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Date: 2022-07-03 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00010730

USA ... Violence
Role of Guns

Gun violence is an epidemic. It is time for a public health response

Burgess COMMENTARY
THOUGHT ... Guns are a problem, and a new approach is needed. If every gun was licensed with an owner and perhaps say 10 other people who vouch for the owner on the record. If the gun is used in an inappropriate way, then the owner and all the 10 people who vouched for the owner would be held accountable. You won't make much of an impression on the problem if the system is just about a database of information and expecting the police to be the only eyes on the job. People who are in the network circle around the owner have all got to get engaged.


THOUGHT ... please, not a health approach as per the USA, where good health comes in the most inefficient but profitable way possible. Advanced common sense and a minimum of data would make a huge difference.
Peter Burgess

Gun violence is an epidemic. It is time for a public health response The epidemic of intentional gun violence can be reversed with a science-based approach. It worked with highway deaths and Ebola, why not guns? bernadino A police officer raises police tape to allow residents to enter San Bernadino Avenue. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Shares 5,646 Comments 554 Save for later To reverse the gun violence epidemic – and it’s important that we use the word “epidemic” – we need to do the same thing we’d do for any infectious disease outbreak. We should track it, find the root causes, use science to find research gaps, create policy solutions and use mass public education campaigns to eradicate the threat. Each year we lose over 30,000 people from firearm-related violence. Wednesday’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, struck especially close to home with me and my colleagues at the American Public Health Association. The county’s health department had its holiday party interrupted by gunfire that killed at least 14 people, injured at least 21 more and emotionally harmed countless families in the community. Yet, this tragedy is not an outlier. So far this year, we have seen more than 350 mass shootings in the US and it happens almost every day. But what’s even more heartbreaking is that gun violence is preventable. When the Ebola virus reached the US last year, the public health community leapt into action to address it. We had an evidence base for the disease because we had studied it. Ebola was tracked, prevention measures put in place, gaps in knowledge were assessed and the White House appointed an “Ebola czar” to coordinate our national response. Every health department in the US was put on alert. This was for just a handful of cases. I can only imagine how many lives would be saved if we treated gun violence the same way. The way to do this would be to start with the things you know will work. Congress has the power to start making the numbers go down right now with some common-sense steps. It should establish universal background checks for all gun purchases, including at gun shows and on the internet, to ensure people who should not have access to firearms don’t, for example. Right now, the policies we have don’t stop bad-apple gun dealers from putting their weapons in the hands of people who are motivated to cause death and injury – often to themselves. Gun control is political. So is refusing to address the politics of gun violence Scott Lemieux Scott Lemieux Read more Congress should also allow federal funding for research and prevention strategies to close the gap in knowledge surrounding gun violence and ensure our national and local data systems are in place, adequately resourced and working to collect and analyze injury-related data from firearm related violence. There has been an effective ban on federal funding related to gun violence prevention research since 1996, when Congress put language in its Appropriations Bill stipulating: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” This hamstrings our national health protectors, CDC and the National Institutes of Health, from getting the science necessary to make headway. We have seen members of Congress recently step up to try to lift the ban, but we’ve already lost 20 years of life-saving research. We’re not debating the constitutionality of guns. What we want to do is work to make people safer with firearms, the firearms themselves safer and our society safer with firearms in the environment. We should not rationalize the tragedy of San Bernardino but we will. Again Jeb Lund Jeb Lund Read more Look at what we’ve done to make auto crashes less deadly. In just a decade we cut US highway deaths by 25% – down to a historic low – not by blaming the victims, but by making people safer in their cars, the vehicles themselves safer and the roads and environment safer for cars and people to transit on them. Time and again a public health approach to solving health threats is a proven, evidence-based approach to improving health and preventing injury. That approach looks upstream to prevent bad things from happening downstream, and then doing everything possible to prevent them. Health epidemics don’t end unless we intervene taking the best science about what does and does not work and using it. The epidemic of intentional gun violence can be reversed with a science-based approach. It happened with Ebola, it worked for automobile crashes and it can absolutely reduce gun violence.


Georges Benjamin
Friday 4 December 2015 07.30 EST Last modified on Friday 4 December 2015 09.52 EST
The text being discussed is available at
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/04/gun-violence-epidemic-shooting-deaths-public-health-policy
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