On March 24, led by the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students and their loved ones, will take to the streets of Washington, D.C., and cities and towns all over this country to demand that Congress enact legislation to prevent gun violence.

These young people have shown incredible leadership and courage in the face of unimaginable tragedy. We pediatricians are incredibly proud of the students in Florida, Maine and all around the country leading the national conversation on gun violence, and we support their endeavors.

Every day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, 46 children between the ages of 1 and 19 are shot in this country. Violent attacks, homicide and suicide account for most of the shootings of older children and adolescents. Younger children fall victim to accidental injuries, 70 percent of which are preventable with proper gun storage.

Gun violence is a public health epidemic that uniquely affects our country and our students have figured this out and they are asking the adults for action to save lives.

Members of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics offer their full support. We will be marching with you and voting Nov. 6. You deserve to feel safe where you live, learn and play.

Steven Meister, M.D., FAAP

president, Maine Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Winthrop

Deborah Hagler, M.D., FAAP

vice president, Maine Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Harpswell