A CARD GAME
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE INTO KITTENS AND EXPLOSIONS AND LASER BEAMS AND SOMETIMES GOATS
CREATED BY: ELAN LEE + THE OATMEAL + SHANE SMALL
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There are species within ecological systems that are more sensitive than others to environmental stressors. When biologists and ecologists study ecological systems they look at these key species -- called indicator species -- to understand how severely stressed the systems are. Are our children, socially marginalized and psychologically weakened, the indicator group for the level of violence in our society? Are they the canaries in our coal mines? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Let's consider some of the statistics regarding youth violence.
• Among young people fifteen to twenty-four years old, murder is the second-leading cause of death. For African-American youths murder is number one.
• Every five minutes a child is arrested in America for committing a violent crime, and gun-related violence takes the life of an American child every three hours.
• A law enforcement survey estimates that there are at least 4,881 gangs in the United States, with about 250,000 members total.
• A child growing up in Washington, D.C., or Chicago is fifteen times more likely to be murdered than a child in Northern Ireland.
• Since 1960 teen suicide has tripled.
• Every day an estimated 270,000 students bring guns to school.
• One of every fifty children has a parent in prison.
Much of this violence is hidden. It doesn't make headlines. Yet many of our children must live with it day in and day out. Consider these facts:
Bullying: At least 160,000 children miss school every day because they fear an attack or intimidation by other students.
Sexual Abuse: One out of three girls and one out of seven boys are sexually abused by the time they reach the age of eighteen.
Animal Mutilation: Teachers report more and more students as young as seven years old discussing the "thrills" of stabbing a kitten to death or torturing a pet.
-- STOP TEACHING OUR KIDS TO KILL,A CALL TO ACTION AGAINST TV, MOVIE & VIDEO GAME VIOLENCE, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano
© 1999 by Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano