Firearm Injury Prevention
As a physician, surgeon, and healer, I have struggled over the years to find an actionable plan to reduce “mass shootings” and gun violence.
As a mom, I am even more compelled.
And like you, today my heart is broken. Again.
I am not alone.
And I cannot tell my children that they are safe.
In 2019 the Times printed a compelling op-Ed by Drs. Bulger and Stewart, two well known leaders in trauma surgery. They proposed a public health solution to reducing gun violence.
The same approach was used to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.
This became a bipartisan, state and federal accomplishment. Air-bags, anti-lock braking, vehicle stability, and crash test requirements were developed. Roadway design, lighting, and signage was improved. Seatbelts and child safety seats are required, and speed limits & drunk-driving laws are inforced. Since 1975, the population adjusted reduction in automobile related deaths is 45%!
Now, (since 2017) deaths by guns exceeds death by automobiles. 60% are suicide, then assault, accidental injury, and mass shootings. A public health approach would address each issue.
Success involves engaging gun owners. My father-in-law had a large collection of guns, yet I knew for him- safety was paramount. Require firearm safety training like we require a driver’s license. Support mandatory safe storage. Innovate technology that prevents firing by anyone but the owner. Conduct background checks. Support community- based violence intervention programs. Ban large capacity magazines and assault rifles. Data shows these initiatives reduce death by guns.
Change the narrative from “gun control” to firearm injury prevention. Move from debate to action. Engage your politicians. We must. Doing nothing should not be an option. Hug your child. Because today you can- and tell them that you are working towards a future where they are safe. #stopgunviolence #nomoremassshootings #hoagdoctor #publichealthcrisis #gunsafety #momdoc #conciergeobgyn #please