The members of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) express their profound sorrow at the senseless mass shooting tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., where a disturbed man opened fire with an assault-style rifle and handgun. This horrific act has left indelible physical and psychological scars on the victims, their families, and the Orlando community and has damaged the sense of safety and security for children and adults across the country. At the time of this statement, the June 12, 2016 violence at the nightclub was the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the U.S. Forty-nine people were killed, 53 were injured and some of the injured may not survive. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community was targeted this time, but this stunning violence affects all types of people nationwide.
NAPNAP continues to be gravely concerned with how these frequent, high-profile gun violence acts affect the mental health of children in our families and communities. NAPNAP supports a complete and immediate ban on assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines. As of June 12, the 164th day of 2016, there were 136 mass shootings, according to GunViolenceArchive.org. As pediatric-focused nurse practitioners, we are equally concerned about gun safety in the home and community. We support the requirement of safe firearm storage under federal law, and unrestricted ability to seek information about gun safety as part of well child checkups.
Our organization expresses its deep condolences to the victims, families and LGBTQ community. Pediatric-focused nurse practitioners can provide support and guidance by talking to children and families about this tragedy, listening to concerns and offering mental health referrals if needed. Resources can be found in our For Providers and For Families channels.