Gun Violence: A Chronic Disease Affecting American Youth

Meghan Summer Perez Muir, MSN, RN, CNL


Pediatr Nurs. 2021;47(4):200-201. 

In This Article


Nearly every major public health organization, including the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Public Health Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, has issued policy statements in support of gun control legislation (McLean et al., 2019). These public health institutions have pressed lawmakers to ban assault weapons, impose stricter design safety standards, develop licensing laws, and enact mental health restrictions for gun ownership. The AAP promotes gun-free homes as the safest homes for children, encouraging providers to counsel families about the inherent risks of guns in pediatric environments. The ANA has advocated for universal background checks, called for increased federal funding of gun violence research, and urged the U.S. Congress to support gun violence-related mental health initiatives led by nurses and other public health professionals.