Just ahead of the first anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a statement calling for an end to gun violence. Gun violence has continued unabated in the 12 months since the Sandy Hook killings, the statement says: “Every day about 7 children are killed in the U.S. by firearms, including hundreds since the massacre Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.”
What has changed, according to the AAP, is the growing number of advocates working to prevent gun violence, resulting in important legislation in six states to protect children from injuries from firearms, though more work is needed is needed, according to the AAP.
“Every child who dies due to gun violence is someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister. It is a tragedy that is repeated over and over again,” said AAP President Thomas K. McInerny, M.D., FAAP.
The AAP also urged Congress to take action in a letter sent to senators and representatives.
AAP recommendations for reducing gun injuries in children include:
- Stronger gun laws, including an effective assault weapons ban, mandatory background checks on all firearm purchases, and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.
- Strengthening the quality of mental health care and access to services for children.
- Storing all firearms unloaded and locked, with the ammunition locked away separately.
- Asking about guns in the home before a child visits a friend’s house.