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Children die more often from guns than from cancer in the United States: Pediatricians warn of increasing gun violence
American pediatricians are very concerned - the reason: children and adolescents in the USA are now more often victims of gun violence than cancer. This shocking result came to Judith and Sean Palfrey, both practicing pediatricians at the Children's Clinic in Boston.
Study reveals dramatic numbers
According to the doctors' findings, 6,570 young people up to the age of 24 were killed in connection with firearms in 2010, which would mean an average of seven victims per day. "Injuries from weapons cause twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart diseases and fifteen times as many infections," the two doctors said in a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The numbers are alarming in view of the significantly lower number of victims of cancer, because cancer is still the most common life-threatening illness in the western world for children and adolescents and in the United States it kills approximately 3,000 young people each year.
Guns play a major role in suicide among young people However, free access to and possession of weapons in the US not only poses a high risk of being a victim of gun violence, but also has an impact on suicide among children and young people, according to the Palfreys: “Depressed young people People can try to commit suicide. Less than 5 percent of such drug trials are fatal, but 90% of the times firearms have been used. ”
Expert demand: change weapons handling
Therefore, the two pediatricians are demanding a rigorous change in the way weapons are used in the United States - especially in light of the recent rampage of a 20-year-old, in which 26 people were killed in a primary school in Newton. This is the only way for the authors to be honored for "our unnecessarily deceased children and prevent our nation from losing valuable life".
On the one hand, the Palfreys demand "the reintroduction of the ban on attack and army weapons, smaller magazines and limited ammunition capabilities", on the other hand, the position against the national firearms association is very clearly: "Instead of increasing the number of weapons in public, As recently proposed by the National Rifle Association, we should aim to reduce the number of weapons in our homes and communities, ”said the experts.
It was time, the two continued, to use the opportunity to “protect our children from firearm injuries, as other countries have done. Doctors, teachers, city and state officials, as well as gun owners, families and young people must come together with creative and meaningful commitment to improve society. ”(Sb)
Image: Martin Schemm / pixelio.de