The above is an excerpt from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ handout Bright Futures Patient Handout Early Adolescent Visits. The Academy provides this one-page document (full image below) to doctors so that they can hand it directly to their adolescent patients. “Never have a gun in the home,” the sheet advises. And just in case you do . . .

If necessary, store it unloaded and locked with ammunition locked separately from the gun.

According to their website, the AAP is “an organization of 66​,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.​”

Their most recent member survey on guns shows that the org’s members support civilian disarmament. And how. Here are the stats:

– Eighty-six percent of the pediatricians surveyed agree or strongly agree that gun-control legislation will help reduce the risks of injury or death among children and adolescents.

– Among those surveyed, 92 percent agree or strongly agree that pediatricians should support legislation to restrict possession or sale of handguns.

– Some 77 percent of the physicians surveyed agree or strongly agree that pediatricians should support legislation to ban possession or sale of handguns.

– Ninety-one percent of those surveyed agree or strongly agree that pediatricians should support legislation holding gun owners responsible for children’s and teens’ use of adults’ guns.

Despite this stout support for civilian disarmament, the survey’s respondent doctors don’t seem to press the issue in their practice:

– Only 12 percent of the pediatricians surveyed stated that they always identify families who keep firearms in their homes. Fifty percent of the physicians surveyed never identify which patients’ families have firearms at home.

– Some 33 percent of the physicians surveyed reported that they always recommend that families should unload and lock away their guns. Thirty-seven percent of the physicians never provide that guidance.

– Only 18 percent of the physicians surveyed stated that they always recommend that handguns be removed from their patients’ homes.

Given the AAP’s members’ “concerns” about firearms, the AAP’s “no guns in the home” advice to adolescents comes as no surprise.

My concierge doctor — the most excellent Austin-based Dr. Michael Garrett (who is not an AAP member) — told me he doesn’t hand out the AAP’s guide, but sometimes uses it as a template for discussion. Minus the gun bit.

56 Responses to American Academy of Pediatrics to Adolescents: “Never Have a Gun in the Home”

  1. We could get the government to take their licenses away. They’d have to make up their student loans by selling themselves on the street.

  2. Never ride in a vehicle. If necessary, wear a seatbelt.

    Never play sports, bike, skate, or skateboard. If necessary, wear a helmet.

    Fixed these two for them.

  3. When I could afford the range fee, about half the docs in town were club members. The others don’t know a gun from a hole in the ground.
    I’m an AARP member. Nobody asked me before they made an anti gun policy statement. A suspect the American Academy of Pediatrics did the same.

  4. Do not have a swimming pool. Thousands of children drown every year.
    Do not live in a two-story house, to avoid falls on stairs.
    Do not have a dog, as dog bites are both common and dangerous.
    Do not cook, to avoid burns and knife cuts. It is safer to have prepared food delivered.
    Do not play sports, to avoid injury.
    Do not socialize, to avoid communicable diseases.
    Do not bathe, to avoid slipping and falling in a shower or tub.
    Do not drive, as traffic collisions are common.
    Avoid doctors, because medical malpractice kills hundreds of thousands per year.
    Live only in a mild climate, to avoid frostbite.
    Live only in a cool climate, to avoid heatstroke.

  5. “Do not ride ATV’s”

    Wtf, when I was a kid that’s what I lived for, every opportunity to ride some sketchy contraption with a gasoline engine and 0 safety equipment.

    • Thank you!

      I cannot tell you how many hours I spent on an ATV when I was a teenager. It had to be at least several hundred hours.

      I actually “crashed” twice with zero injuries. (I put the word “crash” in double quotes because all I did was tip over at low speed and land harmlessly on my side/back.)

      There is some risk in just about everything. Hikers get lost/injured. Sports participants suffer heatstroke. Lightning has struck members of both of those groups. Sharks attack people swimming in the ocean. etc.

      • Eh, I did wreck pretty bad once. Superman over the handlebars of a YZ490, tore up my rotator cuff and it still bothers me from time to time.

        • The 490 was nucking futs….. if you could keep it from flipping that thing would do 0-60 in under 5 seconds. My buddies turbocharged Banshee, well I was never dumb enough to ride that.

      • My school was so small that K through 12 was in one building, and yet we had one kid die on an ATV and another kid severely brain-damaged for the rest of his life.
        Over the years we had at least two more deaths from car crashes and many more injuries from the same. 0 gun injuries. 0 gun deaths.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if accidents involving the internal combustion engine have killed more people than accidents associated with any other invention.

      • I was on an MX bike pretty much every day from age 11-16. I lived in a development a bit out in the boonies, so that was how we got around, not to mention the trails, and our parent-built moto-cross track.

        If you didn’t (at least) lay it down in anger every day – you weren’t riding hard enough. If you didn’t flying W at WFO at least once a week, what the hell are we gonna laugh/brag about on the weekend? There was the sum total of “1” broken bone between the dozen or so of us over those 5-ish years.

        We have created a nation of pathetic pansies, bound to eventually be dominated completely by the remaining warrior class.

  6. AAP is not responsible for protecting lives of families in their homes from violent crime. If someone dies by violent intruders, they don’t give a damn. NOT THEIR PROBLEM! Firearm safety and gun ownership is not their business! If a Ped, asks your child, tell them to shove it, none of their business. Parents must take the lead on this to teach all their children firearms and safety from 5 yr. on up.

  7. If I had a dependent child in today’s climate, either the bride or I would be in attendance CONSTANTLY during any interaction with doctors. Didn’t feel that was necessary 30 years ago.

    • I your child is over 24m and still seeing a baby doc (pediatrician) you need to find a pair and get your woman under control.

  8. Yeah… I’m sure any kid would be very interested in reading that very official looking document.

    I bet Dr. Killjoy can’t even get the young whipper-snappers to put down their phones during a physical exam.

  9. I think we ought hold Doctors, their practices, and hospitals accountable for the medical mistakes they make.

    A couple of hundred thousand die and who-know-how-many are injured or maimed.

    There’s a reason they call it “practicing” medicine.

    Oh – and I bet “adolescents” really jump on that “no ATV” portion as well.

    Dumbasses!

  10. Do not ride ATVs…. Pretty much tells you all you need to know. These people are hopelessly out of touch/have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Besides, dirt bikes are more fun.

    • “Besides, dirt bikes are more fun.”

      Hell, yeah!

      My heart swelled with an uncle’s pride when I found out my cool nephew got a proper Japanese 400 cc dirtbike for his 16th B-day…

  11. Add this:

    Stay away from hospitals and negligent doctors. They kill more than 250,000 patients every year and they still won’t wash their hands.

  12. Another piece of advice with about the same utility:
    Never get mugged. If you are mugged, be certain that the mugger does not have a deadly weapon.

  13. These doctors are amazingly stupid. There own emergency room patient records will show 95% of physical attack injuries are from a knife or a blunt object.

  14. Wow. Gunsmith gives me medical advice and he gets in trouble for practicing medicine without a licence, but Dr. Dickhead can give me advice on firearms that I am supposed to follow. Phuk Dat.

  15. Where did that store guns and ammo securely and separately rule come from? Why would I do that other than there isn’t any room in the safe, and I’m not worried about leaving thousands of rounds of ammo shelves?

  16. Where’s the warning about swimming pools? More children drown in pools than are shot every year. Why are we not regulating pools? No one needs that much water…

  17. I think anyone who has kids or teens in the house should lock up their firearms in a responsible manner (not in a cheap safe that can be easily defeated or picked). My advice is the gun is either on the hip in a holster or locked in the safe. I keep loaded firearms in my safe. At what point would I share the combination to my safe with my kids…I probably won’t ever, even though they can be very intelligent, teens’ decision making abilities are underdeveloped and are prone to fluctuate. The part I struggle with is, at, say, 17 y/o, I want my kids to be able to defend themselves if I’m not home – but will I trust them entirely? Thankfully I have a a few years to figure that part out.

    • If you keep important documents in your safe, such as life insurance policies or wills, you should share your combination with your children at some point. If you and your spouse pass away/go senile in close proximity, your kids will need to get into it. My brother knows how to get into my safe.

      As to the 17yo possibility, you could get one of those single long gun safes and let the kid know the combination to that one. That way if the kid does something, you don’t have to get a new combo/safe. You just have to move one gun.

        • People all to often lock up important documents where people can’t get to them. Like wills in safety deposit boxes in banks that require an executor to be appointed before they let you in the safety deposit box, so the family has to get a court order to get the will.

      • Not very long ago, every 12 year old (in a non-urban setting) had his own .22, .30-30/.30-06, 12 gauge. Readily accessible, and controlled both the guns and the ammo. Many still do.

        A 17 year old is cause for worry with guns? You have failed spectacularly as a parent. If the kid can’t be trusted with a firearm, how the hell do you rationalize letting it loose with a frakkin’ car?

        • I’ve failed so spectacularly as a parent that I don’t even have any children. I did, however, teach my 4yo, 5yo, and 7yo nephews how to open my safe (not the combination, just the process) because I don’t trust my adult relatives to remember. I do trust the kids to not go in my room (where the safe is) if I’m not in there.

          I’d be willing to teach my middle nephew to shoot, but not the others. The problem is, my .22lr rifle is too big for him. (The rifle itself, not the caliber). Also, my sister probably wouldn’t let me. The oldest boy doesn’t listen (he’s not disobedient, he just doesn’t pay attention. He literally doesn’t listen). The youngest is too disobedient for guns, as are most kids his age.

          As to 12 year olds with guns, I don’t know if I would trust them with guns unsupervised. There was a 12yo who killed his twin brother in Cheney sort of way. Don’t walk in front of people who are about to shoot at an animal. I’m told that guns weren’t taboo in that household, and they were a gun family.

    • Hope your children survive to raise more intelligent offspring than you have. But as we still have freeish country you have the opportunity to be WRONG.

      • neiowa: How can you possibly gleam the intelligence of my kids based off of that post? I was talking about teenagers’ ability to make decisions. It’s erratic, this is proven science, not some fantasy.

        • Dude, if you’re worried about your (almost) adult 17 year-olds and anything but completely free access to firearms, you either have genetic defects for kids, or have failed as a parent.

        • My kids aren’t even teenagers yet (still several years from it, actually), so, my questions above were all hypothetical. Calm down, and stop trying to pretend you know anything about me or my kids’ successes or failures. Super internet judges – so smart and wise!

  18. Our HMO sent us a “now that you’re about to become an adult” letter when my son was nearing 18, warning about all the dangers of guns. “Do not spend time with people who have guns,” it said.

    Eh…too late. There’s already a Henry Golden Boy .22 in the safe that’s been his since he was 14. And besides, it’s kind of hard to avoid spending time with yourself.

  19. The first seat belt I wore was in my dad’s 64 VW bug. They were a dealer installed option that my mother insisted on. If I remember correctly seat belts weren’t required in cars until about 1968. My first “safety helmet” was a GI issue steel pot. I rode hundreds of miles on my bike in New Jersey traffic and managed to survive although there were a few close calls. I even drank from a garden hose! Maybe I made it to 65 because I did my best to stay away from doctors – and there have been some close calls in that department too

  20. We have kids and we keep a loaded handgun downstairs in a drawer and another upstairs on a shelf
    They have always been taught where they were kept
    Until age 10 they knew a horrible punishment would be given if they or a guest ever touched them
    After age 10 they were taught how to use them and were expected to shoot anyone anyone who attacked a family member
    They were also taught not to talk about our gun ownership

  21. NIce, people with no clue trying to tell people who probably know better than them how to store and maintain their firearms. I think if I had a doctor start in with me about guns, I will start in on them about how they do their job and how I think it should be conducted so as to reduce the many thousands of deaths from medical malpractice. I am sure they will love it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *