Guns Move In to First Place.

Recent studies in Pediatrics and the New England Journal of Medicine show that thanks to a sharp decline in deaths from motor vehicle crashes, and an increase in gun deaths (especially suicide), in 2019 guns became the leading cause of death for all US youth age 0-19.  More than childhood cancer, drowning or poisoning – combined.  This has generated some media attention, which I have mixed feelings about; after all firearm injury has been the leading cause of death for Black youth since 2001.  Also, while I’d love to think this might jolt policy-makers into action, it is unlikely, despite the inevitable hand wringing, that we will see any of the common sense measures to reduce this epidemic such as those proposed by the study authors, the same types of regulatory measures that have dramatically improved motor vehicle safety while still allowing free access to automobiles.  Perhaps it’s time to follow the advice of singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler.

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