Executive Actions unveiled today take needed strides to keep children safe from guns
Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)–January 5, 2016. Today, President Barack Obama unveiled a series of new executive actions aimed at preventing gun violence in America, including several ideas that reflect American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy and that would protect children.
“Gun violence is a public health threat to children, and like any epidemic, it can be prevented with the right interventions,” said AAP President Benard Dreyer, MD, FAAP. “Preventing gun violence is complicated, but achievable, and President Obama’s new executive actions are a welcome and needed first step in an environment where we have yet to see the enactment of common-sense federal gun violence prevention legislation. We need engagement at every level, from our neighborhoods to our state capitals to Congress and to the White House, and those of us who care for children, from their parents to their teachers to their pediatricians, must work together to keep children safe.”
In 2013, gun-related injuries accounted for 18 deaths a day of young people under 24 years of age, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For two decades, the AAP has supported gun violence prevention through research, education and advocacy. The President’s executive actions include recommendations supported by the AAP’s evidence-based policy on preventing firearm injuries and fatalities, such as:
- Expanding the application of background check requirements for gun purchases to ensure more gun sales are subject to the existing oversights that help protect children, their families, and their communities from gun violence
- Providing new resources to support the nation’s mental health system, including increasing service capacity to address shortages in the behavioral and mental health workforce, which have made access to care difficult for millions of children and adolescents
- Improving outreach efforts to prevent domestic violence, as access to firearms exacerbates the effects of domestic and intimate partner violence
“Gun violence rips through the fabric of a community, whether through mass shootings, accidental shootings, suicides, or pervasive urban violence. President Obama’s actions are commendable, but not enough to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” said Dr. Dreyer. “Pediatricians urge our elected leaders – along with those running for office this year — to prevent gun violence by supporting meaningful and comprehensive public policies that keep children safe.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds
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