Art Kamm: Official dereliction

December 21, 2012 

Official dereliction

In the 1990s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published that 86 percent of gunfire deaths in children from 26 industrialized countries occurred in the U.S. The overall death rate in U.S. children under the age of 15 was nearly 12 times greater than that for the other 25 countries combined.

Also, U.S. children were 16 times more likely to be murdered by gunfire, and 11 times more likely to take their own lives by gunfire than those in the other 25 combined countries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has described the morbidity and mortality associated with firearm injury in U.S. children as being "epidemic.” Yet the gun lobby has supported legislation that has made it easier for felons and the mentally to get their gun rights back. And the NRA was successful in cutting off federal funding for research on the public health risks of guns.

That our lawmakers have permitted expanding public exposure to weaponry, without taking steps to curb the grossly disproportionate loss of life in U.S. children to gunfire, represents nothing less than a dereliction of duty in governance and the worst of special interest-driven politics.

Art Kamm


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