Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Handgun injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in American society, particularly among young people. Large numbers of children are affected by handgun violence through the loss of fathers, brothers, and other relatives. Young children are injured, and occasionally killed, in handgun “accidents”. Some young children and many adolescents are murdered with handguns. Like infant mortality, handgun violence in the United States is a medical as well as a social problem. Because of the great lethality of handguns and their very limited ability to provide personal protection, handgun injury can best be reduced by making handguns less available. Handgun control cannot reduce rates of crime or interpersonal assault, but it can reduce the frequency and severity of injury arising from these situations toward the much lower levels found in other countries. The involvement of children in the United States handgun injury epidemic warrants effective pediatrician involvement in efforts toward handgun control.
The first handgun victim in Chicago in 1985 was a 13 year old boy who was killed by a stray bullet from a gun fired in celebration of the New Year's arrival. The same week, an 8 year old Chicago boy killed a 6 year old with a handgun he thought was a toy. A few weeks later, a Chicago child was shot to death on the same street corner on which his grandfather had met a similar fate several years earlier. In July, a 5 year old child sustained irreversible spinal cord injury when playing with a family member's gun. These and numerous similar incidents make it clear that handguns affect and endanger children as well as adults. However, the risk to children is seldom mentioned in debates about handguns, which may explain why pediatricians as a group have not yet confronted handgun control as an …
This is the latest paper in a series of Injury Classics. Our goal is to reprint one or two such papers in each issue to introduce newcomers to these old, often quoted, and important contributions. As many are difficult to find, it should help all of us to have a copy at hand. Your suggestions about future articles are welcome. Write to the editor with details of your favourite, most quoted paper.
This paper first appeared in