Of the 15,000 people murdered each year, two-thirds of the victims die at the hands of armed criminals; and for every fatal shooting there are roughly three nonfatal shootings. Gun violence in America is intolerably high. Of particular alarm is the high toll gun violence takes on young people. A teenager is more likely to die from gunshots than from all natural causes of death combined. Almost 4,000 students were expelled in 1998 for bringing a firearm to school and about 60 percent of junior and senior high school students said they could "get a gun if they wanted."
Individual cities and states have begun to respond effectively to this epidemic of gun violence. Model firearms programs such as Project Exile in Richmond, VA, and Operation Ceasefire in Boston, MA, have achieved success in many large cities throughout the country. It is our intention to create similar effective gun violence reduction programs within the Eastern District of Kentucky. The first of such programs, a partnership between the Fayette Commonwealth Attorney's Office and our office, has been in place in Fayette County for over a year.