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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

AAP vs NRA Response to Newtown

By December 21, 2012

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It is not surprising that the responses from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) were so different.

While both the AAP and NRA state that they want to protect our children and keep them safe, they have widely different ideas on how that should be done. In addition to "federal action to improve children's access to mental health services and support for children exposed to violence," the AAP is calling for "new federal legislation that bans assault weapons sales and the sale of high-capacity magazines, strengthens mandatory waiting periods and background checks for all gun purchases, and promotes strict gun safety policies."

"As pediatricians, we believe that children deserve a safe environment in which to grow and learn," AAP President Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP said. "These incidents are always horrific, but the fact that young children were the victims in this case makes us even more passionate about trying to prevent such tragedies in the future."

Contrast this approach from the AAP with that of the NRA, which is calling for "armed security" in every school. They are calling their National School Shield Program"the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work," despite the fact that Columbine High School had an armed, uniformed community resource officer, a 15-year veteran and Deputy from the Jefferson County Sheriff's office, on scene during that school's mass shooting.

You can also contrast the response from the NRA after Newtown and every other mass shooting with that of a conservative, gun toting, NRA card carrying, Bush appointed Judge, who recently gave a conservative case for an assault weapons ban. Judge Larry Alan Burns sated that we should "bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don't let people who already have them keep them. Don't let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don't care whether it's called gun control or a gun ban. I'm for it."

As a parent and pediatrician who writes about shootings each and every week, I'm for it too.

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