Kids meet city leaders to discuss St. Louis gun violence

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis students and scholars showed up at city hall Wednesday to protest gun violence as part of a national action day put on by the Deaconess Foundation.

Thanks to the foundation, which sponsors four Children’s Defense Fund schools, each year has a national day of social action. This year’s focus – “protect children, not guns." Kids from kindergarten through fifth-grade had their voices heard by elected leaders.

As the kids were sharing their ideas with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, city police were investigating two separate shootings that happened Wednesday.

Constace Rush, director of advocacy with the Deaconess Foundation, said the goal is to interject the voice of youth into policy discussions, and that it’s healthy to sometimes to see things as kids do.

“Some said we want our communities clean,” Rush said. “They associate safe communities with clean communities.”

The kids also suggested things like more awareness of mental illness and keeping guns away from people with those problems, and even going as far as taking guns away from people unless they are using guns for recreational activities.

“We're also implementing public safety programs locally, things we have control over, to try and help communities that need it and get kids into more productive activities,” Reed said.

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