“Today, members of the United States Senate failed to pass a package of common sense gun safety bills that would have helped protect children from gun violence. It is especially discouraging that in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., our elected officials could not come together to pass basic bipartisan proposals to make our country safer.
“Gun violence is one of the single greatest public health threats to children in this country. Firearm injuries are one of the top three causes of death among youth, killing twice as many children as cancer, five times as many as heart disease, and 15 times as many as infections. Among children younger than 15, the United States has a firearm-related death rate 12 times higher than 25 other industrialized nations combined.
“We have lost far too many young lives lost to gun violence. Today, the Senate missed a critical opportunity to lay a foundation for strong federal policies to keep children safe, but pediatricians remain undeterred. We will continue to advocate for strong federal policies that protect children from gun violence, and we will do so without pause or apology, until we see real progress. Pediatricians urge our elected leaders in Congress to find the courage to start again, to allow science to prevail over politics, and to do right by our children."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 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. (www.aap.org)