AAP’s new research initiative will look into protecting kids from gun violence
The government doesn’t seem to want health protection agencies digging into the epidemic of mass shootings. Thankfully, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is planning on doing it anyway. A group of experts are coming together for a new research initiative that will create “evidence-based interventions” — so can we get an enormous hallelujah for that?
AAP announced their new initiative on Twitter, explaining that (like many of us) they really want to see proactive action when it comes to gun violence against children.
The Gun Safety and Injury Prevention Research Initiative will bring together experts from across the country to “look at existing data…identify gaps in evidence and knowledge, and produce a research agenda.” They will eventually offer up proactive solutions to help fix this horrific epidemic.
“On a daily basis, our members see firsthand the pain caused by firearms, whether by homicide, suicide or unintentional injuries,” AAP President Colleen A. Kraft said in a press release. “However, just like any other risk to children, a focus on prevention and education by pediatricians in clinical settings, coupled with strong public policy which reduces access to firearms, can have a measurable and lasting positive impact.”
This is a a big deal on many levels. First, the government has essentially made it impossible for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to study gun violence. The “Dickey Amendment,” which was passed in 1997 with backing from the NRA (natch), mandated that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”
So, basically, the CDC has been backed between a rock and a hard place. Amalia Corby, the American Psychological Association’s senior legislative and federal affairs officer, explained to ABC News that employees are “afraid to even delve into that area of research because they’re afraid of having their funding pulled.”
Meanwhile, AAP has initial funding of $500,000 to get their important work done. Emphasis on important. According to AAP’s press release guns have killed around 1,300 U.S. children and teenagers every year, and injured almost 5,800 more.
“Recent national tragedies like the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., magnify attention on the gun violence children experience every day in communities everywhere,” AAP CEO/Executive Vice President Karen Remley noted. “It is time for new tools pediatricians can use to counsel families based on their culture, knowledge, beliefs and experience.”
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