Statement from the American Pediatric Surgical Association Board of Governors
As pediatric trauma surgeons, when a call goes out about an injured child, we are ready. We gather our teams and we plan, prepare and wait in our trauma bays for the victim to arrive. We have trained for this, practiced it, and, unfortunately, lived these resuscitations over and over and over in emergency rooms across the United States. When the weapon used to perpetrate harm is an assault rifle, often the victim does not even make it alive to our doors. The injury inflicted by an assault rifle is so massive and widespread the victim dies at the scene.
In the massacre that happened in Uvalde, TX, the victims were 9 and 10 year old children, averaging about 60 pounds in weight. The damage and injuries that these children sustained were so extreme and widespread that their own parents could not recognize them. DNA samples from their parents were required to identify the children.
The American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) calls for a new federal Assault Weapons Ban on military-style firearms. During the decade of the previous ban, public mass shootings and deaths decreased. Although these mass shootings are a small percentage of overall gun deaths each year, they have been used to perpetrate mass shootings of children and adults in public places that should be safe such as schools, grocery stores, theaters and churches. These weapons have the capacity for rapid fire and large numbers of rounds between reloads which increases their lethality and the number of victims. They have been used in many locations including Newtown, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, and most recently in Uvalde, each incident killing more than a dozen people.
APSA acknowledges the Second Amendment and the right to responsible gun ownership. However, assault weapons have no place in the civilian arena. Therefore, we call for a new federal Assault Weapons Ban. We support H.R.1808 / S.736, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021. We strongly urge Congress to move forward in adopting these bills and reinstating a ban on Assault Weapons. Too many children and adults have been killed in the hands of civilians using these weapons. As pediatric surgeons, we are committed to saving lives of children to allow them to live their lifetimes. We need the help of our legislators to remove ready access to these dangerous weapons that have been used, time and again, to commit mass murders in peaceful communities in our country.
Board of Governors
American Pediatric Surgical Association