I represent the pediatric critical care physicians at Maine Medical Center in Portland. We take care of seriously ill and injured children. It is an often heart rending and tragic role. We are very concerned about recent national and local gun violence and threats of gun violence. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death of children in the United States.

Maine has recently enacted multiple laws to reduce gun violence. There is more work to do and we all have a part. The CDC is researching ways to prevent gun violence. We need to continue to fund these efforts. We need to contact our elected officials and urge them to fund research and to enact evidence-based laws that have proven effective at reducing gun violence. We need to report individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others due to mental health crises. This would lead to a forensic evaluation as part of Maine’s “yellow flag” law. We need to store our guns safely; unloaded and locked and with ammunition locked separately. We need to ask about guns in the homes of friends and family.

Our children deserve to grow up safe from gun violence and it is our obligation to ensure this. We will continue to do our part in the intensive care unit. We will fight to save lives and to ease suffering. We will stand with you as you grieve. Please do your part to prevent gun violence.

Dr. Kristine Pleacher

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