Gun violence is a public health crisis that impacts children significantly, Boston doctors told Sue O'Connell on Greater Boston. Firearms are now the leading cause of death among American kids, taking the place of auto accidents.

Dr. Chana Sacks, physician and co-director of Mass General Hospital's Center for Gun Violence Prevention, who lost a family member in the Sandy Hook school shooting, and Dr. Lois Lee, pediatric emergency medicine physician at Boston Children's Hospital, said they have hope this public health crisis can be fixed.

"I believe that we can do better. I believe this is not inevitable and that we don't have to live like this," said Sacks.

Lee said, "We need legislation basically to keep guns out of the hands of people who are at risk not just for harming other people, but harming themselves. Also, to make sure that guns are secured appropriately."

While political will is a challenging hurdle to overcome, Sacks said local legislation such as red flag laws — which permit police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to themselves or others — can make a big difference. What is not helpful, she said, is increasing gun ownership to try and stop shootings.

"The notion that we can add more guns to this problem and shoot our way out of this problem is just not true," said Sacks.

Lee added, "We do need, probably, an overarching sort of system like we have for motor vehicles to track the data and really monitor continuous improvements so that we can decrease firearm injuries and deaths."

Boston doctors: It’s time to treat gun violence as a public health crisis