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Firearm Injury is a public health issue: here’s what you can do.


As a result of suicides, homicides, accidents,
and mass shootings, firearms-related injuries and deaths have been at epidemic levels in
the United States for at least three decades. However, health-promoting organizations and
health professionals alike have been forbidden from framing this problem as a public health
issue. This has to change. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the
CDC—has played an integral role in public health research, such as clarifying the link
between tobacco and lung cancer. However, since the passage of the 1996 Dickey
Amendment the CDC has been blocked from doing research that might yield results that could
be used to improve firearm safety. At times, individual providers have been stifled
by so-called “gag laws,” like the one Florida enacted in 2011 that punished physicians,
and especially pediatricians, for asking their patients about firearm safety with a fine
of up to $10,000 and even loss of their medical license. This law was finally struck down as unconstitutional
in 2017, and currently no such law exists in the US. Health professionals have made commitments
such as the Hippocratic Oath to help our patients thrive, and in return patients have placed
profound trust in these providers. As such, we, along with the American Academy
of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, the What You Can Do Initiative, and many other
groups, believe that health professionals are in a unique position to identify risk
factors and promote education and research around firearm safety and that they should
be allowed to do so. Firearm policy can no longer remain in the
lane of lobbyists–this is a public health issue, and doctors and scientists need to
be empowered to treat it as such. As a current or future health professional,
you can make a commitment to counsel your at risk patients about ways to prevent firearm
related injury and death. Here is a commitment from the Annals of Internal
Medicine that a number of us at Osmosis have signed: http://go.annals.org/commit-now

26 thoughts on “Firearm Injury is a public health issue: here’s what you can do.

  1. The CDC was never blocked from doing research- just from using it's funds to advocate for or promote gun control. They're free to identify risk factors and such. Do you really need a CDC study to understand getting shot is bad for your health though?

  2. 66% of gun deaths are suicides, AR-15's and so called "assault rifles" are used in 1% of gun homicides. Most mass shootings are done with pistols, none of the gun control policies prescribed by democrats would have prevented any of the mass shootings. Gun ownership has increased DRAMATICALLY since the 1950s, as gun violence has gone down dramatically. There are PLENTY of studies around firearms done by the CDC and the FBI. The funding was removed because there was extreme bias. Why did you leave this information out? How idiotic and dishonest are you? Gun control is about controlling people, that's why the first gun control laws in the US were to keep blacks and the poor from bearing arms. You are so foolish……

  3. Instead of pediatricians asking about firearms, why not ask about pools in the back yard? A child is far more likely to drown than be killed by a firearm accident.

  4. Why should people take advise about firearm safety from physicians? Most doctors don't even know the difference between automatic and semi-automatic.

  5. Are PREVENTABLE medical errors a public health risk? 250,000+ people die each year from medical staff error as opposed to 11-13,000 gun homicides which include gang shootings and police shootings.

  6. This video is doing nothing more than promoting firearm safety, and raising awareness that there are no restrictions on the freedom of speech for physicians. If you're a firearm advocate, how are you not in support of that? Nothing here is about gun control. Some of you make the rest of us look bad.

  7. Guns do not cause suicide. Mental illness and desperation causes suicide. Accidents surrounding firearms also isnt a Doctor patient issue. That's an individual responsibility issue.
    Why is it that doctors are getting into politics ? Why would you speek about lobbyists? You mean the NRA ? The ones that help train saftey to gun owners?
    Pretty disappointing if you ask me. It makes me as a family person trust doctors even less.

  8. All these gun defenders are mad as hell. We don't want to take the guns away, we just want to keep people safer. If all you can think is "They're gonna take my gun!!!!" then you're missing the point.

  9. I love that the number of red pins on the map increase rapidly as they mention mass shootings. Most of the shootings in the US are suicides and a large number of the single victim shootings are actually home defense cases. Additionally, would banning guns prevent the suicides in the first place? Suicide is unfortunately very easy to commit if someone is determined. I don't think there are many people that commit suicide because there was suddenly a gun in their vicinity.

  10. tools of mass shooters is a public health issue? that like saying spoons are a public health issue because of the obesity epidemic.

  11. Well, I'm not buying the whole "epidemic" statement as 1, the US doesn't have a high gun related violent crime rate per capita. 2, there isn't a hard defining numerical value of increase to define epidemic. 3, even if there was an "epidemic," it can't happen with an open ended timeframe. So, since the time frame is "at least 3 decades" could also include the Civil War and the War of 1812, I'm going to declare the emotionally charged language from this video as fear mongering.

    From U.S. Department of Justice Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008 (2011), there was an increase in homicide rates from the 1970s-2000. You might consider that there was an epidemic during those years; however, "In the last decade (since 2000) the homicide rate declined to levels last seen in the mid-1960s." (pg. 2)

    You see how epidemics work Osmosis? There are baseline rates and deviations from that baseline within a defined time. There is no such thing as an "epidemic level." If you measure something and the measurement is 1.0000 for a period of time, then the measured value increases to 1.0001 for a period of time, that 0.01% increase could be an "epidemic level" as it is an increase from baseline. If it increased from 1.000 to 3.000, that 200% increase could also be an "epidemic level."

    there is no such thing as an "epidemic level" as it could be insignificantly small or extremely large. It's now time for you to display your evidence….not that you would do that as there is no unbiased data to support your statements….to my knowledge.

  12. The comment section presents an interesting cross section of American culture and the way in which some American people will place their right to firearms above the right for people to be protected from them.

  13. If firearm injury and death is an epidemic (~30,000 deaths per year, mostly suicides, ~11,000 being murders)
    What does that make medical error deaths by doctors? (250,000 annually according to a recent Johns Hopkins study)
    A holocaust?
    And consider the 2.5 million defensive gun uses annually according to the CDC. How many lives have been saved by the use of firearms?

  14. Did you know that the AR in AR-15 stands for Armalite, the company who first produced the rife and not assault rifle like most people think.

  15. People, especially people in the United States forget that Doctors and medicine are the main pillars of Public Health. Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". 

    The powers that be always try to manipulate the definition of Public Health in a way that it doesn't get in the way of money making of private enterprises. That's why we get people who are at lost when they see health professionals giving opinions on problems like this…

    Mad respect for a private institution like Osmosis to tell it like it is.

  16. Smoking cause lung diseases and correlation is very clear. Why dont you ban smoking? A lot of pneumologues would specilise in other specialiasations in first place and we would have more doctors for less patiens. More hospital rooms other patients etc.

    Hypocrisy….

  17. Suicide and home defense are allowed to be studied as public health issues. Same with the other issues surrounding deaths that happen with guns because they tend to have other causes besides the gun that allow them to be studied. This video seems to be a little intellectually dishonest in order to promote more government power.

  18. To be blunt there are, on average 3-4 times as many injuries and deaths in the US due to medical malpractice. While I do agree that firearm safety is everyone's responsibility, the medical community has no place in telling someone they may not exercise their personal beliefs or rights. The media has made this a circus and quite frankly I am disappointed that a group such as yourselves would engage in this fear mongering without doing or at least quoting actual facts. Do you know that twice as many lives are saved with firearms than are taken because people can defend themselves? I really think this needs to be looked at from all angles that include real facts.

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