I read with interest the letter-to-the-editor from Juliette Madrigal-Dersch, M.D., in the October AAP News. I feel compelled to confront her opinion, mistakenly represented as fact. As many of our politicians do, she demonizes our youth as being responsible for the majority of crime when her references, as well as many others, do not support this view.

The proliferation of firearms in the U.S. is both a national disgrace and public health emergency. "The latest hysterical outcry against guns," as Dr. Madrigal-Dersch puts it, is well-founded based upon the nearly 35,000 Americans killed yearly by firearm violence. An additional 20,000 persons are paralyzed by bullets every year. Most pediatricians would agree that addressing the issue of gun violence — and the nearly 5,000 children and adolescents killed every year — is not "outside the pale of pediatric practice."

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