While gun violence has always been seen as a public safety issue rather than one related to public health, members of the medical community are trying to “broaden those conversations” as discussed in a U.S News report. There was a statement made by Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director for the American Public Health Association, which basically said that there are nonpolitical ways to make people safer with their firearms.
Firearms take the lives of many people in the city of Chicago. According to a statistical analysis by the Chicago Tribune, the yearly total of shooting victims is 2,347 between January through October of this year. For some of these cases, if not many, innocent peoples’ lives are taken for the misuse or corrupted use of having a firearm.
Members of the medical community have posed several possible solutions for mitigating this issue. As the U.S News report mentioned, they “want to reduce incidents of gun violence in the same way as campaigns that targeted polio, smoking-related cancer or car accidents.” While it’s a controversial approach with Congress I believe their goals can possibly be achieved. More people attend the doctor than they do public meetings about gun violence, especially in the areas of Chicago that are greater affected.
Doctors already give their patients information about different public health issues so including information about the dangers of gun violence – not only in the sense that they’re lethal – then perhaps this issue could be mitigated. Providing additional information would not be monetarily costly. Doctors already counsel patients about a range of safety issues, including avoiding lead paint, wearing seatbelts, getting vaccinated and dealing with the dangers of backyard pools. If the designation were to change, they could more often ask patients about whether they keep a gun in the home and, if so, how it is secured (Leonard, 2015).