The 5-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School takes place on Dec. 14, 2017, providing a harrowing reminder that gun violence can affect any age demographic in any town, according to a statement made by AAP president Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP.
According to the statement, 91 people die from firearm injury in the United States daily. Furthermore, gun violence disproportionately affects children in the U.S., with 91% of all global pediatric firearm-related deaths occurring within the country.
“If we had a virus that was killing 91 people and injuring hundreds of others every day, we would declare a public health crisis and devote the combined resources of our medical, scientific and governmental institutions to solving it,” Stein said in the release. “Explaining away gun violence as a problem of politics is not only wrong, its premise has stopped us from developing effective solutions to prevent it.”
The 5-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Currently, 91 people die in the U.S. daily as a result of firearm injuries.
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and 6 adults were killed in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School located in Newtown, Connecticut. According to CNN, 20-year-old Adam Lanza used a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle and two pistols.
Stein noted that pediatricians play the crucial role of educating parents about firearm storage and child safety; however, it is up to elected leaders to work toward the same goal of keeping children safe. He once again called for stronger background checks and a ban on assault weapons. Additionally, Stein believes that federal research and surveillance is critical to understanding the cause and prevention of gun violence.
“We know what works, but mass shootings, suicides, homicides and other acts of gun violence will continue until we enact meaningful solutions to stop gun violence in its tracks,” Stein said in the release. “As we commemorate the 5-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we call on our federal legislators and the White House to prioritize our children’s health and safety by passing policies to prevent gun violence in our country.” – by Katherine Bortz