Pediatric professionals support strict gun control

January 3, 2013

In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for federal action on stricter gun control and pledging its support for changes that will ensure the safety of children in their schools and communities.

 

In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for federal action on stricter gun control and pledging its support for changes that will ensure the safety of children in their schools and communities.

In a letter to President Barack Obama on behalf of the AAP’s 62,000 members, AAP president Thomas McInerny, MD, asked the president to exercise his leadership in supporting federal firearms legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strengthen regulations for mandatory waiting periods and background checks for those who purchase guns, and promote stricter gun safety policies.

McInerny also called for federal action that would improve access to mental health services for infants, children, and adolescents and that would give families exposed to violence access to a medical home and other community supports.

“We are ready to work with you, Vice President Biden, and Congressional leaders to honor the memory of the children and families in Connecticut and those exposed to gun violence every day through swift, bold action that keeps our children healthy and safe,” McInerny wrote.

McInerny also said that a national dialogue must begin to address children’s detrimental exposure to gun violence and how to reduce gun violence in their communities, environments, and entertainment.

The AAP issued a firearms policy statement last October in which the academy stated its support for enforcement activities to stop gun-related injuries to children.