On Monday, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released new recommendations in the Annals of Internal Medicine for doctors on how to reduce gun violence across the country. These recommendations were released two days after the deadliest attack on Jewish people in the United States at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the 72 hours since the deadly attack, there have been 58 gun deaths and 74 gun injuries across the country.
In this publication, the ACP emphasizes that healthcare practitioners have a responsibility to speak out on gun prevention and recommend that doctors regularly advise their patients on gun safety. Further, the ACP urges that state and federal authorities should not interfere with physician free speech. Currently, it is illegal for doctors in Florida to talk to their patients about guns, a law that interferes with doctors’ ability to address the needs of patients suffering from depression or domestic violence. The ACP also recommended stricter gun regulations and the [enactment] of legislation to ban the sale, transfer and subsequent ownership of assault weapons, emphasizing that less firearms reduces gun-related injuries and deaths.
In 2018, there have been a total of 47,697 gun violence incidents, and, according to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 211 gun deaths in the past week alone, including a mass shooting at a nightclub in Riverside, California, which resulted in 7 injuries and no fatalities. On Monday, Bobby McKeithen, a 16 year-old high school student, was fatally shot in a hallway at Butler High School, in North Carolina.
Recent fatal shootings also include a white gunman killing two African-American shoppers at a Kroger in Kentucky. This incident was motivated by racial hatred and is being investigated as a potential hate crime
According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), gun violence is the leading cause of premature death in the US.
Newswire sources: gunviolencearchive.org; Feminist Newswire 10/29; American Public Health Association; CNN 10/29; 10/29 KTLA 10/29; Annals of Internal Medicine 10/30