With sinister irony, the latest gruesome mass shooting in California occurred at a party for the staff of the Department of Public Health.
Public health professionals — and numerous allied medical professional associations — have led the campaign to curb and regulate gun access because access to firearms has been indisputably linked to increased risk of homicide and suicide in several decades’ worth of studies.
Gun possession has been shown in studies to increase odds of being shot in an assault — not protect against injury, a rationale we are often fed by the NRA for gorging ourselves on guns.
The United States, with the highest gun ownership and most lax gun laws of developed nations, has 50 times the rate of firearm-related homicide among 15-to 24-year-olds in these countries according to the most recent research, and 25 times the gun homicide rate overall. Is this really the way we want to lead the world?
The public-health evidence is clear and overwhelming. Citizens need now to loudly and decisively align with public-health forces working to act on the evidence and change laws and policies to protect the health and lives of the population — a basic function of a civilized society.
Erica Gollub, Miami