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NC Pediatrician Shares Sobering Facts About Gun Violence

Source: NC Health News

Tuesday, May 30, marked the 150th day of 2023, and so far this year there have been 263 mass shootings reported in the U.S. According to Gun Violence Archive, there have been more mass shootings in the country than days of the week so far this year, with gun violence already claiming over 17,000 lives.

For years, calls from health care providers, advocates, families, students, and educators to address gun violence have continuously grown as state Republicans stall on gun safety measures.

Groups like LATIN-19, have brought together health care providers and advocates in an effort to bolster the calls from Latine communities – particularly after the horrific mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in late 2019.

“As a kid in North Carolina, you are 51 percent more likely to die as a result of a gun than you are if you lived in another average state in our country,” Brian Eichner, a pediatrician in Durham, told members of LATIN-19 in a zoom call. “I’d like to challenge us. Unless we’re doing something about it as adults, we’re all complicit in this. … Our voices can’t all be silent.”

According to N.C. Health News, gun deaths among North Carolina children have risen to the level of a public health crisis. A report from the Child Fatality Task Force found that from 2012 through 2021, more than 600 children ages 17 and younger died from firearm-related injuries in the state.

“Most child deaths from guns still are outside the schools,” Eichner said “It just resonates with all of us because we all think of school as … we really need it to be a safe place for our kids.”

“Part of why I think this is so overwhelming is that we all know the school shootings are just the tip of the iceberg,” Eichner added.

State Democrats have called for gun safety measures and restrictions to tackle the ever-growing gun violence crisis, with Governor Roy Cooper creating the North Carolina Office of Violence Prevention with a goal of helping law enforcement and public health communities reduce violence through training efforts and builds off of community-based programs.

“For those of us in the medical community, our responsibility is to produce data, to produce interventions and educate our communities and our leaders,” Eichner said. “As community members, our responsibilities go much deeper.”

Read more at N.C. Health News

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