The second-highest cause of pediatric death in the United States is firearms. More children die from them every year than die from cancer and heart disease combined. According to new research, even when adjusting for factors like poverty, unemployment, and education, rates of pediatric firearm deaths were markedly lower in states with strict gun laws. In fact, states with the most lenient gun laws had twice as many pediatric firearm-related deaths. Additionally, researchers found that states without child access prevention laws had death rates four times as high as states with strict gun laws.
"Firearm-related injuries are the second leading cause of death among children in the United States, but we found a clear discrepancy in where those deaths happen that corresponds with the strength of states' firearm legislation," said Stephanie Chao, MD, FAAP, FACS the abstract's lead author. "In states with lenient laws, children die at alarmingly greater rates."
Second Amendment advocates always bristle at the suggestion of legislating gun-safety measures, frequently saying that responsible gun owners know how to be safe. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. Study after study shows that just saying you are safer doesn’t mean you are. Eighty-five percent of gun-owning parents in the U.S. do NOT practice safe gun storage in their own home. On average, over the past few years, toddlers in the United States have shot themselves or others every week. Every single week.
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