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December 1987

Firearms and Child Safety

Author Affiliations

Pediatric Associates, SC 5758 N California Ave Chicago, IL 60659

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(12):1250. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460120012004

Sir.—Patterson and Smith1 state "children are frequently victims of gunshot wounds." It puzzles me that in over 17 years of pediatric practice in a large city, not one of my patients has been wounded, let alone killed, by firearms.

The authors further state that "more than half of all deaths from firearms occur in homes where guns are frequently kept loaded and easily accessible." This is possibly true, but it does not say whether innocent bystanders or criminals are being shot.

The authors state "the often-quoted statistic that a gun in the home is six times more likely to kill a friend or family member than an intruder." It is true that the statement is often quoted, but that does not make it true! In fact, the statement is false as documented by Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics.

Thousands of honest citizens successfully use a handgun to protect