Skip to comments.Pediatrician Organization Calls for Gun Control to Protect Kids
Posted on 10/21/2012 10:37:21 AM PDT by marktwain
In a policy statement on Thursday, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged the public to support certain gun control measures as well as to provide more firearms safety counseling to parents who own firearms.
Researchers at the APP suggest that while gun-related deaths amongst children and teens have been on the decline since the mid-1990s more can be done to save lives.
Dr. Robert Sege from Boston Medical Center, who co-authored the statement, spoke to Reuters about the objective of the report, which is to remind the public that kids and teens are at risk if they have access to guns.
"Most children who get injured or killed from firearms get their firearms from home," he told Reuters Health.
Dr. Sege explained that the impulsive nature of teens and the curious nature of kids could get them into trouble when firearms are in the home. As such, its important that gun owners store guns safely in the home.
"There's new, better data that although the safest home for children is a home without guns, that parents can protect their child simply by keeping a gun unloaded and locked, with the ammunition locked separately," Sege said.
Kids-gunAccording to the report, a 2009 study showed that between 11 and 12 of every 100,000 older teens were being killed every year by gunshots. The study added that approximately two-thirds were homicides, with the remaining third being a combination of suicides and accidental gun deaths.
Guns were responsible for almost 85 percent of all teen homicides that year, the researchers added. They were also the most common method of teen suicide.
In delivering their findings, the AAP wanted to remind gun owners that theyre not anti-gun.
"We are not anti-gun, we are pro-child," M. Denise Dowd, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., said on a conference call with reporters.
Though, it may be hard for gun owners to reconcile those comments with what O. Marion Burton, MD, director of the division of community pediatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, had to say on the matter (specifically, the latter part of his comment).
"I think the best we can do is promote the safety of these items as much as we can ... as well as support legislation that will make certain that we have the strongest possible regulation, particularly of handguns that are sold in this country," he said.
Thoughts and Commentary
As responsible gun owners, we have to acknowledge that the mere presence of guns in a home does put children at greater risk of being injured or killed by a firearm than homes that do not have guns. Its just common sense. Likewise, people who drive cars are more likely to get into an automobile accident than people who dont drive cars. This is not groundbreaking information.
In this respect, we must teach children about firearm safety. Whats the best thing to do? In my opinion, take em shooting and show them, firsthand, how to safety use and handle a firearm. And dont just do this once, do it over and over again. Over time, this will help them formulate good habits and get them on the right path to becoming safe and responsible gun owners. And it will also quell their meddlesome curiosity.
Of course, the AAP has its own guidelines, many of which accord with what responsible gun owners already do, such as safe storage and limiting access to guns in homes with youths who have mood disorders, substance abuse problems, or a history of suicide attempts.
Though, with that said, its also important to understand how the data breaks down. For example, its unclear if certain trends would emerge if AAP researchers isolated certain factors.
For example, with respect to gun-related deaths, how many of those were gang and/or drug related? Also, what age group (within the teen demographic) was most at risk?
From an earlier Guns.com article, I cited 2009 numbers (from John Richardson) that indicated 2,420 out of the 2,966 deaths of children and teens killed by gun violence were aged 16 or older. This would include self-inflicted deaths, gang violence, legal interventions by police, accidents, and murders.
In other words, theres more to the story then the AAP lets on. And its important to make these distinctions because the AAP is casting such a wide net with respect to the gun control it supports.
The AAP advocates for, according to Medpage Today, consumer product regulations regarding child access and the safety and design of guns, and regulation of gun purchases through mandatory waiting periods, closure of the gun show loophole, and implementation of mental health restrictions for purchases and background checks. Although the 2000 guidance included a call for bans on handguns and assault weapons, the updated document calls for a restoration of the ban on assault weapons only, leaving handguns out.
The problem is readily apparent; none of these measures target what are presumably the main culprits of youth gun violence: drugs and crime. Which leads one to believe that if were going to confront this problem head on, we need to create real solutions for its primary causes.
We are doing an excellent job at reducing gun accidents, especially involving children. Fatal gun accidents (which are the only ones tracked nationally) involving children 14 or under, are in the one in 10 million range, about 30 or less per year. To put it in an easily understood perspective, swimming pools are about 100 times more dangerous to children than guns are.
The major reason that we are so obsessive about guns and children is that the MainStream Media has been pushing its objective to disarm the citizenry for decades. A large part of that effort is to convince women that they should never allow guns in their homes.
Just one more group working their asses off to advance the socialist cause in our nation.
This is EXACTLY the same kind of rabid ideologue that will positively thrive in a post Obama 2nd Term Win and fulfullment of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare).
He is of the ilk that will tell a parent (discernably conservative through governmente provided records checks) that their leukemia affected child cannot be saved because it would be just “too expensive” for the potential value added to society. Likely, he’ll be a member of the Death Panels to come.
Most ‘studies’ which rank US healthcare behind that of most European nations assign a negative value to legalized gun ownership.
Look for more stories like this.
We have to get rid of guns....For the Children.
These guys are Commies, as are so many other medical “Professional Organizations.” Unfortunately, many of the members take everything the AAP says as Gospel - vaccinating infants against Hepatitis B, for example.
Weren’t some DRs. questioning children about ther parents gun ownership as part of healthcare? I guess they could work their way up to taking away children from gun owning parents for healthcare negligence.
I’m working on gun control for kids.
I’ve been showing the boy the 3 positions and this afternoon we will go to the gravel pit to shoot. He also wants to get in some clay pigeon practice since he just passed his Hunter Ed class and wants to hunt chukars.
Teens who shoot each other are getting guns from the street.
The brainless ones buy it hook, line and sinker.
We moved into our current home about 10 years ago. Our girls and the closest neighbors had played together for about a year when I was talking to the Mom one day.
She told me she used to let her girls play with the kids down the road until she found out they had guns in their home.
I looked at her and asked her "If you wouldn't trust someone with a gun, why would you trust them with your child?"
Needless to say, we haven't had much contact with them since.
Yes, knowledge of and respect for guns is the best safety that kids can have. My grandkids and I enjoy plinking together and they’ve known what downrange means since they could talk. Put your finger on the trigger with a rifle that isn’t pointed downrange and you’ll hear a chorus of little girls voices admonishing you. They’re a stickler for the rules.
Just curious, any stats on how many kids die due to pediatric malpractice every year?
Control in our house consists of how to properly hold a firearm while shooting!
Just kidding - but our 14yo daughter has been a member of 4H Shooting since she was 9 or 10 and is quite the shot. She puts mommy to shame, that’s for sure!
Did they say anything about them people with di-hydogen oxide pits.
This is as much a health statement as Trotsky's fondness for icepicks. This has nothing to do with children. Children are just the political lube to grind the gears forward on their communist manifesto.
I'm sure the "gunshow loophole" is a primary pipeline for children's acquisition of firearms. I'm all for minors having waiting periods before purchasing guns.
Note the cowardly retreat on banning handguns, now that carry permits and handgun popularity are at an all-time high. Note also the synchronization with the Presidents call for AWB renewal, which even the annointed one admits was innefective at stopping crime. You've got to hand it to the liberals, they pack a full train.
“The study added that approximately two-thirds were homicides...”
Bangers killing other bangers. Probably most of it in chicago. Poor, innocent “kids”.
Why don’t we ban liberal dhimmicritter big city mayors. Then watch the gang “problem” be dealt with by enforcing existing laws.
The research that I read indicates that the leading cause of death during childhood is motor vehicles, either as a passenger or a pedestrian. Guns don’t even register.
If these do-gooders were serious, they’d be campaigning against the horseless carriage (but then, we all know they’re not really serious).
what about automobiles...
Liberals, turn in your Priuses and Teslas now, your lives depend on it !
Little kids should be taught gun control ... so they shoot better and can handle firearms safely. Pediatricians on the other hand should be better trained in medicine and forego the amateur psych declarations.
The socialists want guns out of private hands so the people can’t resist the government dictates.
Swimming pools and cars are not much of a threat to commies.
I believe the AAP uses suspect numbers for what they consider children. A 26 year old gang banger killed in a drug deal gone bad qualifies as a “child” for their statistics.
A very pressing question I would have to ask myself is why and how could I entrust my children’s health to any of these wackos if they are willing to use our kids for their political and social agendas.
Exactly. If they will lie to us about this issue for political purposes, or accept these lies from an organization without question, why should we trust them a physicians?
American Academy of Pediatrics .........
Did they announce this from a Chicago meeting ???
If you want to “protect children”, how about supporting:
A Pro-Life Amendment,
The Boy Scouts of America, (where I learn gun safety and how to shoot)
The major reason that we are so obsessive about guns and children is that the MainStream Media has been pushing its objective to disarm the citizenry for decades
And all this is because the people who claim to love children do not love children, they love them selves, just more socialist lies.
So true. These are godless people who want us to be slaves to the state and never be responsible adults.
They want a utopia—where the state can dictate everything—which will be a hellhole.
Beware of people who want to “save” the children-—by denying you your fundamental rights and responsibilities and have Government make decisions that are none of their business.
These are the same people who teach your children that their Rights (abortion and sodomy) come from the State....there is no God-Given Rights. They are forcing children to think the State is god. They are evil since they are erasing all values in your children-—Good and Evil.
Shouldn't they be advocating bucket control too?
The AAP are hard left radical anti-gun, and pulled off one of the few victories the gun control crowd has had in recent years.
It started by their making it an “ethical” rule that Florida pediatricians should ask parents about guns in their homes, and that if parents refused to answer, they could “ethically” turn their family down as patients. A major problem if the next pediatrician is 75 miles away.
The sneaky trick here is that, once the parents gun ownership was entered into their child’s medical record, because of the HIPAA Act, that record could be accessed by any number of law enforcement and other government agencies.
It also came out that the Florida state Child Adoptive Service was considering that potential parents who had a gun in the house would not be allowed to adopt, as the gun would be a “safety hazard”.
This all horrified the Florida legislature, so they quickly passed a law forbidding doctors from asking their patients about their gun ownership.
However, the AAP won, for the time being, because a federal judge overturned the law on the grounds that it inhibited the free speech of doctors in consulting with their patients. (.pdf file)
(A pro gun-control article in Time magazine about the decision.)
(I gather an appeal may be advanced to the 11th Circuit.)
True, with a couple of qualifiers:
More children under five drown in five-gallon buckets every year than are accidentally killed by guns.
When I checked several sites about number one cause of death in children gun deaths are not even mentioned. What is up with the aap?
It would be a lot safer for the children if we were to purge the ranks of pediatricians of drunks, drug addicts, pedophiles and incompetents. And to any MD who would ask either a child or a parent if there are guns in the home, the only answer is to change docs.