Articles, Blog

APHA Gun Violence Forum Promo


US Firearm injuries are at epidemic proportions. Over 100,000 people who were shot annually. Over 270 per day on average. Almost 40,000 people die each year from these
firearm injuries and no single policy or solution is going to solve it all. We call these policies that work. These laws are really focused on intervening
when people are making threats about what they’re likely to do. This is a behavior oriented type of intervention. It’s not about mental illness. They give police officers the clear legal
authority to search for and remove firearms from a risky person at a risky time. Over the past 6 years, a growing number of
states and the District of Columbia have passed herbo bills into law. That’s incredible. Change is possible here in this country. And this is the policy that works. The law is not being applied willie nillie
to everybody. It’s being applied to a group of people who
actually are at high risk of misusing a firearm. There’s a real opportunity to figure out through
research how we can best implement these laws to insure that they have the maximum benefit
on the public’s health. The majority of intimate partner homicides that involve
more than one victim are committed with guns. Domestic violence restraining orders that
carry firearm restrictions are incredibly important because they are initiated by the
victim. We’re seeing associated reductions with the
total number of intimate partner homicides suggesting that these laws save lives. Background checks enjoy really broad public
support. Consistently they’re supported by over 85%
of U.S. adults. We have some new research that’s forthcoming
that found that purchaser licensing laws that had an in person application and finger printing
reduced the incidence of mass shootings by 56% and reduced the victims in these incidents
by 57%. I think that anybody who studies mass shootings
and the role of firearms will say that its MO capacity is really the most critical feature
here. So, our estimate was these laws that ban large
capacity magazines are associated with a 49% lower rate of fatal mass shootings. By concentrating on those individuals who
are at greatest risk for violence victimization or perpetration, communities can see potentially
substantial reductions in gun violence. I am a trauma surgeon and the idea behind
hospital based file prevention programs is to meet that patient at that bedside and began
to address that issue. At our trauma centers where we see our patients,
we have an opportunity perhaps an obligation to offer something other than patching them
up and sending them out again. If we’re gonna address violence, then we gotta
address risk factors. This is a program that works that actually
saves lives. New York, Oakland and Los Angeles have each
achieved impressive city wide reductions in gun violence by focusing resources to spur
innovation in violence approaches, especially those that are community driven and community
approved. It’s been 60 or 70 years we’ve been in this
terrible spiral in our cities. That sort of disinvestment in resources has
led to crime being committed in those neighborhoods. The first step a city must have an anti blight
ordinance. Once you get a building fixed up,neighbors
do not want it to return to the way it was so they will go out of their way to informally
police that space. That does not move crime around the corner,
it actually reduces the commission of these acts.So I think it is an exciting time in
our country with regard to where the evidence has taken us and the opportunities for good
policy. The truth of the matter is, that the most
important policies that we’re talking about – Universal background checks, licensing,
extreme risk protection order laws – all of them have incredibly high public support in
both parties. The proportion of money that goes towards
research on gun violence is not sufficient or comparable to other public health epidemics. Funding from 2004 to 2014 was only 20 million
dollars. Congress should fund gun violence research
at a level that is similar to other public health epidemics such as the opioid overdose
crisis, HIV, infectious disease. We have real knowledge about what can save
many lives. There is every reason to believe further investment. We can be as a nation on the trajectory for
substantial improvement. As our nation has this very intense debate
over how best to make our community safer and reduce the carnage that occurs from firearms,
we’ve given you some policies that will work and how we can move this nation forward.

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