Thursday, September 6, 2018

@ Unity Temple on the Plaza, 6:30-8 pm

Up in Arms: Kids & Guns


On average, 17,102 children and teens are shot each year. Of that number, 2,737 die.

Firearm injuries are the third leading cause of death among children in the United States, and the number of children killed by guns in this country increased by 30 percent from 2013 to 2016.

But, why?

On September 6, 2018, American Public Square and KCUR 89.3 presented “Up In Arms: Kids & Guns,” where panelists from both sides of the aisle explored the causes of gun-related deaths among children and teens, discussed the dramatic increase in recent years, talked about policy and education programs around firearms, and more.

Watch “Up In Arms: Kids & Guns”


Up in Arms: Kids & Guns American Public Square conversation

Five panelists are joining American Public Square's conversation at Unity Temple about kids and guns: Karen Randolph Rogers, Deputy Chapter Lead and Statewide Legislative Lead Moms Demand Action - MO, Robert Verbruggen, Deputy managing editor of National Review, Shayla Sullivant, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Children's Mercy, Kevin L. Jamison, Attorney and author of "Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law" and host Steve Kraske of The Kansas City Star Opinion and KCUR 89.3.

Posted by The Kansas City Star on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thank you to The Kansas City Star for streaming this program!


Kevin L. Jamison

Kevin L. Jamison

Attorney, author of Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law


Kevin frequently speaks on law, personal security, and firearms related issues. He has helped teach the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance (WMSA) personal protection course since its inception, primarily the legal instruction. He taught undergraduate courses in criminal law, law and society, and law and terrorism at Avila College (now Avila University). Kevin moderated the Missouri Bar’s class on Immigration law in June, 2001. Kevin has presented firearms Continuing Legal Education classes for the Missouri Bar Association and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Kevin has written a number of articles on various legal topics. His article, “Concealed Weapons and the Travelers’ Defense” was published in the March-April, 2000 Journal of the Missouri Bar. He wrote the WMSA “Stay Out of Jail Card” summarizing weapons and self-defense law. Kevin created the WMSA video “Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law”. He is the author of Missouri Weapons and Self-Defense Law. Kevin contributed a chapter, “Bowie Knife Law”, to Bowie Knives and Bayonets of the Ben Palmer Collection. A Special Forces (“Green Beret”) veteran, he reviews books on unconventional warfare, terrorism, prisoner of war, and third world affairs for the Army’s Military Review magazine. Kevin has created a DVD titled “Missouri Concealed Weapons and Self-Defense Law”. He has a regular column in Concealed Carry Magazine titled “It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, It’s Just the Law”.

Kevin is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the Clay County Bar Association, the Special Forces Association, the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, and Missourians for Personal Safety.

Kevin helped to found the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance in 1989 and has been active on the Board of Directors since that time. He was Vice-President for one year, President for three years, Secretary for two years, and is currently Press Officer. He was a founder and the first chairman of the Missouri Legislative Issues Council (Now Missourians for Personal Safety) which has led the fight for a License To Carry law in Missouri since 1991.

Karen Randolph Rogers

Karen Randolph Rogers

Deputy Chapter Lead and Statewide Legislative Lead, Missouri Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America


Karen Randolph Rogers is the Deputy Chapter Lead and Statewide Legislative Lead for the Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Like the five million Moms Demand Action supporters nationwide, Ms. Rogers is a volunteer dedicated to working for responsible gun safety and gun violence prevention laws at the local, state, and federal level. Ms. Rogers is also a trained presenter in the Moms Demand Action gun safety program, Be SMART, which educates adults on responsible gun storage practices to protect children from the preventable tragedies of gun suicide and unintentional shootings.

Ms. Rogers is an attorney and primarily practiced in the areas of education and civil rights law for 18 years before dedicating herself as a full-time Moms Demand Action volunteer in December 2017. She received her law degree from the University of Virginia, where she served as Articles Review Editor for the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law. She also graduated summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in political science. She resides in Kansas City with her husband and two children, who inspire her to work for the safety of all kids.

Shayla Sullivant, MD

Shayla Sullivant, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Children's Mercy Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City


Dr. Sullivant completed undergraduate training at Creighton University and medical school at the University of Kansas, where she also completed a residency in adult psychiatry and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Since 2010 she has been on staff at Children’s Mercy Kansas City seeing patients in clinic and also providing coverage for the consultation liaison service.

Areas of interest in clinical practice include suicide prevention, eating disorders and integrated care. Dr. Sullivant is co-leader of the Self-directed Violence group at CMH, leading suicide prevention efforts at the hospital. Research interests include suicide screening and means restriction. Dr. Sullivant serves on the board of the Body Balance Coalition and has served as President of the KC Regional American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).

Robert VerBruggen

Robert VerBruggen

Deputy Managing Editor at National Review, Guest on NRATV


Robert VerBruggen is a deputy managing editor at National Review and has covered Second Amendment and gun-policy issues for more than a decade. He grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006, and has held positions at The American Conservative, RealClearPolicy, The Washington Times, and The National Interest.

Read articles on gun policy written by VerBruggen:

“Less Gun Violence without New Gun Laws”

“How Gun Accidents Happen”

“How Common Are Child Gun Accidents?”

Moderator: Steve Kraske

Moderator: Steve Kraske

Host of KCUR's Up To Date


Steve Kraske is host of “Up to Date,” a daily public-affairs radio program on KCUR, 89.3. He teaches journalism at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. And Kraske also has been a fellow at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

He is a member of The Kansas City Star’s editorial board. He has worked at The Star since 1986 — first as a police reporter, then as a Statehouse reporter in both Missouri and Kansas. He was named the newspaper’s chief political correspondent and columnist in the mid-1990s.

Kraske has covered 11 national political conventions, including back-to-back gatherings in 2016 in Cleveland and Philadelphia.


He is a journalism graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University.

Kraske has won numerous awards for his print and broadcast work. He lives in Westwood with his wife, Kady McMaster, a former Star reporter and editor who now works in marketing and communications at UMKC. The couple has two college-age sons.


Please contact us at or (816) 235-5067.






Thanks to support from the William T. Kemper Foundation, we prepared facts and statistics about gun-related violence and deaths among children and teens.

The FACT SHEET is compiled by professional research librarians and is circulated to panelists for comment and feedback prior to the program. The librarians also collect suggested readings on the subject. We encourage you to read the articles before attending “Up In Arms: Kids & Guns.”

View the FACT SHEET below, or download it.

Youth Mortality Related to Firearms

“Firearms were the leading method of homicide for persons aged 10–19 years during 1999–2016, accounting for 87% of all homicides in 2016.” (source)

“Firearms were used in 40 percent of all suicides among 10- to 17-year-olds—the second leading cause of death for that age range.” (source)

The death rate for U.S. teens is 82% higher from firearm assaults than other OECD19 nations. (source)

“The vast majority of gun violence in Hispanic and African American children [was] due to assaults, compared to White children (75.6% vs 68.2% vs. 36.4%)… These racial disparities by firearm injury type are also seen in firearm mortality rates published by the CDC; 82% of gun deaths in the African American population are homicides, while 77% of gun deaths in the White population are suicides.” (source)

“Only about one in three, or 34.9 percent, of gun-owning parents said he or she stored all household firearms both locked and unloaded.” (source)

“Among children, the majority (89%) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home. Most of these deaths occur when children are playing with a loaded gun in their parents’ absence.” (source)

“A study of 27,566 firearm-related injuries of children under 17 years of age, between 2000 and 2009, who were admitted to hospitals found… the proportion of accidental injuries increased relative to state law leniency, with highest percentage in lenient states (33.2%) compared to strict (16.7%). Existing studies show a relationship between firearm state laws and children safety. (source) A Rand Corporation analysis confirmed from studies that deaths decline in states with felony CAP laws and [are] uncertain in states with misdemeanor CAP laws.” (source) (CAP=Child Access Prevention)

“Preventing access to firearms can reduce suicide mortality by 32% among minors who would have otherwise used firearms.” (source)

Youth Mortality, General

“The leading cause of death for the population aged 1–44 was unintentional injuries [i.e. motor vehicle, drowning, poisoning]. The relative burden of mortality from this cause was far greater at younger ages, accounting for 31.3% of all deaths for age group 1–9, 41.4% of deaths for age group 10–24…”  [source: Heron, Melonie. (2018, July 26). “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2016,” National Vital Statistics Reports, 67(6), 10.]

“MVT and suicide death rates for ages 10–14 years were three times that of homicide (0.7).”  [source: Curtin, Sally C., Melonie Heron, Arialdi M. Miniño and Margaret Warner. (2018,June 1). “Recent Increases in Injury Mortality Among Children and Adolescents Aged 10–19 Years in the United States: 1999–2016,” 67(4), 3.] (MVT=Motor Vehicle Traffic)

“The number and rate of total deaths in 2016 for adolescents aged 15–19 years … was more than three times that of children and adolescents aged 10–14 years.  [source: Curtin, Sally C., Melonie Heron, Arialdi M. Miniño and Margaret Warner. (2018,June 1). “Recent Increases in Injury Mortality Among Children and Adolescents Aged 10–19 Years in the United States: 1999–2016,” 67(4), 3.]

Suicide was the second leading cause of death for age group 10–24 (17.3% of deaths) and the third leading cause for age group 25–44 (10.6% of deaths).  [source: Heron, Melonie. (2018, July 26). “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2016,” National Vital Statistics Reports, 67(6), 10.]

Homicide was the third leading cause of death for age group 10–24 (14.9% of deaths), the fourth leading cause for age group 1–9 (7.3% of deaths), and the fifth leading cause for age group 25–44 (6.5% of deaths).  [source: Heron, Melonie. (2018, July 26). “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2016,” National Vital Statistics Reports, 67(6), 10.]

Suggested Reading

Gun Policy in America

“This project seeks to clarify what is known and where new information could help build consensus about how to improve U.S. gun policies.”

Read the study

The Case for More Guns (and Gun Control)

“How do we reduce gun crime and Aurora-style mass shootings when Americans already own nearly 300 million firearms? Maybe by allowing more people to carry them.”

Read the article

Preventing School Shootings: It's Guns, Not Mental Health

“Playing the mental health card will not prevent school shootings.”

Read the article

The Real School Safety Debate: Why Legislative Responses Should Focus on Schools and Not on Guns

“In response to the current guns-in-schools debate, this Note proposes that the proper way to address school safety is through state legislation that requires school resource officer programs and individual school safety plans, and creates a source of financial support for these increased safety measures.”

Read the study

Key Takeaways on Americans’ View of Guns and Gun Ownership

“Here are some key takeaways from the report, which is based on a new nationally representative survey of 3,930 U.S. adults (including 1,269 gun owners) conducted using the Center’s American Trends Panel.”

Read the article

School Violence: Prevalence, Fears and Preventions

“The goal of this paper is to describe the options that are currently available for schools. An analysis of the key components of various approaches in terms of their potential positive and negative effects can assist in the selection of policies, programs, and procedures while we wait for evaluations to be conducted.”

Read the article




Sally C. Curtin, Melonie Heron, Arialdi M. Miniño, and Margaret Warner. (2018, June 1). “Recent Increases in Injury Mortality Among Children and Adolescents Aged 10–19 Years in the United States: 1999–2016,” National Vital Statistics Reports, National Center for Health Statistics, 67(4), 8.



Sally C. Curtin, Melonie Heron, Arialdi M. Miniño, and Margaret Warner. (2018, June 1). “Recent Increases in Injury Mortality Among Children and Adolescents Aged 10–19 Years in the United States: 1999–2016,” National Vital Statistics Reports, 67(4), 8.