King County launches study on youth gun deaths

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 6:40 PM

As part of King County's fight against gun violence, the Health Department is launching a study on young people who are killed by gunfire.

"Gun violence is a public safety crisis and a public health crisis," said King County Executive, Dow Constantine.

Constantine says state and federal laws pre-empt the county's ability to regulate firearms. "Locally, we can approach gun violence as a preventable public health problem."

The King County Health Department will conduct a youth shooting review.  It will be a trial study tracking young victims and the weapons used.

"The kind of gun involved, how the youth was able to access it. In the event of suicide, were any trigger locks in place?" says Health Department Director, Dr. David Fleming.

"It's not going to help," said Gazelle Williams, whose teenage nephew, Desmond Jackson, was shot and killed nearly one year ago outside of a South Seattle nightclub.  The killer has not been arrested.

Williams says the county should solve gun crimes, not study them.

"How's that going to help? We need that money to do action. We need to have some arrests made."
 

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