particularly in inner-city areas.”
He says there are three ways that violence can be reduced: by reducing gun ownership, improving mental health, and working together.
“In Australia, we have a very robust mental health system and we do have a robust firearms program,” he says.
“But what we don’t have is a strong gun control program.”
We have a lot to do in the next few years to improve our mental health and strengthen our gun laws, particularly as more people become urban.
“The problem with our cities is that they are very vulnerable to crime.
People aren’t safe in them.”
There is a lot that can be done to make the city safer for young people.
“That includes getting a stronger mental health network in place, strengthening the mental health community, making sure the police have the resources they need to do their job.”
The national report found that most young people surveyed had had experienced some type of violence, including death or serious injury.
“One of the most important things is to make sure that we are working with young men and women to build bridges and understand that violence is not a solution,” Dr Helaine Oliphant, director of the Australian Institute of Criminology, says.
But she warns that the rise of gun violence has also been linked to a rise in youth suicides.
“For a lot, the increase is being driven by people wanting to get away from their parents,” she says.
The report also found there was no relationship between gun ownership and gun violence or violence towards other young people but that young gun owners are more likely to be victims of violence than non-gun owners.
“These are young people who have not yet had the opportunity to grow up, and that can have a devastating effect on them,” Dr Oliphants says.
She says there is no single explanation for this rise in gun ownership.
“If you are looking at the problem from the social and mental health perspectives, I think there are a number of things, but there is definitely a link,” she said.
“When you talk to young Australians, the majority of them are not aware of the impact gun ownership has on young people.”
Topics:violence-prevention,community-and-society,community,people,guns,health,australiaFirst posted April 01, 2019 16:16:00Contact Sarah Pash at [email protected]