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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Protecting kids from guns

Regardless of one’s feelings about the second amendment, most people agree that it’s important to keep children safe from firearms. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) fully endorses this view. The data clearly show that the safest home for children is one without guns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, gun violence was the fourth most common cause of injury death among children ages five to fourteen and the second most common cause of injury death in older children. These deaths were divided between homicides and suicides.

No one believes that the 38% of households that currently contain guns will give them up. In lieu of that, there are some sensible measures that could go a long way to protecting children and adolescents from gun violence.

Here are the recommendations from the AAP:

  • Consumer product regulations regarding child access, safety and design of guns.
  • Child access prevention laws that enforce safe storage practices including the use of trigger locks, lock boxes, and gun safes.
  • Regulation of the purchase of guns, including mandatory waiting periods, closure of the gun show loophole, mental health restrictions for gun purchases, and background checks.
  • Restoration of the ban on the sale of assault weapons to the general public.
I strongly favor each of these measures.

Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee (2012). Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population PEDIATRICS DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2481

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