||n an effort to educate middle school-aged kids on the dangers of handguns, The National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) through its special program, Kids Do Matter, has produced In A Flash, an educational video program with an accompanying resource guide. The video does not take a position on guns per se. Rather, it focuses on the often tragic consequences of handgun misuse by kids, associating with those who play with guns, and involvement in conflicts where one or more parties has a handgun. The video is designed to stimulate discussion among youth, who are more likely to listen to stories by their peers than advice from some adult. Youth organizations and publications which have reviewed the video have given it high marks, and both youth and the adult facilitators who have seen and discussed the video give testimony to its powerful impact. Demand for the video and program is growing dramatically. Read a description of the program here.
Help Stem the Tide of Violence
The National Emergency Medicine Association wants to make the video available to middle schools and youth organizations around the country free of charge whenever possible. You can help. Your donation will enable NEMA, to provide videos to schools and organizations who have requested them. If you prefer, NEMA will earmark the funding you provide for use within the state or region of your specification. A special acknowledgment can be included with the video, denoting that it has been provided through your generosity.
By providing funds to make In A Flash available to more youth around the country, you will be contributing toward saving lives and making our communities safer and happier places for our children to grow up.
In A Flash is a short (20 minutes) but powerful educational video and program that addresses the irreversible consequences of gun violence among youth. Developed, produced and funded by the National Emergency Medicine Association, the video is targeted to kids aged 10-14. Reports indicate that it is also being used successfully with both younger children and older teens. Bold camera technique and upbeat music enhance the appeal to young video-sophisticated audiences. The video covers situations in which kids are most likely to encounter a gun or perhaps feel they need a gun. It graphically demonstrates the probable results of choosing a gun to deal with conflicts, and illustrates the very real and crippling effects of disfigurement, loss of limb or sight, paralyzing injuries, the pain of therapy and rehabilitation and the emotional endurance needed to live with a permanent disability and its social ramifications. In A Flash has been met with enthusiastic reviews and comments from users.
Designed to facilitate discussion in a classroom or small group setting, the video is accompanied by a resource guide for use by a teacher or other adult. It provides suggestions as to how the video and materials can be integrated into different subject areas within an academic curriculum. Toward the end of the video, three different questions are posed to the viewers. The facilitator is encouraged to stop the video at these points and initiate a dialog so that youth can discuss among themselves how they would handle these situations in which they encounter guns. They are prompted to suggest alternative behaviors to deal with peer pressure and conflict resolution.
Goals & Objectives:
- To educate youth on the danger and damage caused by gun shootings
- To deter young people from reaching for a gun as the solution to conflicts
- To increase awareness of the personal and legal consequences of gun violence
- To increase skills in safety behaviors to avoid potential conflicts and violent situations
- To explore alternatives to using guns and violence, such as negotiation skills and other strategies for conflict resolution
- To encourage youth to talk to each other about the problem and potential solutions.
Unfortunately, the list of towns throughout the nation that have been rocked by tragedies involving kids and gun violence is growing at an alarming rate. Places such as Paducah, Kentucky; Pearl, Mississippi; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania; Fayetteville, Tennessee; and Springfield, Oregon have been "put on the map" as a result of senseless and horrific incidents of children shooting teachers and other children.
Gun violence among children is epidemic. Every day in America, 16 children ages 19 and under are killed in gun homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. Many more are wounded (National Center for Health Studies, 1996). This is the equivalent of one classroom every day and a-half.
This is a health and social crisis of the highest magnitude affecting not just individuals and their families, but entire schools and communities. The results of gunshot injuries adversely impact our nation's health, education and economic resources. Repair and rehabilitation are often absorbed at public expense, as are the costs of social service programs for victims and families, as well as special education needs required for a permanently disabled child.
The children who are both the perpetrators and victims in these incidences seem to be getting younger all of the time. The Associated Press recently carried a story about a five-year old kindergarten student in Memphis, Tennessee who was arrested after bringing a loaded pistol to school because he "wanted to shoot and kill several pupils, as well as a teacher" because he had been punished with a passive form of discipline for young children known as "timeout" (Sunpapers, May 10, 2022).
The Journal of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports that gun homicides by juveniles have tripled since 1983 (Snyder and Finnegan, 1997) and that teenage boys are more likely to die of gunshot wounds than from all other natural causes combined (McEnery, 1996). A 1993 Lou Harris poll reported that 35% of children ages 6 to 12 fear their lives will be cut short by gun violence (Lou Harris and Associates, Inc.. 1993).
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