AACAP Releases New Policy on Children and Guns

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry pic
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  pic
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Image: aacap.org

The holder of an MD in psychiatry from UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, Dr. Michael Kreutzer of San Francisco is an assistant clinical professor at UCSF. Besides supporting clinical research and providing psychiatric patient care at the institution, Dr. Michael Kreutzer of San Francisco is a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).

This year, AACAP updated its policy statement on children and guns. The policy statement asserts the dangers firearms pose to children in America today.

Close to a third of all homes in the United States have guns, many of which are stored loaded and can be accessed by children. So much so that more than five percent of high school students admit to carrying a gun in the last month. An estimated one million students carry guns to school annually.

Research shows that children find it hard to evaluate risk. In fact, many adolescents are tempted to take risks. These behaviors make gun-access by teenagers particularly dangerous. Research shows that when guns are stored at home, the risk of homicide rises three times while the risk of suicide goes up five times.

AACAP believes that reducing guns in communities will reduce fire-arm related deaths. AACAP supports public education on the dangers of guns and the accident-risks associated with keeping them. It also supports funding for research on preventing gun violence and opposes legislation that limits this in any way.

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