Firearms are responsible for more deaths of people age 1 to 24 in this country than are cancers, heart disease, or infections. We and other physician colleagues across the Commonwealth thank The Boston Globe (“Doctors should ask about guns,” Editorial, April 3) and Attorney General Maura Healey for their recognition that health professionals have a profound responsibility to discuss the devastating risks posed by firearms in our homes and communities.
Guns, and the bullets they shoot, are deadly pathogens, and physicians in our state have taken care of too many families devastated by injuries and deaths caused by them. Every day, pediatricians like us discuss children’s safety with parents, from the importance of seat belts, vaccines, and healthy foods, to, yes, keeping their children safe from gun injuries. This is a routine part of our job, and consistent with national recommendations codified in Bright Futures guidelines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Physicians consider it our highest duty to prevent harm to our patients, and preventing gun violence is one of the most important and difficult tasks we face.