THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, May 10, 1999
PRESIDENT AND MRS. CLINTON, VICE PRESIDENT AND MRS. GORE:
THE WHITE HOUSE STRATEGY SESSION ON CHILDREN, VIOLENCE, AND RESPONSIBILITY
"This was exactly the kind of session I had hoped for, where everyone was talking about the problems and the opportunities...In the weeks and months ahead, as we launch our national campaign to prevent youth violence, we will build on the strong foundation of this day..."
President Bill Clinton
May 10, 1999
Today, at the White House, President Clinton led a strategy meeting to discuss youth violence and develop a strategy for a national campaign to address this issue. Meeting participants included parents, children, teachers, religious leaders, law enforcement and government officials, gun manufacturers and sportsmen, and representatives of the entertainment industry. The President announced several initiatives to address the problem of youth violence, including a Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence; gun industry support for gun legislation in five important areas; public and private commitments to ensure the effective implementation of the V-Chip; and a National Campaign to Prevent Youth Violence.
Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence. Today, the President announced that he is asking the nation's Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, to prepare a landmark report on youth violence -- the first such study on this subject in more than a decade. The report, which will be a collaborative effort by leading experts, will add to the nation's understanding in this field, particularly with regard to newer media such as video games and the Internet.
Gun Industry Support for Legislation. Today, the American Shooting Sports Council, representing leaders in the firearms industry, announced their support for legislation in five key areas:
- imposing Brady background checks at gun shows;
- extending the Brady Law to violent juveniles;
- raising the age of the youth handgun ban to 21 years of age;
- holding adults responsible for child access to guns; and
- helping law enforcement to trace more firearms used in crimes.
Making the V-Chip Work. The V-Chip is a device that allows parents to block television programming they consider inappropriate for their children. President Clinton and Vice President Gore led the successful fight for legislation that requires the V-Chip be installed in all new television sets sold beginning January 1, 2000. At today's strategy session, the President announced two new initiatives to make sure the V-Chip becomes a useful tool for parents:
1) V-Chip Task Force. To ensure that the V-Chip law is implemented effectively, the Federal Communications Commission will establish a V-Chip Task Force to:
- ensure the V-Chip requirement is enforced;
- promote parental awareness about the V-Chip;
- encourage adoption of a standard label identifying television sets that contain the V-Chip; and
- study the use of the V-Chip and evaluate the effectiveness of the industry's ratings system.
2) V-Chip Survey and Education Project. The Kaiser Foundation and the Center for Media Education announced today a major national effort to educate parents about the V-Chip TV ratings system. The educational campaign will include a free booklet for parents on how the V-chip TV ratings system works. The information will be available through a toll-free number and will be promoted through partnerships with TV manufacturers, retailers, parents' organizations, and the media.
A National Campaign to Prevent Youth Violence. Recognizing that youth violence is a problem that government cannot solve alone, the President, the First Lady, the Vice President, and Mrs. Gore called for a national campaign to reduce youth violence. This campaign will work with all sectors of our society - the media, education groups, parents, religious leaders, and young people - to focus on this problem, find what's working and spread it to new communities, while helping to ensure that the media sends the right message to our children.
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