Critics: New Gun Law Will Kill Kids
Florida isِ set toِ becomeِ the firstِ state toِ pass a law thatِ would limit doctors’ ability toِ council parents aboutِ gun safety inِ the home.
Pediatricians decry theِ law asِ wrongheaded, andِ they’re backed byِ statistics thatِ suggest theِ law willِ kill kids.
Last week, theِ state legislature approved a bill thatِ would makeِ itِ legal toِ impose punishment onِ doctors whoِ askِ aboutِ guns keptِ inِ the home.
Similar legislation has been proposed in Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina.
Supporters ofِ the Florida bill, including theِ National Rifle Association (NRA), sayِ they wantِ toِ stop doctors fromِ invading theirِ privacy, andِ are concerned theِ information mayِ beِ used againstِ them byِ insurance companies.
Pediatricians have some stark numbers to back up their concerns:
A gun inِ the home isِ 43 times moreِ likelyِ to kill someoneِ knownِ to theِ family thanِ itِ isِ to kill someoneِ inِ self-defense, according toِ theِ American Academy ofِ Pediatrics (AAP).
Further, states withِ theِ mostِ guns atِ home haveِ suicide rates double rates ofِ states withِ theِ fewest guns, andِ those suicides areِ often children.
Pediatricians argue it’sِ vital toِ askِ aboutِ guns inِ the home soِ they canِ advise parents aboutِ risks andِ make sureِ the guns areِ stored properly, allِ in order toِ prevent injury andِ death inِ children.
For pediatricians, prevention is the name of the game, St. Petery said.
We’re notِ out thereِ to rid theِ state ofِ guns, saidِ St.
If theِ law passes, parents couldِ report doctors whoِ inquire aboutِ gun ownership toِ theِ Florida State Medical Board.
I wouldِ thinkِ thereِ shouldِ beِ a law thatِ saysِ ifِ you don’t council parents aboutِ gun safety], thatِ shouldِ beِ malpractice, saidِ David Hemenway, a professor ofِ health policy atِ the Harvard School ofِ Public Health whoِ studies injury prevention.
Children and guns
Children andِ young adults areِ particularly atِ risk forِ accidental injury andِ death fromِ guns.
Two-thirds ofِ those deaths occurred inِ the home, andِ aboutِ half ofِ the victims wereِ younger thanِ 25 years old, Hemenway said.
Some children areِ too immature toِ understand theِ risks ofِ guns, andِ the fact thatِ parents mayِ prohibit theirِ children fromِ playing withِ guns willِ makeِ the kids onlyِ want toِ play withِ themِ more, St.
The bestِ way toِ keepِ children safe fromِ gun injury isِ not toِ ownِ one, Hemenway said.
This isِ alsoِ the position ofِ the AAP.
But ifِ you doِ own a gun inِ a household withِ children, hereِ areِ steps toِ protect children, according toِ theِ AAP: Parents shouldِ alsoِ find outِ ifِ there areِ guns atِ the houses whereِ theirِ children play.