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Statement from Moira Szilagyi, MD, PhD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics
“As a pediatrician, parent and grandmother, I grieve with all the families of the children and adults who were killed today in Uvalde, Texas, victims of a gunman who incomprehensibly opened fire in an elementary school. As president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I speak for all of those who care for children: We are in shock. We cannot understand why this happened, and we stand with all of those who are mourning this heartbreaking and senseless tragedy.
“There is no justification for this kind of violence anywhere. And yet, we as a nation have been here before – multiple times. Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and so many other schools have been sites of terror, violence and death. Many more daily acts of gun violence that don’t make the headlines also rob children of their childhood and families of their community every day. Communities of color are disproportionately harmed.
“When will we as a nation stand up for all of these children? What, finally, will it take, for our leaders in government to do something meaningful to protect them? The AAP has called on the federal government to increase funding for research into gun violence prevention and for common-sense laws that protect everyone in a community. There are things that we can do, but it will require a unified approach. Despite past inaction, we must not assume there is no hope for change. We should not grow accustomed to these acts of gun violence. We owe it to the children in that classroom in Uvalde and the many others who will go into their classrooms tomorrow to speak up for them, to not rest until we see real, meaningful, policy change. Until their lives are protected.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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.