The effects of Gun Violence on Children in Texas


Gun violence has turned out to be a significant concern in United States, particularly in state of Texas. With the increased rates of gun violence in Texas, the current research aims at investigating the exposure of Children in Texas to Gun violence and the how regulations can reduce gun violence in the state. The research paper sought to investigate the level of exposure of Toronto children to gun violence and how the exposure affected their daily lives for the past ten years. The research used a qualitative research method that involved semi structured interviews that were used in collecting primary data. By using the convenience sampling method, the research targeted 50 young children to take part in the research. However, only 40 out of the targeted fifty children were accessible for the interviews. After the process of data collection, the researcher will then code interviews’ transcripts interviews and classify the information into key aspects. The aspects include experience with gun-violence, the link between gun violence and health, gun violence in Texas and laws that regulate possession of firearms.





The effects of Gun Violence on Children in Texas

The “CWLA’s National Blueprint” raises the importance of protecting children’s “fundamental rights and liberties.” It stresses the need for all individuals to ensure safe surroundings for young children. Coherent with this proposal, various stakeholders discussed ways that education providers and communities could use to protect children’s fundamental rights concerning gun violence mitigation and legislation. The meeting also emphasized the urgency of addressing gun legislation to help regulate and mitigate violence at the community and the national level and help in pushing for legislation to protect kids and teenagers.

Most participants were upset with the number of weapons presently accessible in the American society and their impacts on community even as this fat continues to be glorified by the media, especially the social media where the children and youth have a strong presence. It was noted that gun ownership is treated as one of the American societal symbols, that many people feel they are entitled to a gun and do not welcome efforts that control their access. In essence, this non regulation of firearm possession is often linked with the notorious violence and mass shootings that are a usual occurrence among communities around the country, especially in Texas. Failure to regulate the use of weapons increases the difficulty of mitigating gun-based violence. Also, it has been found that recurrent media depiction and glorification of guns and their use increases the level of gun violence. This has played a significant role in promoting gun violence where it is seen as acceptable and one of the means of mitigating conflicts or getting back at the community and, or the government. The media – especially social media- refuses to provide the counter- messages on the dangers of unregulated gun ownership and suggesting other ways of resolving conflicts.

Background of the Study/ Literature Review

The impact of being exposed to gun violence on a child is real. Previous research has indicated that children open to severe distress may experience impaired development of the brain. Cases of gun violence lead to long-lasting impacts on various stages of life, such as socialization. The most common effects of such an exposure include significant and persistent deficits in skill development among the children who live in neighborhoods affected by high crime rates and poverty (Yonn et al., 2016). Many of these children experience mental problems such as violent behavior and aggression.

This is because all they have acquired throughout their growth and development is damaging conflict resolution skills. This behavior is further worsened by drugs and emotional overload due to continued gun violence exposure. Kids laid open to gun violence experience high rates of anxiety and usually fight to maintain their emotional balance due to hostile ethos and morality gained along their developmental due to frequent exposure to violence and emotional trauma. These emotions are continuously internalized and may later erupt in the form of aggressive behavior and violence (Rodriguez Garcia, 2015). According to Finkelhor (2015), these shortfalls in advanced skills result from the kids and teenagers adapting unacceptable conducts by witnessing and impersonating the community members’ activities and beliefs. According to Yoon et al. (2016), in most American states such as Texas, when an adult exhibits aggressiveness and violence, it is often taken as acceptable and appropriate. A cycle of violent behavior begins when a child observes and embraces unacceptable behaviors from adults and the community. The children then model such interactions and try to enact them with other children or even adults.

In a bid to reduce the effects, several strategies and support services have beenffered to help tackle the impacts of gun violence on child development and mitigate the effects of exposure to power on a child’s mental capability. Hammarberg Kirkman, and de Lacey (2016) agree that there is a need for early, family and community -level mitigation of this menace, with many suggesting that parents must be on the fore front. However, they must be assisted by other community members and child welfare service departments. This helps assess the impact and create access to social support services to provoke positive learning and interest in social skills that will be useful to them in the future, build resiliency, and help them learn how to control their emotional levels.

Many social skills have to be instilled directly in children negatively affected by gun violence to diminish the occurrence of traumatic events exposure, such as best practices in conflict-resolution and simple problem-solving skills not violent in nature. In addition to developing the best life skills, the children need to be trained to regulate their emotions and what to do when they feel frustrated or need personal attention (Rodriguez Garcia, 2015).  Once they can understand themselves and their emotional levels, they will learn how to best respond to their frustrations and the community around them in a manner that is not harmful.

Research hypothesis

Stern gun regulations means that the number of children affected by gun violence can be reduced. Presently, the United States Constitution necessitates that background checks are conducted when individuals acquire firearms from licensed firearm dealers. According to Finkelhor (2015), children residing in states with stern firearm regulations face a lower likelihood of perishing from gun violence as compared to those in states with more laidback restraints.

The United States records most death rates related to gun violence amongst teenagers amongst the high-income nations, along with the utmost degree of gun possession and the lenient regulations. The outcomes of gun-violence impacts are part of a trend of exploration into the impacts of weapons on the health of the public health damages and bereavements in the United States. The fresh outcomes strengthen the notion that gun restrictions may help avert 4,250 deaths recorded every year amongst youths in Texas every year. States with sterner gun control regulations had 4% less pediatric demises, and those with world-wide background assessments for purchase of firearms implemented for at least five years had a thirty five percent lower threat (Finkelhor et al., 2015). Every state is permitted to execute its own laws that revolve around the acquisition and possession of weapons. According to Finkelhor et al. (2015), initial studies illustrated that the recorded deaths attributed to gun violence reduced after states applied stern laws. These regulations include a background assessment and identification mechanisms that include microstamping firearms. Sterner gun regulations are now acknowledged as laws hat reduce general rates of death amongst young children. Moreover, states with more regulations have less killings and perversities as compared to those less regulations. A wide range of regulations, which consist of waiting durations to access firearms, world-wide background assessments, restraints on possession of firearms in the public domain and delegated gun locks are all connected to reduced cases of gun violence.

Research Methods

In this research study, the appropriate method to be used is the qualitative research method. A qualitative approach allows for a deeper depiction of the study variables. The qualitative approach to be incorporated in this research is restricted that in that it solely lets data gathering from a small sample from the target populace. The research will use a descriptive qualitative method whereby a problem description will be offered. According to Hammarberg Kirkman & de Lacey (2016), a distinctive approach aims at classifying, analyzing and explaining information gathered. The researcher will utilize the qualitative approach as judgment will be used rather than numerical form as would be used in quantitative data. As indicated by Hammarberg Kirkman & de Lacey (2016), the qualitative method is appropriate as the method is utilized in investigating the social phenomenon. Hammarberg Kirkman & de Lacey (2016) states that qualitative research is important in that it offers an objective definition of data with the technique necessitating natural behavior by witnessing fundamentals in their natural setting.


The target population for the study is children from Texas State with the research laying emphasis on exposure to gun violence and impacts of weapon regulation. Non-probability convenience sampling will be used as the researcher aims at getting information-rich partakers. Convenience sampling is utilized to select the participants to partake in the research.  Taherdoost (2016) state that convenient sampling is suitable as it offers the researcher with simple and distinct techniques in efficiently collecting data. On the other hand, it is important to observe that convenience sampling contains the risks of gathering unrepresentative information. The researcher may delimit this threat by targeting persons from diverse areas of Texas to enhance data representation.

There are numerous tools which are obtainable for the research. For instance, surveys, interviews, focus groups and surveillance amongst others. According to Hammarberg Kirkman & de Lacey (2016), the interview will entail discussions which are carried out by the evaluator to obtain data. The current research will make use of semi-structured interviews. This form of interviewing is appropriate as it enhances the researcher’s ability to gather a numerous amount of data.  The emphasis of the researcher collecting enough and accurate information. As a result, the research will integrate a recorder to detail every interview undertaken. The recordings will then be used to draw out key themes and subjects to inform the study.

The interview will start with open-ended posing all-purpose queries regarding gun violence. More rigorous queries will follow with the research engrossed on obtaining an comprehensive understanding of exposure of young children to gun violence. The interviews shall conclude by means of more open-ended queries with the framing of fascinating more expressive and profound description of gun violence in the state of Texas. The interviews will also be carried out through the telephone with the discussions documented. The participants shall also be conversant of the fact that their discussion will be documented but for the purposes of the research only. The researcher will need consent from the participants to detail the interviews.


Finkelhor, D., Turner, H. A., Shattuck, A., & Hamby, S. L. (2015). Prevalence of childhood exposure to violence, crime, and abuse: Results from the national survey of children’s exposure to violence. JAMA pediatrics, 169(8), 746-754.

Hammarberg, K., Kirkman, M., & de Lacey, S. (2016). Qualitative research methods: when to use them and how to judge them. Human reproduction31(3), 498-501.

Rodriguez Garcia, M. (2015). Community and Violence in South Texas: 1930-1979.

Taherdoost, H. (2016). Sampling methods in research methodology; how to choose a sampling technique for research. How to Choose a Sampling Technique for Research (April 10, 2016).

Yoon, S., Steigerwald, S., Holmes, M. R., & Perzynski, A. T. (2016). Children’s exposure to violence: The underlying effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on behavior problems. Journal of traumatic stress, 29(1), 72-79.





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