Doctors representing Boston Children’s Hospital and the Boston Medical Center, writing for The New England Journal of Medicine today, called for the following measures to prevent gun deaths in children.
- First, the ban on assault weapons should be reinstituted.
- Magazine and ammunition capacity and the tissue-destruction capability of ammunition should be limited.
- Rather than increasing the number of guns in public places, as was recently suggested by the National Rifle Association, we need to set a goal of reducing the number of guns in our homes and communities.
- This reduction can be accomplished through tighter consumer-safety regulations, as well as licensure and certification of gun owners.
- Federal restrictions on the collection of public health data about gun-related injuries should be reversed.
- Continued emphasis should be placed on limiting children’s viewing of violent material on TV and through video games.
- Finally, we must dedicate more state and local funding to effective treatment of young people who are identified by parents, schools, and law-enforcement or mental health professionals as being at high risk for committing interpersonal violent acts.
The New England Journal of Medicine is the oldest continuously published medical periodical, completing its second century of service to the medical community in 2012. More than 600,000 people in 177 countries read it each week.