Firearm violence is a major concern for young people today, with a recent poll showing greater concern for gun violence (51%) than for abortion (47%) or climate change (37%).
Young people learn about firearms from entertainment and social media, with movies and television cited as major sources for learning about firearms, second only to family and friends.
Obtain a thorough media history as part of each child’s psychosocial evaluation, ideally by talking directly with the child rather than through or with his or her parent(s).
Ask children about their favorite games and movies; ask what is happening on social media (if they are on it), and ask them how they feel when watching or playing.
Pediatricians can educate parents about those risks by sensitizing them to the potentially harmful effects of violent PG-13 movies, TV-14 dramas, and E-rated video games that involve the use of simulated firearms.
- Dan Romer
- Brad J. Bushman
- Michael Rich