Hamilton Co. program taking aim against juvenile gun violence

ELMWOOD PLACE, OH (FOX19) - Juveniles having easy access to illegal guns is a growing problem across the nation leading to hundreds of deaths and injuries each year.

Hamilton County has launched a program aimed at reducing the problem, in part by teaching kids what to do when they find an illegal gun.

L.I.V.E. Cincinnati brought their program to Elmwood Place Elementary school Thursday. Sixth grader Bailey Wagers says she's seen her share of illegal guns. "At my old school there were a lot of kids who brought guns to school and went to jail for it."

Aubrey Singleton is a 6th grader who says he learned something from the presentation. "I did not know a lot kids get hurt or killed by guns."

About eight kids die each day from guns according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which is why the L.I.V.E Cincinnati program was started.

Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge John Williams says juvenile gun violence is out of control. "We're averaging about three juvenile gun charges that I see a week which is really and explosion so really really need to take strong hard steps to address it."

Those steps involve valuable lessons which Bailey Wagers says she's taking to heart. "I learned not to hang around kid who have guns and not to be involved with kids who have guns."

The kids also heard from Walter Hayes and Clarence Williams who nearly killed each other years ago over a gun and now they have a message that choices have consequences.

Hayes says "My choices have gotten me shot, stabbed, you know, in the past and my choices have gotten me put in prison six times."

Williams says he has a message for kids who find an illegal gun. "Leave it alone. First, leave it alone. If you don't know how its there or whose it is then inform an adult about it."

At the end of the lesson all of the student are given a dog tag which reads LIVE as a reminder to avoid illegal guns where ever they find them.

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