Released just days before the Dec. 14 anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that took the lives of 20 young students in Newtown, Conn., last year, a video produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highlights the continued toll gun violence is taking on our nation and its children.
According to the video, guns are one of the leading causes of death among kids in this country, and gun injuries to children, teens and young adults "cause twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart disease and 15 times as many as infections."
"This is clearly a public health issue," AAP president Thomas McInerny says in the powerful new video. "Every child who dies due to gun violence is someone's son or daughter, brother or sister, and it's a tragedy that is repeated over and over again."
"Sixty years ago, children died from things like polio and meningitis and diphtheria and then we discovered that we could prevent these diseases. Gun violence is the same. We can prevent this," McInerny adds.
As part of its campaign against gun violence, the AAP has released several videos this week featuring pediatricians across the country discussing the profound effects that gun violence has on children, families and communities.
"[This issue] strikes everybody," Dr. Renee Jenkins, a pediatrician, said in a YouTube clip. "I think everybody knows of a family or a young person who has been impacted by gun violence."
According to Slate's gun deaths project, at least 11,435 gun-related deaths have been reported in the United States by the media since the Newtown shooting. This number, however, is likely a gross underestimate; using 2010 data on firearm deaths provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Slate estimates the number of gun deaths since the Newtown tragedy is probably closer to 33,100.