ER Doc Calls For Iowans To Properly Lock Up Their Guns

Iowa City, Iowa — An ER doctor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is appealing to all gun owners in the state to lock up their weapons, especially if there are ever children in the house. Pediatric emergency medicine physician Dr. Chuck Jennissen says he’s repeatedly witnessed the tragedies that happen when people leave loaded guns in the home within reach.

Jennissen, who’s a clinical professor of emergency medicine at the UI, says there are more guns in the US than any other country, and he says that’s directly related to the number of children’s deaths from firearms.

The nation is seeing increasing rates of child and teen suicides, he says, mostly through firearms. For 10- to 19-year-olds, suicide is the number-two cause of death, only behind motor vehicle crashes. One of the biggest risk factors is access to a firearm and Jennissen recalls one case that involved an 11-year-old boy who was brought into the ER.

A survey was taken of FFA members at the Iowa State Leadership Conference in 2019. Of those surveyed, 58-percent said they had a handgun in their home, and 84-percent had a rifle or shotgun. They were also asked about how the guns are stored.

Studies find access to a firearm triples one’s risk of death by suicide if it’s someone who has suicidal ideations, which is why he says it’s crucial to make certain they don’t have access.



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