The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence notes that 1 in every 25 admissions to pediatric trauma centers in the United States is due to gunshot wounds. In Kentucky last month a five-year-old boy shot and killed his two-year-old sister with a child-size rifle presented to him as a gift from his parents. I was told that child-size rifles are common in rural Kentucky, so such tragedies are to be expected. Although irresponsible, Kentucky law makes it legal. Several months earlier a young boy picked up his father’s revolver resting on a table and shot and killed him while his mother and siblings watched. The stories are endless.
Doctors in Florida are now prevented from sharing life-saving information about the risks of guns with parents because of an outrageous law pushed by gun lobby extremists. In June 2011, a law was passed that would strip doctors of their medical licenses if they share such information.
Last year the Brady Campaign sued on behalf of Florida doctors and won in federal district court, but Governor Rick Scott and the gun lobby are appealing to the US Court of Appeals. If Governor Scott wins this case we can expect similar “gag rules” in states around the country. At least six other states have introduced similar bills in recent years, although none have passed.
Common sense, responsible gun legislation remains a goal on both the federal and state level. If that happens, it will be because people have spoken with a clear and consistent voice to their representatives, calling for legislation that will save lives.
Former Senator Wendell Ford once said, “If I hear from ten constituents on any issue I pay attention.” Together let us get the attention of our state and federal representatives on this critical issue. We could save a life!