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Beverly Hills, California
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April 27, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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April 27, 2000
 

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Beverly Hills Embraces Anti-Gun Violence Campaign High School students come together today in memory of the tragic Columbine fatalities. By Shirin Danielpour The community has come together in a campaign against gun violence. "Keeping Kids Safe" is the first cam- paign of its kind which aims at raising awareness among parents and com- munity members about the dangers posed to children by guns. Marilyn Weiss, a t0ng-time Beverly Hills resident and member of Women Against Gun Violence, and her son, Ryan, initiated the program a year ago. The Beverly Hills Board of Education, All Saints' Episcopal Church, Temple Emanuel, headed by Rabbi Geller, The Maple Center, Students Against Gun Violence and Women Against Gun Violence quick- ly embraced the program and joined forces to install the program. "We're lucky it hasn't happened in the Beverly Hills schools, but it can happen right here in one of our homes," said Marilyn Weiss. According to Billie Weiss, director of the Los Angeles Injury and Violence Prevention Program, 1,110 children were shot in Los Angeles County in 1997, who were treated in the Trauma Center. On average three youth are shot per day in this county. "If we lost these many people to an infectious disease we would have people all over the place helping," said Billie Weiss. "The average cost is $25,000 a case to be treated in the Trauma Center. 80% of the costs are paid by the public." Gun violence is becoming an epi- demic. Research shows that there were 5 gun dealers in Beverly Hills in 1998, which is more gun dealers per capita than Cuiver City. "Keeping Kids Safe" aims at reach- ing a solution through awareness and education. David Foldvary and Ryan Weiss, students at Beverly High, are forming Students Against Gun Violence, a task force dedicated to educating teenagers about the dangers of gun violence. They authored a pledge stating that they are aware of the dangers involved with gun vio- lence and that they will do their parts as students to further the awareness in their community and in their homes. The petition will be handed out at their assembly at the High School today in memory of the 15 young people who lost their lives at Columbine High School last year. Teens on Target, many who are con- fined to a wheel chair because of gun violence, have joined the effort and will be speaking about their life- threatening situations with weapons at the assembly. students from other schools see what we're doing and what they can do to help," said Brucker. As part of the anti-gun violence campaign students within the four Beverly Hills schools will pledge that, before going to a friend's home, they or their parents will check to see Gun violence is becoming an epidemic. Research shows that there were 5 gun dealers in Beverly Hills in 1998, which is more gun dealers per capita than Culver City. | "We live in a cushioned society. We see it at the other schools, but we need to realize that it can happen here and we can prevent it," said Ryan Weiss. "There is something we can do, and as students we have a strong influence." Richie Brucker is creating a web site, which will serve as a place for signing the petition. "We're hoping it will make other if there are guns in the home. If so, they must check to see that the guns are stored away safely (locked and unloaded) and separate from ammu- nition. According to Women Against Gun Violence, easy access to firearms is the primary cause of youth gun deaths and injuries. Recent statistics show that firearms are involved in 80% of teenage suicides. II Fully Licensed Insured & Bonded For Your Protection St. Lic # 721441 ,u.L PH.,S oF "rR WORK Complete Sick Tree Diagnosing & Care Spraying & Injecting Printing * Topping * Shaping * Crown Reducing * Stump Removal Root Printing * Removal * Yard Cleaning Reasonable Rates All Work Guaranteed f 4 Beverly Hills Weekly 310.456.5054 Come. Smoke. Read. Visit. Relax. elie's cigar room 160 south beverly drive B E V E R L Y H I L L S 310-271-2284